'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 email@example.com. 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.
It's a 4 hours drive from the South Rim to the North Rim. The reason that's this part of the park is less visited.
The North Rim is open from mid-May until mid-October and closed in the winter. There are less iconic views but it’s also much less crowded than the South Rim.
The North Rim is only visited by 10% of the Grand Canyon visitors. You might even go in summer as the temperatures are more pleasant due to its higher elevation. Summer days are usually delightfully clear and cool except for the occasional thunderstorms in July and August. May and September are still great months to hike this trail. It's not heavily crowded if you visit in the summer. But still, try to avoid weekends and start your hike early.
We did this circular hike in one day, started very early in the morning. We parked the car at the Bright Angel Lodge and took an early shuttle express bus to the South Kaibab Trail head.
The South Rim is open year-round (except for road closures during extreme winter weather, which is rare). The best time to hike the trail is spring or fall, but it also depends on what you are looking for:
March, April, May (spring): Spring weather can be unpredictable but usually temperatures are mild without a lot of rain. However, March is prone to late season snowstorms. Spring is great if you want to avoid the hot and uncomfortable summer heat. It’s also not heavily crowded. There are wildflowers blooming during this season. In some years it can be a gorgeous with lots of blooms.
June, July, August (summer): We do not recommend summer as an ideal visiting time: These are the most popular months with heavy crowds. Although the temperatures are more pleasant than the extreme inner Canyon heat it’s still very hot and midday temperatures can make hiking unbearable. Afternoon rain showers or thunderstorms are common in the summer. Especially from from July through mid-September. Always bring rain gear.
September, October, November (autumn): September after Labor Day is the perfect month for hiking the trail: Less crowds and very pleasant temperatures. However, keep in mind that until mid-September those summer thunderstorms can still occur. Fall weather is also the most unpredictable: Bring rain gear. October and November are still great, although temperatures drop in November: 27 - 52° F (-3 - 11° C)
December, January, February (winter): It’s colder with daily highs in the 40s. Extreme weather with snow storms and and icy trails is possible. However, in the winter you’ll almost find solitude with minimal crowds and reduced rates. It’s a great time if you don’t mind the cooler climate.
Avoiding the Crowds
Summer months bring the most crowds. If you visit in the summer start your hike very early in the morning to beat massive crowds as well as the heat. It can also get crowded in spring and fall during holidays and on weekends. Try to avoid weekends in general. Some great tips from the official NPS website to dodge the crowds: South Rim Crowding: South Rim - A Survival Guide
Please check the monthly weather with temperatures and precipation here: South Rim Monthly Averages. Remember to bring rain gear, regardless of the season.