5 tips for Choosing the perfect campsite near Havasu Falls
by Annemarie Kruse
So you want to go to Havasu Falls and are wondering what Havasu Campground and whether you’ll be able to get a good campsite. Choosing a campsite at Havasu Falls isn’t that difficult, but the sites available to you will depend which day of the week you arrive and what time. If you arrive in Havasu Campground early in the day on a weekday and you’ll likely have your pick. Use these 5 tips below to choose the best campsite in Havasu Campground so you have an enjoyable hiking trip.
More Havasupai Information
Choosing the Perfect Havasupai campsite
1. Look for riverfront property
The creekside campsites in Havasu Campground are the most coveted. There’s no better sound than the lullaby of Havasu Creek to sing you to sleep. Luckily, this campground is long and narrow, stretching the length of Havasu Creek for about a mile before reaching Mooney Falls. This means there is plenty of creekside real estate. Not all creek-front camping spots are created equal though. Try to get a spot that is raised above the water level. Sudden rainstorms can cause significant flood swells which can potentially be very dangerous and at the very least damaging to equipment. Floods are most common in July – September during the summer monsoons.
2. Avoid camping close to the canyon walls
Second in the danger department is rock falls. If a rainstorm kicks up, you may hope that the canyon walls will over protection, but flooding and runoff can dislodge rocks that have been known to fall on tents and gear, even injuring campers in the past. Be sure too look up when selecting your campsite and consider any hazards from above. (There have even been cases of falling cactus!)
3. Shelter is key
Of course you have a tent, but winds in the canyon can be very strong so it consider where trees might offer extra shelter as a windbreak or offer the possibility to string a canopy for added rain protection. Trees can be hugely beneficial but be alert for dead trees. Past flooding has killed off some cottonwood trees that now pose a threat as falling hazards.
4. Proximity to Fresh water
There is one drinking spring in Havasu campground. It is called Fern Spring and it’s located in the upper (upstream) third of the campground. The further you walk down river in search of your perfect campsite, the further you are from the spring. Many people don’t mind walking to the spring and toting their water back to camp, others may find it annoying. Locate the spring when you first arrive and keep this one in mind as you select your spot.
5. Bathroom access
There are composting toilets throughout Havasu Campground. These toilets are typically kept fairly clean and are quite convenient. Please use the toilets and do not simply find a bush. The campground isn’t very big and it’s easy to imagine how disgusting it could become after a while if everyone went everywhere. Are you the type that has to get up often in the middle of the night? You may want to find a campsite that is close to one of the toilet blocks. That said, it’s a careful balance between access and aroma. Closeness can mean you are more likely to catch a whiff of the compost perfume, something many hikers would rather avoid.
Enjoy your camping trip in Havasu Canyon. It is an incredible unique spot with so much to explore and discover. Remember that permits are required for all hikers, campers, and visitors of any kind. Take the time to learn all you need to know about planning a trip to Havasu Falls. Plan at least 2 nights in the campground so you have one full day to hike down canyon and see all of the waterfalls. If you want to visit Havasupai but all the planning details sound like too much to think about, consider joining a guided hiking trip. Professional guides know the ins and outs of the canyon, and guided trips offer all of the gear and preparation tips you need.