Top Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated 01/31/2018.

Q. I don’t have a reservation but I just want to go, how can I make this possible?

A. If you cannot obtain a permit, the other alternative is to find a group or person with a prior reservation that is willing to give up an extra spot in the group as if someone in their group cannot go anymore. In this instance, you will take their spot but you’ll need to coordinate with the primary holder.

Q. What is the water temperature at Havasu Falls?

A. The water at Havasu Falls maintains a relatively consistent 70°F throughout the year. Temperatures will drop 5°F on average for every 1,000 feet in elevation you climb up.

Q. Any info on camping? Is it tents only? Is it a hike to the camping area or can you drive to it? Are there restrooms or port-o-potties?

A. The campground is two miles past the Village of Supai, and Supai is eight miles from the nearest road (where the trailhead is). It is only accessible by hiking or helicopter.

There are toilets at the trailhead, in the Village, and throughout the campground.

The campground is roughly a mile long on both sides of Havasu Creek between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls and has a wide variety of options to choose from (you can camp wherever you like within the campground)

The entrance to the campground (south side) is closer to Havasu Falls and the Village, and the fresh water spring (so you wouldn’t have to go as far to refill). This side of the campground usually is the most populated as the creek is narrow in this section of the canyon and there is more room to camp – and as it is the easiest to reach as you hike in. It is also where the commercial guided trips set up to make it easier for the guides to haul in and set up all of their gear.

The north side of the campground is closer to Mooney Falls.

Above Mooney the creek is much wider with small islands in the middle.

The far side of the creek (east side / creek right) is usually a little less populated and only has one set of bathrooms midway.

There are three sets of bathrooms on the near side of the creek (west side / creek left): near the campground entrance, roughly midway, and near Mooney Falls. As the main trail is on this side of the creek, it tends to be more populated than the far side.

Some people like to be near the bathrooms for convenience, other people like to stay clear of those more heavily trafficked areas.

Beyond that, pick whatever unoccupied area that looks good to you!

Q. Any predictions on how fast this sells out? Is it possible that I won’t get a permit if I’m on the site at Feb 1 8:00 AM tomorrow??

A. It depends on when you want to go. Holiday weekends will sell out quickly. Mid-week in early February probably will not (which actually makes it a great time to go!)

Q. Are the campsites marked at all?

A. The campground is a “camp wherever you want” campground running for over a mile on both sides of Havasu Creek between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls in the Grand Canyon.

Q. Can I use my credit card to hold the camping reservations?

A. Remember that your credit card does not “hold” the reservation like it would with a hotel reservation (on a typical hotel reservation they don’t charge the card until you check in.) Instead, you will be charged the entire amount on the spot and there are no refunds. Make sure that you are using a card that’s able to pay the amount you need to pay. I haven’t seen the reservation site yet, but most likely you will need to pay the entire reservation on one card, so if you’re booking for a lot of people, that card is going to have to be able to pay all of their reservation fees at once. (You may want to have a backup card on hand in case the first doesn’t work.)

If you have not done so, you may want to contact your card issuer ASAP and let them know that you’re intending to make this charge on your card, so that it doesn’t trip their fraud protections.

If you’re using a debit card, make sure that there’s not a daily spending limit. Contact the issuing bank if you’re not sure.

Again, reservations are not refundable so MAKE SURE YOUR DATES ARE CORRECT WHEN RESERVING (don’t ask me how I know this, it’s not important…)

Q. Do you have to buy a separate permit per person? How does it work? What if I don’t have a final head count of my group?

A. Multiple people can be on the same reservation and pricing is per person. All reservations include all necessary permits, fees, and taxes.

Q. I’m not sure if this has been asked or not. Do people try and get back to back permits? If so do you have to get the 4 days/3 nights and then the 2 days/1 night or can you go for 5 days/4 nights? I know it’s hard to even get a reservation but just wondering (trying to make sure we have time to do everything and not rush).

A. You can do any combination of the following:

One or more 2 Day / 1 Night Stays
One or more 3 Day / 2 Night Stays
One or more 4 Day / 3 Night Stays

So, if you wanted to stay for 7 Days and 6 Nights, you would book two back-to-back 4 Day / 3 Night Stays.

