Discover the Beaver Falls in Arizona on the Havasupai Reservation near the Grand Canyon ⛰ Hike to stunning waterfalls and turquoise pools at Havasu Creek
Beaver Falls is one of the most stunning hidden gems in Arizona. Nestled deep inside the Grand Canyon’s rock walls on the Havasupai Tribe homeland, this dazzling oasis waterfall is the perfect place to swim in clear water, relax surrounded by wild grape vines and enjoy nature at its finest. Reaching Beaver Falls requires dedication and planning, but the payoff is immense. This complete guide will provide everything you need to know to visit this desert paradise waterfall.
How Difficult is the Hike to Beaver Falls Arizona?
The hike to Beaver Falls is moderately difficult and requires navigating rough terrain, climbing up and down ladders, and several creek crossings. It’s approximately a 6 mile roundtrip trek from the Havasupai Campground.
The journey begins by descending the infamous Mooney Falls, which involves climbing through tunnels and down steep ladders attached to the canyon walls. This is the most challenging part of the hike.
After reaching the base of Mooney Falls, the trail follows along Havasu Creek. You’ll cross the creek several times, often wading through knee-high water. Wearing sturdy water shoes is highly recommended for these crossings.
The trail meanders through sandy paths, fields of wild grapevines, and rocky slopes before reaching Beaver Falls. You’ll need to carefully climb up and down several ladders and slopes on the final stretch.
While not an easy stroll, the hike to Beaver Falls is absolutely worthwhile for the chance to see this secluded Grand Canyon paradise. Go prepared with good footwear, plenty of water, and adequate fitness levels.
Do You Need A Permit or Reservation for Beaver Falls Arizona?
Yes, visiting Beaver Falls requires obtaining a permit and making a reservation in advance. This is because Beaver Falls sits on the Havasupai Reservation, which strictly limits tourist access to protect the land.
Here’s what you need to do:
- Get a permit from the Havasupai Tourism Office. Permits often sell out quickly when they open for booking.
- Make a reservation to camp at the Havasupai Campground for at least three nights and four days. You must already be staying in the campground before you can hike to Beaver Falls.
- Purchase an additional permit to hike to Beaver Falls and other Havasupai waterfalls during your stay.
Without the proper permits and reservations, you will not be allowed to access Beaver Falls or enter Havasupai land. Plan ahead and book your reservations as early as possible. The permits sell out quickly each year.
How to Get to Beaver Falls Arizona
To reach Beaver Falls Arizona, you first need to hike into Havasupai from the Hualapai Hilltop trailhead. This is approximately an 8 mile hike with significant elevation changes.
From the village of Supai, continue hiking 2 miles to the Havasupai Campground where you’ll be staying.
On the day you plan to visit Beaver Falls, head to the base of Mooney Falls first. This iconic, 200-foot tall waterfall requires climbing down a series of ladders and chains bolted into the canyon walls.
At the base of Mooney Falls, follow Havasu Creek downstream. This pleasant 3 mile hike leads straight to Beaver Falls. You’ll make several creek crossings along the way and climb up and down some slopes and ladders.
Look for a palm tree tunnel and fence near the end of the trail – you’re almost at the falls! Plan at least 6-7 hours roundtrip for this adventure.
What to Expect at Beaver Falls Arizona
Once you arrive, you’ll find a stunning oasis waterfall in the heart of the canyon. Beaver Falls consists of several smaller cascades that descend into pools perfect for swimming and wading.
The crystal clear, blue-green waters are simply breathtaking. You’ll enjoy swimming behind the falls, relaxing on rocks, and taking in the unbelievable scenery. Keep an eye out for native wildlife around the falls too.
However, Beaver Falls is one of the most popular areas in Havasupai, so expect crowds during busier times. Try to arrive early in the day for the most serene experience. The falls are located in a shaded cove, so lighting is best midday.
Be extremely careful when swimming near the falls and climbing on any slopes or rocks. There are hidden drop-offs underwater and accidents can happen easily. Heed all warnings and signs in the area.
Make sure to bring a waterproof camera to capture photos! Just beyond Beaver Falls is the famous confluence where Havasu Creek meets the mighty Colorado River. Consider continuing your adventure and make this a full day hike if time permits.
The Best Time to Hike to Beaver Falls
The ideal time to make the trek to Beaver Falls is from mid-April through June. This avoids the coldest winter months and the monsoon season in the summer.
Daytime temperatures in the canyon will be very pleasant during spring and early summer. The creek water also warms up to refreshing temperatures by May and June.
Aim to arrive at Beaver Falls in the morning or early afternoon. This provides the best lighting and fewer crowds to enjoy the swimming holes.
