Waterfalls are beautiful and unique. Some of them are even more photogenic with the perfect sunlight or need a heavy rainfall to unfold its beauty.
The waterfall and trails are open all year. You have to pay an entrance fee from mid-April/ May until end of October daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. last admission at 4.30 p.m.
An average of 450,000 m³ of water plunges down the falls a day in summer which is 5.6 m³ per second. The waterfall is at its peak late evening due to the midday melted water of the glacier.
Best sunlight for the waterfalls at noon. The waterfall has only a fraction of water in winter.
In winter, you walk at your own risk and it can be a bit difficult to hike to the topmost part; the lowest part is mostly possible. Every Wednesday a guided torch hike is offered at 8.30 p.m. Meeting point is the bandstand in Krimml.
It is a very popular natural spectacle with more than 400.000 visitors each year therefore very crowded at Eastern and in summer – viewer people in the morning. Very special in winter.
'Absolutely Stunning!' One of the most enchanting places on earth you'll ever visit! In this comprehensive guide, we cover everything you need to know. Scroll down for camping reservation tips and permit (including new prices) updates, lodge reservations, as well as tips and details for the helicopter ride, camping, and the lodge at the end of this guide! 2020 Update: The reservation procedure will be the same as last year in 2019. Read our full guide below for booking and reservation tips. Maybe there will be slightly changed rates, but we don't expect any major changes. We'll keep you updated. Bookmark/save this article/page and check back later. As of January 31 there are still no updated 2020 rates on the official website. Thus, rates probably won't change.
2020 Virus-Pandemic Update: The lodge and the campground are closed until further notice (updated May 5, 2020). For more information and how to reschedule for a 2021 visit if you are affected by the closure, please got to the official website: Havasupai Reservations. We guess, that campgrounds and the lodge will reopen later this year, but we cannot guarantee anything. Please bookmark this article as we'll update it on a regular basis.
When to Go
The best time visit to Havasu Falls is either in early spring or late autumn when the temperature is perfect for hiking, and the conditions are pleasant enough for camping. In the summer it’s even better camping weather, but you need to start your hike early in the morning due to the heat.
However,the falls are accessible year round and you should be flexible and visit whenever you are able to reserve a campsite spot or the lodge. In particular we get asked a lot about February, as it's easier to make a reservation with more spots left during this month. We recommend going in February, although those who usually only camp in the summer months, need to get accustomed to the cooler nights. We'd do it! Read more details about this month below in the season guide.
Quick Guide | Campsite Reservation
No time to read our full article with tons of tips and information in the main text below? Right here in the blue box, you'll find a quick guide. Please keep in mind, that these tips are for the campground reservations and not the Havasupai Lodge at the falls.
- Account: Create an account at www.havasupaireservations.com, if you haven't already! You can create an account at any time. Don't wait until February 1
- Why Create an Account: Since 2019 campsite reservations are only(!) possible with an online account. No phone calls, no emails!
- Reservation in February: Log in to your account on Friday, February 1 before 8 a.m. Arizona Time. Can't make it? Log in as soon as you can on this day or later in early February (maybe a few spots are still left). For most users it takes between 20 minutes and 2 hours of refreshing the website until they were able to start the reservation on February 1
- How Many People: You select the number of persons (max 12) in the next step
- Date Selection: Select your start date. Be quick and flexible since hundreds of others are trying to make a reservation at the same time. Summer months will be sold out first as usual
- Length: How long to stay? Since 2019 it's fixed: 3 nights (4 days). No more, no less
- Price: The total price for the 3 nights is between $300 and $375 per person (weekends nights cost slightly more than nights during the week)
- Lodging Before the Hike: Immediately(!) after you made your campsite reservation, book this place to stay the night before: Hualapai Lodge (save the link!). Be quick after you made the campground reservation before no rooms are left for your desired date. It's in high demand as it's the only place where you can spend the night before your hike without driving longer than 2 hours to the trailhead. Why spend the night at Hualapai Lodge? You cannot hike this trail in the boiling midday heat! And even in slightly cooler early spring or late fall an overnight stay before this hike is highly recommended. From the Hualapai Lodge it's a comfortable 1.5 hours drive (route via Google Maps) to the trailhead / helipad.