Q. I am wondering what the hours are for the camping office during the hiking season? I know tomorrow it is 9AM – 3PM but I am wondering when is it 9-3 and when do they change their hours to opening earlier for hikers hiking in during the hot summer months?

A. May through October the Tourist Office is usually open by 6 AM.

Q. Does anyone know if changes/cancellations can be made in first 24 hrs after booking? Doesn’t seem to say that anywhere on the official reservation site.

A. No changes, cancellations, transfers, or refunds after booking is made. Double check the trip summary before paying.

Q. Hi everybody! I’ll really appreciate if somebody give me an answer for one question. Do we need special permit for commercial filming in this place? Thank you!

A. Possibly, check directly with the Tourist Office by contacting them via phone.

Q. So tomorrow for the reservations is it only reservations for this year because all the videos i watch on YouTube say you have to book years in advance to get a spot…what is it?

A. Reservations tomorrow are for the campground February 1st through November 31 2018. In June the lodge reservations open up for 2019.

Q. What is the largest number of people you can bring under one reservation.

A. Currently if there are available spots in the campground for the nights you want for the size group that you wish to bring, then you are welcome to reserve those spots for your group.

With that said, reservations fill up incredibly quickly and it will probably be extremely difficult to find any availability for a large group.

And as you are checking for that availability, other people will continue to make reservations for the dates you had in mind – which means that in the time it takes to check for availability for a large group, that availability may already be reserved by other people.

It would be a much better strategy to instead plan to go with a small group and increase your odds of being able to get spots for that smaller group.

And, as with everything, all current policies are subject to change.

Q. Are there any available rooms for a weekend in May 2018 at the lodge? I’ve been trying to contact them for the last few weeks but haven’t had much luck. Thank you!

A. Reservations for the Lodge for all of 2018 started on June 1, 2017 so the Lodge is now sold out except for the infrequent cancellation. They are still phone only, so you would need to reach them by phone.

Reservations for the campground for all of 2018 start on February 1, 2018 at HavasupaiReservations.com

Q. Is it possible to buy second-hand passes?

A. All reserved permits are non-refundable and non-transferrable (i.e. the individual listed on the reservation cannot transfer the reservation to another individual). Reselling of reserved permits is strictly prohibited. Any person caught reselling or buying a reserved permit may, at the discretion of the Havasupai Tribal Tourism Department, be permanently banned from entering the Reservation

Q. Waterproof shoes vs sandals? Are the rocks in the water bad? Is the little extra weight of shoes a good option to smashing toes/pebbles in sandles?

A. I wore my lightweight trail runner shoes. It generally protected my feet and traction worked well on wet slippery ladders and crossing the creek. My only issue was, sand got in so a few times I had to take off shoes and shake out or rinse the sand. If you go this route, make sure to wear thin water socks.Good sandals with good tread, it’s too slippery for tennis shoes. Hiking boots would be too clunky.

Q. When making a reservation, let’s say for 4 people, do you need to provide the names of all four people going? I have two folks that are committed for sure, but the other two are in stand by depending on what days we get.

A. Your name is good enough and also a secondary name for safe measures.

Q. When making reservations does each member of your group have to pay feb 1st? Or when you check in?

A. Usually the person making the reservation for the entire group pays all fees. Group members then pay that person back for their share.

Q. Hello! I’m a first timer, and hoping to get the permit! I really want to go 2 days/3 nights but the people I’m going with dont want to. Which do you think is worth it? one night or two nights?

A. Two nights minimum. Three is ideal. You’ll regret not having the extra time once you get there.

Q. I’m trying to book for two groups that will overlap. One group is going 4 days, the other 3 days. Will the website allow me to book both at the same time? I’m nervous that I’ll successfully book one but not the other if I have to do them separately. Thanks!

A. The way you describe it would be two separate reservations.

The other possible way to do it would to just try to book everyone for 4 days and then try to convince them to take advantage of the extra day (they can always leave early if you aren’t convincing enough).

Q. Must you know the names of everyone you are purchasing tickets for or just the two main one so who will be in charge of tickets?

A. Only the name of the primary permit holder must be listed. This person must be the one picking up the permits in the Supai village on the date the permits are valid for.