Navajo Falls Area
While Beaver Falls is the most remote waterfall in Havasupai, the trailhead to reach the falls begins near the iconic Havasu Falls. Before arriving at the campground near Havasu Falls, you’ll pass the smaller Navajo Falls.
Navajo Falls is located about a mile from the village of Supai. The trail leads through picturesque sandstone walls with carved out “bowls” from years of mineral deposits. Navajo Falls is only about 30 feet tall, but creates a lovely scene as it spills into a shaded pool below.
Make sure to pause and spend some time at Navajo Falls before continuing your hike onward to Havasu Falls and eventually Beaver Falls. The falls are especially stunning in the morning when sunlight first reaches down into the canyon. For photographers, it’s one of the best spots in Havasupai to capture great images.
What to Pack for the Beaver Falls Hike
Make sure you pack wisely for the hike to Beaver Falls in 2023. Here are some essentials:
- Sturdy hiking shoes or boots – the trail can be rocky and uneven
- Water shoes or sandals that can get wet for creek crossings
- Swimsuit and microfiber travel towel
- Plenty of water – it gets very hot in the canyon
- High energy snacks like protein bars, trail mix, and dried fruit
- First aid kit with bandages, antibiotic cream, tweezers, etc.
- Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
- Headlamp in case your hike goes later than expected
- Waterproof camera for stunning waterfall photos
Avoid packing unnecessary items like jeans, heavy jackets, or hiking sticks that will just add weight and get in the way. A 30-35 liter day pack should be sufficient.
Continuing to the Confluence after Beaver Falls
After enjoying Beaver Falls, consider extending your adventure by hiking to the confluence of Havasu Creek and the Colorado River. This requires about 6 additional miles of hiking from Beaver Falls.
The trail follows Havasu Creek downriver through the canyon. There are a few more creek crossings and some areas that are overgrown and faint. Use caution navigating the unmaintained trail.
Arriving at the confluence is a special payoff. You’ll see the striking contrast between the turquoise Havasu Creek waters and the silty brown Colorado River. Spend time enjoying the views before making the return hike to Beaver Falls before dark.
Joining a Guided Havasupai Waterfall Tour
If tackling the logistics of permits and hiking in the canyon seems daunting, consider joining a guided Havasupai waterfall tour. Many reputable tour companies handle all the details including:
- Securing Camping and Permit Reservations: Professional tour organizers take charge of obtaining necessary camping permits and reservations, sparing participants from the complexities of navigating the permit process. This ensures a hassle-free entry into the enchanting Havasupai region.
- Transportation to/from the Canyon Trailhead: The logistics of reaching the canyon trailhead are seamlessly managed by the tour operators. Participants can relax and enjoy the scenic journey, with transportation arrangements taken care of from the starting point to the trailhead and back.
- Experienced Guide for Your Hike: A knowledgeable and experienced guide accompanies the group, offering valuable insights into the geography, history, and culture of the area. Their expertise not only enhances the safety of the hike but also adds depth to the overall understanding and appreciation of the stunning surroundings.
- All Necessary Gear and Equipment: Tour companies equip participants with all the essential gear and equipment required for the trek. This includes items such as backpacks, hiking poles, and any specialized gear needed for activities like swimming or camping. Travelers can focus on the experience, leaving the packing and preparation to the experts.
- Meals While Camping in Havasupai: The convenience of having meals provided while camping in Havasupai allows participants to fully immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings. From breakfast to dinner, tour companies ensure that delicious and nourishing meals are prepared, allowing participants to savor every moment without the worry of meal planning and preparation.
Going with a guide allows you to focus on enjoying this bucket-list waterfall adventure. They’ll take care of the particulars and ensure you safely visit Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls, Beaver Falls, and more on your trip to Beaver Falls.
Helpful Tips to Hike to Havasupai
- Get your Havasupai permit far in advance. Spots fill up quickly when the reservation system opens each year.
- Stay at least three nights in the campground so you have adequate time to hike to Beaver Falls and other waterfalls.
- Fly into Phoenix and drive 3.5 hours to the Hualapai Hilltop trailhead to start your trek.
- Pack good hiking shoes, plenty of water, lightweight hiking clothes, and water shoes for creek crossings.
- Bring cash – there are small cafes and shops in the village of Supai but no ATMs available.
- Respect all rules, regulations, and permit requirements when visiting the Havasupai Reservation.
- Be extremely cautious around all waterfalls and slopes. Do not jump from any heights.
With the right preparations and expectations, your journey to see Beaver Falls Arizona will be an experience you’ll never forget. This special oasis waterfall deep in the heart of the Grand Canyon simply has to be seen to be believed.
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