Havasu Falls to Mooney Falls Day Hike
When you hear the phrase “Havasu Falls” it is usually referred to a single waterfall. In reality, there 5 Havasupai Waterfalls that exists on this Indian Reservation. Although, I did find Mooney Falls to be the most impressive, the Havasu Falls itself, is arguable the most spectacular of all and provides natural swimming holes, shades & places to kickback and relax.
- Distance: 35 km (22 mi) roundtrip.
- Elevation Change: 1,110 meters (3,650 ft)
- Estimated Duration: 14 – 17Hrs roundtrip.
- Directions: From Las Vegas
- Alltrails Map: Havasu Falls to Mooney Falls
Havasupai Indian Reservation discourage one day trips due to length and strenuous rating of this hike. You must make an overnight stay reservations months in advance since it’s a very popular destination with limited spots available. If you are concerned about your physical ability to do this hike? There is an option to take a helicopter ride to and from the bottom of the falls, for approximately $90/person one way (4-5min flight).
We were not able to make any reservations in time, because we planned our trip last minute and had no idea that even a day hike required reservations. We started on the trail around 5:30AM in order to beat the heat and the morning crowds. ]
Some of the scenery before you get to the town in the canyon
It’s a beautiful descend with an open 180 degree views. You will go through a series of switchbacks before you reach the bottom. Depending on time of year, Hualapai Hilltop Side is typically covered in shade up until 10-11AM. It’s a good idea to hike in or hike out during early in the morning.
As we were entering town, the first thing we saw, a tiny visitors center and an employee sitting outside. He asked us to show him our reservations. We played dumb and said that we’re only here for a day hike. He acted like he wasn’t very happy about it, but gladly collected $28/person for a daily pass! Good thing I brought some cash.
While passing through the village, we noticed a small grocery store, which is located pretty close to a helipad. After passing through the village, you will come upon two of the smaller waterfalls (Fifty foot falls & Navajo falls) until reaching the most famous Havasu Falls. You have an option to swim in the natural pool right under Havasu Falls or continue down to Mooney Falls, which we found to be much more interesting.
In order to get to the bottom of the falls, you will have to squeeze through a narrow one way tunnel that can only fit one person at a time. This place was packed with visitors, so I’d say allow 30+ minutes to get up or down
It’s a steep, slippery climb. You will see planty of folks moving extremely slow and pile up a huge traffic behind them. If you continue to follow along the Havasu Creek, you will reach a few other smaller waterfalls. It started to downpour and we weren’t able to take any photos of it. ]
It was getting late and the storm clouds kept looming on the horizon. We still had 11 miles and a steep climb ahead of us. We left the falls and hit the trail at full speed. We’ve reached the parking lot around 8PM and drove south for over an hour to the nearest hotel to get our much needed sleep!