No need to list the names of other people in your party. They just need to show up to receive their permit wristband at that time as well.

Q. I know smaller groups have a better chance of booking the dates they want vs. booking for a larger group. How many people is considered a “small” group?

A. Currently if there are available spots in the campground for the nights you want for the size group that you wish to bring, then you are welcome to reserve those spots for the people in your group.

With that said, reservations fill up incredibly quickly and it will probably be extremely difficult to find any availability for a large group.

And as you are checking for that availability, other people will continue to make reservations for the dates you had in mind – which means that in the time it takes to check for availability for a large group, that availability may already be reserved by other people.

It would be a much better strategy to instead plan to go with a small group and increase your odds of being able to get spots for that smaller group.

And, as with everything, all current policies are subject to change.

Q. What about for hiking out, do we reserve our mule at the camping office a day or two before or do we also reserve that a week in advance?

A. You can reserve up to a week in advance. If you only want a pack mule back out, then you would have to reserve it at least one day prior at the Tourist Office in the Village. Pack mule quantities are limited, so sooner is usually better. Sunday night is when the Office usually knows how many mules will be available for the following week.

Q. When booking online for 7 people do we have to pay $140.00+ for each at the time that we do the booking or do they charge a specific amount?

A. Yes, pricing is per person and is listed at HavasupaiReservations.com

Simply calculate how much it would be for one person and then multiply that by the number of people to calculate what you would need to pay when you make your reservation.

Q. Do you pay during the reservation process or when we arrive to get our permits?

A. Payment in full when you first make the reservation.

Q. Planning for our March trip and plan to take my camera gear – trying to decide which lens(es) to take. Was also planning to take my good tripod – but it is not light, any suggestions for a good hiking tripod? This will be for both hiking in the GC and to Havasu Falls.

A. You can always combine two (or even three) tripods to achieve the lightest outcome. A dirt cheap tripod on EBay with aluminum legs is perfect when you attach a fully adjustable head on top of it (that connects to your SLR). You need to be a bit creative, but I managed to almost halve the weight of a travel tripod by replacing the heavy and long legs with cheap and short aluminum ones.

Q. How “fit” should you be for this hike? And is there any information as far as elevation in general and what is the increase of elevation throughout the hike?

A. If you plan to backpack do some practice hikes with a similar load. Hiking that distance with 25-30 lbs on your back is a lot of work. The hike in and out is fairly easy until the last uphill part heading out. Then it becomes a seemingly endless climb of misery for 1.5 miles.

Q. If going for the first time which month would you recommend May or October?

A. May will be on average noticeably hotter than October, especially towards the end of the month. October is great if you like hiking and exploring the area as well.

Q. I want to make a reservation for 2 people, but not sure who my 2nd person will be, it will depend on camping date (if I get one.) Will I be able to reserve for 2 people, but only put my name on reservation, or will the info of 2nd person (both people camping) be required at booking?

A. If you are the one making a reservation, you only need to have your name on it. You can decide later which lucky person gets to go with you. You would only need to provide their name when checking in.

Q. Anyone been in late September/ early October? How was it?

A. One of my favorite times of the year to go – the water is still nice enough to get in, but the temperatures are cool enough to go on great exploratory hikes (including to Beaver Falls, and for those more adventurous, the Confluence).

It’s also right after the Monsoon season so the odds of getting rained on/out are less.

This is also when Grand Canyon Hikers has it’s group trip organized for – the first weekend of October. There is an early registration (pre-February 1) sign up form, and everyone who signed up early last year was able to get a spot on that trip. The same is expected for this year.

Q. How many people can we bring in a group/reserve to stay in the campsite for a night?

A. Currently if there are available spots in the campground for the nights you want for the size group that you wish to bring, then you are welcome to reserve those spots for the people in your group.

With that said, reservations fill up incredibly quickly and it will probably be extremely difficult to find any availability for a large group.

And as you are checking for that availability, other people will continue to make reservations for the dates you had in mind – which means that in the time it takes to check for availability for a large group, that availability may already be reserved by other people.

It would be a much better strategy to instead plan to go with a small group and increase your odds of being able to get spots for that smaller group.

And, as with everything, all current policies are subject to change.

