Hike to Beaver Falls
Arizona › Havasu Campground
Added by Gemina Garland-Lewis
Enjoy incredible cascading pools over limestone terraces. Swim in the turquoise pools of Havasu Creek.
So you've made it down to the Havasu campground after a ten mile hike from Hualapai Hilltop - time for more hiking! The 8 mile (RT) trek to Beaver Falls is well worth the trip, and can offer some quieter moments for those looking to escape the busyness of Havasu and Mooney Falls.
To start out, head down canyon from the campground towards Mooney Falls. You'll have to descend the wall to get to the base of Mooney, which can be an adventure all by itself. The trail heads down steeply, and at most times almost vertically - comprised solely of various bolts, chains, and ladders to aid in your descent. Do not attempt this section in inclement weather!
Once you've made it down to Mooney, take a breath and enjoy the feel of having two feet on solid ground again. Stop and explore the pools around Mooney, but head back towards the path you came down on to find the trail to Beaver Falls. The trail hugs the western wall of the canyon and heads northwest from there. Quickly after starting out, you'll notice a network of ladders that reach half-way up the canyon wall to your left - the caves in the wall are a historic burial site for the Havasupai people. As incredible as they are, please keep your distance and admire from afar.
The trail will soon lead you down to Havasu Creek, where you'll meet your first water crossing of the trip. There are wobbly narrow bridges at the first crossing if you want to stay dry for this portion, but you can also walk across the creek just downstream to get to the other side where the trail continues. Once across, climb up the bank and keep heading northwest. After continuing on for a short while, you'll come to your second water crossing - you can't avoid getting your feet wet at this one!
After the second water crossing, you'll wander through some incredible open areas of the canyon, overgrown with wild grape, and pass a lot of prickly pear and barrel cactus. Views looking down over the creek abound. You'll encounter one more water crossing, this one with a small bridge if you need it. Continuing on, you'll notice something very strange around the bend - a date palm tree. Legend has it that a visitor in the 1970s was eating dates and threw his seeds on the ground, and eventually the tree took root!
Once you get to this tree you'll have two options to get to Beaver - you can cross the creek again to a trail that will lead you along (and sometimes through) the creek to the upper falls at Beaver, or you can take a sharp right up the wall and climb up higher on the bank towards Beaver. If you take this route, turn left when you see the sign for the falls and hike down a network of ladders to the lower section the falls. Be mindful of false trails here and look for the picnic table and lower ladders below to help guide you.
Once you've arrived at Beaver it's time for a swim! Spend as much time as you can here before heading back to the campground. Alternatively, if you're feeling more adventurous, make a quick stop here before continuing north towards the confluence with the Colorado River (see this adventure). Note that, as tempting as it may be, jumping off the falls is not allowed and serious injury is quite possible here.
To keep in mind:
In order to get to Beaver Falls you must already be camping at Havasu - the tribe does not allow day hiking into the canyon and reservations must be made in advance with the Havasupai tourism office - this ensures that you won't get turned around after the 8 mile hike to Supai from Hualapai Hilltop if the campground is full. Once you check in at Supai, you'll get a wrist band that indicates you have a reservation and this must be worn at all times when hiking on Havasupai tribal lands and in the pools.
- Swim suit and towel
- Water shoes/Chacos (or remove hiking boots during stream crossings)
- Camera, tripod, and neutral density filter for long exposures of falls (photographers take note the light is richer and warmer later in the day here)
- Sunscreen and a hat
- Lots of water
- Dry bags for camera gear/other electronics
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Hiking, Photography, Swimming
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Plenty to Explore
This is a great hike with lots of interest along the way. Depending on the route you take you'll have multiple river crossings and encounter some unique spots. The falls area is pretty big with lots to explore and the falls at the bottom has a 50 ft. cliff for jumping.
Great Day Hike
This is a perfect day hike if you have a couple days in Supai. There are tons of cliff jumping spots and multiple pools to wade around in. Bring snacks, lunch, and even an inner tube if you packed one in! It's a fun/easy hike and the vine fields along the way are green and beautiful!
One of my favorite hikes - A must do for the adventurer!
I love going to Havasupai. The hike to Beaver Falls is a must during every trip. While you can continue on to the Colorado like the guide says, you don't have to go far at all to at least step into Grand Canyon Natl. Park. I thought it was worth it to walk a quarter mile past Beaver Falls to step into the national park. There is a sign there to take a picture by. Pretty cool. Additionally, under the lowest of the three cascades at Beaver Falls, there is a small cave you can find just to the left of the large outcropping. Feel around with your feet and you will find it. It is a shallow cave. You will have to go under the water briefly to get to it. It is fun to take a light into, but watch your head when you surface. Enjoy!
Just keep hiking
Havasu Falls is great, as is Mooney, but if you push yourself just a bit further and explore Beaver Falls, you won't be disappointed. The terrain shifts a bit and the cascading waterfalls seem never ending. If you're a photographer, it will seem like heaven for you. It will seem as if every corner you turn becomes an even better "wow" moment.
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