Can You See Havasu Falls Without Hiking?


On top of bucket lists, Havasu Falls in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States is one of the most sought after vacation destinations in the world.

The magic of Havasu Falls may be hard to define—is it the greenish-blue pools or its natural captivating location?—but it’s certainly undeniable that people come from all over the world to witness its beauty. Getting there might be tricky.

Getting to Havasu Falls requires a lot of planning and physical preparation.

Let’s dig in and find out.

Can You See Havasu Falls Without Hiking?

Havasu Falls is a beautiful waterfall. It cascades 65 ft into a pool below and is fed by the waters of Havasu Creek which has its source in the Havasupai Reservation. The area around it has spectacular rock formations and is considered to be a place of great spiritual significance for the Havasupai people.

For their beautiful land and for their culture and ways, the Havasupai were granted the 1,400 acre Havasu Falls Wilderness by the US Government in 1975. The land itself was announced as a National Historic Landmark in 2003. The Havasupai people have a rich cultural history that includes living in their area for three thousand years.

The reservation itself sits at 702 meters above sea level and is situated on the western edge of the Grand Canyon. The area is covered by a series of mesas & pinnacles that are tiled with red and white Navajo Sandstone. This area is considered the gateway to the Grand Canyon National Park and it serves as a protected area for wildlife, plants and wildlife.

The Havasupai people are incredibly intelligent and have a profound culture that includes their ceremonies, ritual dances, art, literature and lifestyle. The Havasupai people have lived in their beautiful land for nearly three thousand years which I find very astounding.

Havasu Falls is every person’s dream waterfall vacation destination. With growing popularity, entrance to Havasu falls now requires having a permit. Aside from hiking, there are other ways of transportation, no matter how many visitors visit.

The hike itself is a 10-mile trip. Taking the elevation descent of 2,500 ft and then the same amount of gain back up into account, it’s a designated, full-day adventure. It is estimated that the hike down to the waterfall could take up to 4 hours or more and the hike back up can take roughly up to 7 hours.

This is not your regular walk in the park hike. Technically, It is not difficult to trail, but the amount of time spent walking requires a high level of fitness and determination to embark. It is known to be very tedious, but the walk is definitely worth it for the full immersion in nature and among the true wilderness.

Fortunately, the trail is very easy to follow and there is a strong probability that you will be surrounded by other hikers while hiking. Getting a permit to explore the area of Havasupai is very hard, it is better to get the permit as early as you can.

Be sure to take into account the season and the temperature of the waterfall. Always start your walk as early as you can with lots of water and food. Always know your body limits and have a backup emergency plan.

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How To Get To Havasu Falls Without Hiking

Even though hiking is cheaper and offers a lot of health benefits than other means of transportation to Havasu Falls. It isn’t the only means of getting there. 

The other means of getting to Havasu Falls other than through hiking includes riding a horse or riding a mule or a guided helicopter tour.

Riding a horse has become a common means of transportation among travellers going to see the majestic waterfall. However, the use of horses has not been popular recently, but it is still an option. Not everyone is willing to walk on foot and riding on horseback offers a unique type of experience. The fall provides horses for transportation and there is also an option of bringing your own horse, as long as you provide it with food. It takes about 2 – 4 hours to cover the journey with horses.

The company also offers mules to travellers. Note that all reservations must be made prior to arrival on their website. The use of animals is becoming less and less for personal transportation, however, they are available to carry your belongings.

For those not willing to endure the 10-mile hikes, there is an option of a helicopter tour. Especially for families with young children and old people.

Can You Drive to Havasu Falls AZ?

There is no road that leads directly to Havasu Falls. It has a difficult 10-mile hike in all directions and these roads are not accessible;e to cars. They are not smooth enough for cars or trucks to pass through them.

However, dirt bikes and mountain bikes can trail the road, but they are not allowed anywhere on site. The only way to Havasu Falls is through hiking, a helicopter or a guided tour with a horse or a mule.

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Is Havasu Falls Open to the Public?

Havasu Falls is open to visitors all year round. However, the best time to visit in the fall is May through September. Water temperatures are usually warm during these months. The months of September through November, March and April also have comfortable air temperatures; however, the water may be chilly.

But due to the covid pandemic, Havasu Falls is currently closed to the public. They are planning on reopening by June 2022.

Why is the Water in Havasupai So Blue?

The creek is well known for its blue-green colour and distinctive formations. The bluish-green colour found in Havasu waterfall is majorly caused by the large percentage of lime found in the water.

It is these ever-changing falls, as it flows toward the Colorado River, that create the four, beautiful waterfalls found in the Havasupai.

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You can get to Havasu Falls without hiking, but the trip will require planning and making sure you have a permit to explore the area before arrival. There is an option to witness the mesmerizing beauty through a helicopter, mule, or horse guided tour.

However, the animals are more so for transporting your belongings than you transporting you personally, due to laws about the treating of animals. The physical reward of embarking on an adventure via foot is incomparable and highly encouraged. Havasu Fall is no doubt a beauty of our world.

For those who love adventure expeditions and to discover the beauty and mesmerizing wonders of the outdoors. Plan in advance, respect the wildlife, and be aware of all this adventure will contain.

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Written by Jane Miller

I'm Nomadic Jane, a digital nomad and travel blogger. Since 2009, I've been traveling the world and exploring cultures through my travel blog.