Hike to the Confluence of the Colorado River and Havasu Creek
Arizona › Havasupai Trail, Grand Canyon
Added by Brendon Kahn
Distance: 16 miles round trip to the confluence from the campgrounds (8 miles round trip from Beaver Falls). Duration: All day long adventure starting at sunrise. Beautiful orange hues of the canyon walls that tower above turquoise blue waters of Havasu Creek which meet at the powerful Colorado River confluence. The trail is very poorly marked, so bring your GPSBe sure to have your permit and camping reservations planned far in advance due to high demand.
Starting from the Havasupai campgrounds, which is a 10 mile hike in itself from Hualapai Hilltop, the trail goes past Mooney Falls to Beaver Creek for 4 miles. The elevation gain is limited but makes up for difficulty with route finding. Getting to Beaver Falls will require creek crossings at least 4 times. For this hike one must be particularly keen about spotting the faintly drawn trail across the creek sides. After reaching the spectacular and serene Beaver Falls, the trail continues to the right of the creek. This is the most challenging part of the hike because it is not marked and hard to find the route over and down the ridge. There are two options that you may take from the small falls just past Beaver Falls. There is piton on a cliff on the left side that may take some time to find which you can carefully rope your bags down and slowly rappel down after. The alternate more safe route is up and over the ridge to the right. If you are looking up to the right, you will notice a few rock cairns that will help to guide you to the path. This route goes up and over the ridge and down the creek.
Once you make your way to the creek you follow this down another 4 miles to the confluence. This trail is at times extremely difficult to find but note that the trail will always follow the creek. You will have at least 10 creek crossings so it should be advised to wear Keens or water proof shoes with toe protection instead of soaking your boots or running shoes. With the strikingly orange canyon walls towering above the turquoise waters, the trail becomes rife with greenery as you get closer to confluence. Close to the Colorado River, there is the potential to see Desert Bighorn Sheep on the cliff sides. As you approach the Colorado River, you can slowly begin to hear the mighty roar which crashes into the the tributary. Once arrived, the views are breathtaking and allow you to take in the raw power of the Colorado River firsthand.
Enjoy this view, you have made it where few people have!
- Topographical Map
- Sun hat
- 4L of water
- Camera equipment
- Lunch + sufficient snack for a hard all day hike
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ReviewsLeave a Review
Great hike and scenery
The 16 mile round trip from the campground is a great hike. Definitely pack a lot of water and a filter in case. We only saw one rattle snake but it was a good habitat for them and at times it's hard to see where you are stepping along the trail. The trail was overgrown at places but still mostly easy to follow since you were never far from the creek.
Totally worth the 16 miles
Highlight of the trip to Havasupai was conquering this journey. It is NOT for the faint of heart, physical ability, or those who get stressed when mildly lost though. Remember that it is about 8 miles each way of ups and downs and finding the trail again and crossing the river back and forth. We didn't get rolling until about 8:30 9:00 AM in late October from the campground and had to at times sprint through the flatlands to make sure we had enough time to trek back in canyon daylight. Bring at least 3-5L of water and 2 meals worth of food. Remember to stop and look up along the way and soak it all in (literally). Skipping rocks on the chocolate Colorado with snacks seated on natural stadium seating was a great way to celebrate our destination. Also ran into a huge group of rafters on a 21 day trip. T'was amazing!
Watch out for rattlesnakes, we saw 6 huge snakes along the trail. Absolutely worth the extra mileage.
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