- Alternative Lodging: Alternative to #8: Stay at the 'Grand Canyon Caverns Inn' the night before. It's also only a 1.5 hours drive to the trailhead (> directions via Google Maps). Save the link and book your night immediately after your campsite reservation: Grand Canyon Caverns Inn Second Alternative: If no rooms are left on your desired date at Hualapai Lodge or you don't want to stay at Grand Canyon Caverns Inn, then the next best choice is Kingman, Arizona: 2h 10m drive to the trailhead - Kinggman -> Havasupai Trailhead : Save the following link/book here: Kingman Arizona Hotels - via booking.com (don't wait too long! Rooms are in high demand in Kingman as well!)
- Reserveration Problems: In case you had an issue with a campsite reservation process, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. They promise to get things fixed for you! Please do not call them.
- Transfer a Reservation: The campground reservation is transferrable. However, only through their online system which will be active a few days after February 1. It's not allowed to sell a reservation somewhere else. You'll be banned forever from Havasu Falls if you do it
- Lodge Reservation: What about the Havasupai Lodge at the falls? It is booked completely separate from the campground. Reservations for then next season/year open up every summer on June 1. It's usually sold out very quick. Scroll down for more info
- Driving: Since Hualapai Hilltop (the trailhead/helipad) is in the middle of nowhere, no one will take you there (no shuttle or anything similar). You need a car! If you don't have one, definitely book a rental car right after campsite reservation to get a better deal and start your trip without any worries. You'll save a lot of money with pre-booking well in advance! Don't make the mistake and rent one at the airport or just before the trip. Pro Tip: Use rentalcars.com (save the link) as they offer Alamo, Enterprise, Thrifty and Avis at the lowest rates!
Guidebook Tip | Recommended
Me (Michael), reading the latest edition of the great Havasupai Guidebook
Before you continue reading our tips: There is one (physical) guidebook we highly recommend for 'Havasupai Falls'. It's 'Exploring Havasupai'. It has insider tips and really fascinating background information. It also identifies many new hikes, mines, springs, and historical sites never revealed before. It includes detailed maps, trail descriptions, amazing photographs, as well as intriguing historical insights. You'll love it: Exploring Havasupai on Amazon ('The best Havasupai guidebook ever!'). It gets better: I recently bought it (see my photo above) from Amazon: Although Amazon says that it's from 2016, you get the latest edition, which is from 2019. That means it's (almost) fully updated.
Quick tips if you either already made a reservation or want to check for free spots after February:
- Already made a successful reservation? Then we highly recommend booking the night before at Hualapai Lodge or Grand Canyon Caverns Inn (bookmark the link!). Book as fast as possible before no rooms are left for your date. The lodge is in high demand! This is a 1.5 hours drive only to the trailhead from both: Google Maps Hualapai Lodge > Trailhead or Google Maps Grand Canyon Caverns Inn > Trailhead. See #8 and #9 in the sticky note below. Why to stay there? The trailhead is in the middle of nowhere. You need to get there by car and driving a long distance from any bigger town is too strenuous. Staying at the only accommodation nearby means you can start the hike relaxed in the morning. Read more in our guide below!
- Haven't made a campsite reservation yet? You can check for cancellations from others as after February/March there are no more spots available via standard reservation: Create an account (see below) on their website. Now, there might be spots available via their online cancellation list! You still need to create an account (see below) on their website to access the list online and make a booking. You may log in every other day and check for any other cancellation throughout the year!
- Haven't made Havasupai Lodge reservation yet? Almost like with the campground, the lodge is sold out quickly. For the lodge, everything is still done via phone (no online reservation). You need to call them and ask if there are any cancellations. For more details read our main text below.
'Nearby' Visiting Tip: Check out our amazing article for hiking THE WAVE (in Arizona). This one of the most stunning hikes and a once in a lifetime experience! You'll learn everything, including unique tips on how to win a permit.