Also remember – you will need to pay for all reservations in full at time of booking. So if you’re booking six people for three days and two nights (assuming no weekends) you will be charged $1000+ right then and there. Have a credit card ready that’s able to handle all charges.

Q. When making reservations if I get through, am I able to reserve for a group of five? I realize I have to pay for all up front.

A. Yes.

Q. This may be a silly question but I assume there isn’t a place to shower? What do people do that are there for four or so days?

A. Dry shampoo and wipes are a good option since there are no portable showers. Everyone usually dips into the falls to get “cleaned”. You can even bring your own camp portable shower bags using clean spring water provided in the campground.

Q. Are you able to/ is it possible to camp outside of the campground area? We were interested in trying to camp near Beaver Falls or the Colorado River if we could find somewhere to do that?

A. Camping is only permitted in the actual campground.

Q. Is there an age recommendation for this trip? I would like to spend a few days here with my 10 and 12 year old daughters. Is that too young for the hiking, etc?

A. We completed a trip there last year with our then 11 and 13 year old children. They managed the hike as well as the demands of the trip. Training was key. This trip is not for everyone. Be sure to think through, discuss and plan for any unforseen events or emergencies with them. It’s not just the hike that is dangerous. While there we saw a 10 year old get swept over a water fall (thankfully she was ok). Everyone needs to stay aware at all times.

Q. Anyone know what the online reservation system is going to be like? I know it’s new this year. Wondering if it’s a calendar with the full dates blacked out, and then we select from the ones that are left?

A. After you select the number of people and number of days for which you would like to make a reservation, the calendar will display all available start dates for your selection. Once you select your preferred start date, the system will double check that your selection is indeed still available, and if it is, it will hold it for you to give you time to finish the checkout process.

Q. About how long does it take to hike 10 miles at a medium pace?

A. Our average speed is 2 miles per hour with an 8 year old. We made it from car park to the campground in 5 hours (plus an hour rest in Supai). We stayed in the Lodge the second night and took 4 hours to hike out.

Q. Wondering your thoughts on packing in a tent vs. just hammocks? I took only hammocks last year and it was amazing in July. We will be making our trip over Memorial Day this year, wondering if it’s going to be a significant temperature difference where a tent is needed?

A. Both tent or hammock are a great choice! Do keep in mind that there is more “ground” space for tents than good trees for hammock hanging (i.e. less options, but usually still plenty to choose from).

Q. When can I make reservations for 2019? Do I have to wait until next February?

A. 2019 self-booked reservations for the Lodge start in June 2018. 2019 self-booked reservations for the campground will (if the same schedule as previous years) open on February 1, 2019. 2019 reservations for commercial guided trips depend on each individual company’s schedule, but some may be available already in 2018.

Q. Sorry if this has already been asked, do we have to pre pay at the time of making the reservations for each permit?

A. Yes. Payment in full when you make the reservation, pricing is per person, and all reservations include all necessary permits, fees, and taxes.

Q. Anyone know if the reservation system can take multiple forms of payments. Let’s say my friend and I are booking together and we put half on 1 card and half on another?

A. As of now, no – the whole reservation would go on one card. If you are unable to have one person pay for both spots and the have the other person pay them back, you could always each make your own reservation on your own card (although there would then be a small risk that one of you would get the trip dates you wanted and the other one does not).

Q. What’s the cancellation policy? And If I reserve for my group and someone is unable to make it anymore, are we able to get refund for that individual?

A. If you make a reservation for yourself and another person – and that person is unable to go, you can invite a different person to go instead – but there are no refunds.

Q. Which dates are considered peak season? Just want to know which dates people are gonna go for first when reservations open.

A. February is by far the slowest time as most people cannot go that quickly after making a reservation on February 1st – so that is by far the easiest time to get a reservation and be able to go. Times of the year with cooler weather in general are somewhat easier to get spots as many people think of this as a swimming destination (and it is indeed an awesome swimming destination). With that said, cooler weather makes for a much better hiking experience. So, if you are up for hiking and exploring and not necessarily hanging out all day in the water, cooler times of year can be an especially nice time to go! On the other end of the spectrum, holiday weekends fill up first, then summer weekends, then spring weekends, then fall weekends – those will be the toughest times to get a reservation for. So, if you can go during the week, especially during the week during the cooler times of year, especially in February, that is by far your best chance to be able to make a reservation and go this year.

