• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    0.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    200 Feet

Scenic
Waterfall
Swimming Hole

If you hike down to Havasupai and stop at Havasu Falls, you will have missed the grandest of the waterfalls in the Grand Canyon: Mooney Falls. At a towering 200 feet tall, not only is this waterfall scenic, but getting to the idyllic pool at its base is an adventure unto itself, requiring you to use chains and ladders to hike down through the old mining route tunnels in the cliff face.

Hiking down to Mooney Falls is a great, short adventure when camping at the Havasupai Campground. Not only that, it is certainly the most adventurous waterfall to reach, requiring travelers to hike down through a menacing passageway cut through the side of the canyon wall by miners at the turn of the 20th century. Descend to the base of Mooney Falls at your own risk; the falls are named after a prospector (Mr. Mooney) who fell to his death way back when, prior to the existing path being in place (still dangerous now). While Mooney Falls makes a great destination, I would strongly encourage it to be only one stop along your way to the many cascades and Beavers Falls further downstream.

The hike to Mooney Falls is a relative short hike, ranging anywhere from 3/4 of a mile to a few hundred feet depending on where in the campground you make camp. The northwest end of the campground is precisely where you will find the trail down to Mooney Falls. If you are going to do this hike, I would advise that you go early in the morning to avoid a long wait trying to get down the passageway cut into the canyon wall. Personally, my favorite time to do this hike is at first light (make sure you have plenty of light to safely descend!). This will also allow plenty of time to explore many of the cascades downstream of Mooney Falls, Beaver Falls, or even an all day adventure hiking to the Colorado River and back. Spending some time downstream of Mooney Falls will help get much of the downhill traffic out of the way, allowing for a somewhat easier ascent in the early to mid-afternoon so two way traffic in the tunnel is minimized. I have made this descent in ‘peak traffic’ and have had to wait as long as 20 minutes on the side of the canyon wall waiting for slower travelers to descend. If you have a fear of heights or are not in a state of great physical fitness, please do everyone a favor and either don’t descend, or descend late in the morning after ‘rush hour’.

Pack List

  • Water Shoes
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Hammock & Hammock Tethers
  • Camera & Tripod
  • Microfiber Cloth for Wiping Mist from Camera Lens
  • Book
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

There's nothing quite like Mooney, just look away when the tourists moon everyone hahaha.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

This was definitely the most stunning of the falls and the most dangerous. The hike down is fairly easy if there aren't 200 other people all moving slowly down it with others trying to squeeze by you on the way up. Once down at the falls there's a lot to explore around it and some fun swimming spots.

about 1 year ago
about 1 year ago

Hands down the most beautiful place I've ever been.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

It's a beautiful falls and a great spot to swim, and sometimes you can climb the wall and jump, if it isn't too mossy. But it's can be very dangerous. One of my friends almost go sucked under the falls. The water is so powerful there's not much he could do. I had a good family friend die there, so pleas be careful around the falls and be smart

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This hike was excited and challenging and completely worth it

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Jeremy Meek Storyteller

Construction and sustainability guru by day. Recreational photographer and blogger by night and weekend. I love exploring my home state of Arizona and pursuing adventure beyond its borders.

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

3 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves