Welcome to our article on the amazing Havasu Falls of Arizona! We are Dominic and Lauriane Jackson aka @coupleonthemap – a married travel influencer couple. Originally we are from Seattle in the US (Dominic) and the South of France (Lauriane) but we are now based out of California.
Both of us moved to California in 2011 to play college sports and met during our freshman year. We discovered our common love for travel back in 2015 when we visited Lauriane’s home town in France and had a great time. That sparked the travel bug in us and we began to explore more and more.
In 2019, we took a break from our 9-5 and traveled through Europe for four months. This increased our love for travel and inspired us to build a financially independent life doing something we love, travel. Since then, we have visited 30 plus countries, started a travel advising service – On The Map Voyages – and cannot wait to see what the future holds!
Our Experiences Hiking to Havasu Falls
While building our travel brand, we noticed that there were a few places that always showed up on our Instagram feed and Havasu Falls was one of them! So we decided to plan a trip there. As reservations were fully booked, we needed to check the reservation website daily to look for cancellations.
Finally, a cancellation came up for October 2019. We booked it and structured everything around that time. In order to visit Havasu, a reservation and permit of three nights and four days is required. We planned to hike to the campsites early on the first day, spend two days exploring and hike out on the fourth day. The hike is ten miles each way.
When in the canyon, we tried to do as much as we could. We visited the main falls located on each side of the campground: Havasu and Mooney Falls. One of our favorite hikes was the trail to Beaver Falls, which is three miles round trip from the campground and takes you through amazing landscapes. All in all, we had an amazing experience at Havasu Falls!
Why Havasu Falls Should be on your Bucket List
Havasu Falls is not an easily accessible place. This makes the 20 miles round trip hike challenging and the journey much more special. However, once you turn the final corner and see the main waterfall welcoming you into camp, you feel like you are in paradise. Everywhere we looked, there was crisp blue flowing water and it was unlike anything we had ever seen!
We feel like everywhere we aimed our camera on this trip ended up as one of the best shots we have ever taken. We would say that Mooney Falls was probably one of the better backdrops and our favorite place. The falls are right at the edge of the campground, so it’s a short and sweet hike.
However, there is a descent to get to the bottom. You pass through a small rock tunnel (not easy for Lauriane who is claustrophobic), then climb down a set of ladders that can get slippery due to the proximity of the falls. It’s a bit scary but also makes you feel alive. Then, once you are down there, you continue a few miles to Beaver Falls for more amazing views.
5 Best Things To Do at the Havasu Falls
- Hike both directions in and out of the canyon: It will be tempting to take the helicopter ride at Havasu Falls, offered only on specific days, but it will feel much more rewarding to complete the hike.
- Check out the main falls around the campground: Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. Don’t let the slippery ladder deter you. Take your time!
- Hike to Beaver Falls: It’s a short three mile hike from the campground with river crossings and rewards you with an epic waterfall at the end.
- Stargaze at Havasu Falls: The stars are beautiful from the bottom of the canyon and are very clear. You may even catch a few shooting stars.
- Make friends on your trip: We were lucky to meet a few people that had been here before and they helped make the experience even better. For example, they showed us a hidden waterfall that we didn’t originally have on our list and it’s always fun having people to hike with.
Favorite Memories from our Trip to Havasu Falls
Our favorite memory from our trip to Havasu Falls was the final stretch of the hike when we walked into the campground for the first time. At that moment, we realized that this place is real and beautiful on its own without the Instagram filters. We were totally blown away! We stood at the top of the final hill down and just stared for a while and took in the sights.
The second best moment for us was the hike to Beaver Falls. It’s still one of our favorite hikes ever actually – with all the amazing river crossings and beautiful scenery that you take in along the way. If you are planning your trip to Havasu Falls, be sure to add this hike to your bucket list!
Where to Stay Overnight at the Falls
When visiting, you can either camp at the campground or stay at one of the lodges in Havasupai (two miles from the main falls). We suggest camping as it’s the best experience. There are not many other places to stay outside of the village. However, we stayed at Ashfork (two hours away) the night before to ensure we got an early start on the hike the next day.
Need to Know Before you Go
Like many places, you do need to secure a permit for your trip to Havasu Falls. It’s normally included with your reservation. The reservation process is not complicated but you will need to plan in advance or constantly check for cancellations since it’s such a popular destination. Below are some final thoughts to ensure you have a great experience at Havasu Falls:
- Dress in layers, it gets very cold at night and hot during the day.
- Bring water shoes for the hikes. It will make your experience better.
- Remember you need to pack in and out everything. Do not over pack.
- Bring a waterproof bag for the hikes as well. Sometimes you will need to hike in waist deep water. But this only adds to the fun!