Please note, that everything in this article is thoroughly researched, updated and double checked. We know that articles on other websites haven't been updated for a while. We are up to date (2020).
March - April - May
The climate is pleasant and great for hiking. Although theoretically already fully booked, the trail and the campground are often slightly less busy in March. The average temperature in March: 40-70°F (5-21°C) with an advantage: No bugs! The only downside this month: Not warm enough for swimming at times and no blooming fauna and trees yet. In April and May, trees turn green and it gets warmer, which is better for swimming but it’s also more crowded already.
June - July - August
It gets hot. Up to 100°F (38°C). You need to start your hike early in the morning otherwise it can become unbearable. Swimming is excellent with these temperatures outside. The downside: It’s peak season and the place is heavily crowded. You’ll also meet many others on the trail. July and August are monsoon months: There is a chance of thunderstorms and flash floods.
Pleasant and still very warm, but another quite busy month. Again, start your hike early! Also, thunderstorms and flash floods can still happen until mid-September.
October - November
In October it’s still pleasant without the summer heat: 48-77°F (9-25°C). Especially until mid-October, it's perfect for swimming and hiking: It’s hot enough to get wet all day and cold enough to wear a light sweater. In November temperatures drop to 37-63°F (3-17°C), but it’s still a great month and less busy. However, many report it's not pleasant for swimming any more (read the weather section below).
December - January - February
Means visiting in the winter. It's low season but everything is definitely accessible. However, it's too cold for swimming. Not very pleasant for camping as well. It can get freezing cold during the night, especially in December and January: 30-53° (-1-11°C). The lodge might be the better choice during these months. However, if you don't mind the that it's colder during the night: It's a great time for a much quieter, pure nature and hiking experience with less tourists.
In February it’s still less busy and already a little warmer. Also, it's a lot easier to make a campsite reservation as later months are unavailable! Would we go camping in February at Havasu Falls? Yes! Just be prepared for cooler nights (outside around 33°F/0°C). Although it's too cold for swimming (read more below), you can enjoy February as it's less crowded and a great time to take amazing photos.
Weather and Water
The chart below shows daytime temperature details for each month. Please note, that the displayed temperatures are average highs. Especially during the night, it gets a lot colder. The only reliable historic weather source for Havasupai is: Western Regional Climate Center
What about the water temperature for swimming? In pleasant months like March or late Oct/Nov, visitors report they can’t enjoy swimming, even though the water temperature itself is 70°F year round. That's because of the much colder outside temperature during these months. The best time to enjoy the water and swimming is April until September.
This waterfall is a popular year-round attraction in the Swabian Alps. Weekends and summer holiday are overcrowded. It looks like a pilgrims' path even in the evening. The flow of the waterfall is best after rainfall and during the thawing period. The flow can be between 70 and more than 400 liters each second.
In winter the waterfall can freezes which looks terrific. The sunlight is best in the morning, and it is not that busy.
Although there are several car parks, they fill up soon from midday onwards in the summer. The large car park area is called P 23, and the fee is 2 € until 4 p.m. Afterwards parking is for free.
The short walk to Nelson Falls can be done all year. The 30 m high waterfall is at its peak in winter and spring, particularly after heavy rainfall. We visited Nelson Falls once in February and again in November. During summer in February, it was a trickle only, and in November it was a tremendous fall. It was great fun to watch these falls again although I became utterly wet from the spray. It was freezing cold below 10 °C. It's an unforgettable experience in winter and spring despite the cold temps.
The Franklin Gordon Wild Rivers National Park has a wet oceanic climate and is the wettest area in Tasmania. The “driest” month is February followed by January and March. In summer the temps are about 20 °C, records are over 30 °C but can also drop below 10 °C. During winter, it can drop below zero. The wettest months are May to October. However, be prepared when traveling to the west; expect rain!
Best light for the waterfall in the morning.
Saarburg is very popuplar for visitors from France and Luxembourg. If possible avoid weekends.
Golden hour is the best time to visit about an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise are great for photos because it's the best lighting. Mid day is great for those who wanna get wet during the summer under the falls.