Q. The importance of proper food handling has been brought up a number of times but has anyone expanded on what the best practices are for food handling in the canyon?

A. The first principle is do not feed the wildlife – either directly or indirectly (by leaving crumbs and scraps lying around).

It is not healthy for the animals and also creates a hazard for humans as the critters get more aggressive in pursuit of their salt and sugar fix.

The most common wildlife related injury in Grand Canyon National Park is people being bit by those “cute cuddly squirrels” who are panhandling for treats – they can’t always tell what is the treat and what is your finger.

There are many small critters who have gotten to know the campground as an awesome convenience store full of tasty treats.

They know that some of the best tasty treats require chewing through backpacks and tents to reach – they don’t necessarily want to go to all the work to do that, but if they can smell those tasty treats they will try to reach them.

So… best bet is to take all of your food and other stuff that may have an attractive odor to critters and put it into odor proof bags (heavy duty freezer Ziploc bags are usually enough for that).

But that only minimizes the delicious smell – the next step is to put it into something like a “rat sack” to prevent critters from being able to chew through and get to your stash of goodies that you worked so hard to carry in and are counting on for your trip.

“Rat sacks” are made out of wire mesh – and that is good at preventing small critters from chewing through – so they instead move on to easier things like chewing through backpacks and tents that have delicious smells wafting from them.

A third step would be to hang your rat sack between trees so that it is harder for critters to reach.

If critters can’t reach it, can’t chew through it, and can’t smell it, the odds are that they will probably not bother your stuff.

Is all of that necessary? Not necessarily. People that do none of the above often have no issues… but some of them do.

It’s your call to decide the trade offs of what is right for you, but please consider erring on the side of not directly or indirectly feeding the critters of Havasu Canyon…

Q. Does anyone know what “company” the credit card charge will come from for online camping reservations. I’d like to warn the fraud department since this will be a large and unusual charge for my account.

A. Havasupai Reservations

Q. Are you able to cook food/heat water via butane or solo stove? Website states no campfires. How does that translate to fire in general?

A. Self contained camping stoves are ok, open campfires are not.

Q. Do all the Guide services that take people down. Get to book ahead of us? Or do they book the same time? I just find it funny how they can advertise for trips year around when They don’t know if they can get permits. Or are give a number of spots every year?

A. All commercial guide services must contract directly with the Havasupai Tourist Office – and they get their permits under a completely different process and completely different pool of inventory. Which means all public non-commercial spots are still available to everyone starting February 1 at HavasupaiReservations.com

Q. Can you swim by the falls, and can you camp anywhere you want or is spots to camping?

A. Yes, you can swim by the Falls.

The campground is roughly a mile long on both sides of Havasu Creek between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls and has a wide variety of options to choose from (you can camp wherever you like within the campground)

The entrance to the campground (south side) is closer to Havasu Falls and the Village, and the fresh water spring (so you wouldn’t have to go as far to refill). This side of the campground usually is the most populated as the creek is narrow in this section of the canyon and there is more room to camp – and as it is the easiest to reach as you hike in. It is also where the commercial guided trips set up to make it easier for the guides to haul in and set up all of their gear.

The north side of the campground is closer to Mooney Falls.

Above Mooney the creek is much wider with small islands in the middle.

The far side of the creek (east side / creek right) is usually a little less populated and only has one set of bathrooms midway.

There are three sets of bathrooms on the near side of the creek (west side / creek left): near the campground entrance, roughly midway, and near Mooney Falls. As the main trail is on this side of the creek, it tends to be more populated than the far side.

Some people like to be near the bathrooms for convenience, other people like to stay clear of those more heavily trafficked areas.

Beyond that, pick whatever unoccupied area that looks good to you!

Q. While camping on the campground… how close are you to other campers?

A. There is plenty of space in the campground to spread out (the campground is over a mile long on both sides of Havasu Creek) – and you can camp wherever you like within the campground.

There are secluded spots and popular spots (usually closer to the Creek). There are lots of trees which also help create space between different groups.

Short version: it is your choice.