Havasu Falls Has Banned Tour Guides — Here’s How To Get There In 2019


The famed Havasu Falls are hidden deep within the Havasupai Indian Reservation. The small village of Supai is the most remote Indigenous American community in the lower 48. It’s also situated inside the Grand Canyon, an oasis so breathtakingly beautiful that up to 40,000 people flock there every year to experience the majesty of red rock cliffs and turquoise blue waterfalls and baths. This year, however, it’s going to be a little harder to get into the canyon.

The Havasupai Tribe has discontinued access to third-party outfitters leading tours to the falls. Over the years, these non-Indigenous run companies have swooped in and purchased all the permits. This has meant more money going off the reservation and less control by the Havasupai over their land. It’s also meant that the Havasupai’s pack animals had to be saddled with gourmet kitchens and massage tables on the 10-mile trek to the falls. The tribal council voted to end third-party outfitters from leading tours this week.

This means that if you want to see the Havasu Falls in 2019, you’re going to have to put in the work yourself. You’ll no longer be able to show up and buy a pass from an outside tour guide. You’ll also need to act very fast as Instagram has made this destination so popular that permits sell out in seconds.

First of all, the Lodge is already fully booked for 2019 so camping is your only option this year. Passes will become available online at eight AM, Arizona time, on Friday, February 1st. You really need to be on Havasupai Reservations page early to stand a chance (you’ll need to create an account as well).

You’ll also need to adhere to the Havasupai’s rules. The camping is open to any place along the mile-stretch between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. This is not a day trip. You’ll need to book three nights at $100 per person per weekday night (Monday through Thursday nights) and $125 per person per weekend night (Friday through Sunday nights). Expect to pay either $300 or $375 to experience the falls. There are also strict prohibitions as to what you can pack in so, please, read the Tribe’s Tourism Code before you go. In case you’re wondering, no, you can’t bring a drone.

If you’re not into camping, reservations for the Supai Lodge in 2020 will become available on June 1st, 2019. However, you can only claim a room by calling (phone number here). There’s no online reservations system for the Lodge. Expect to pay $175 for a room (sleeps four) plus an additional $90 entrance fee into Havasupai land.