Havasupai falls hike

Carcass

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I just got a permit to hike Havasupai falls. "Bad" news is: it's February 11th 2019. Serious computer glitches, got booted out several times. About to give up but gave it one more time and it went through. Of course, the prime time was taken and I was able to get February. I took it.

I have read about the hike and all. I'm sure some here have done it. Any tips? Yea, it will be cold with a cold front going through a few days prior.
 

Janice

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I just got a permit to hike Havasupai falls. "Bad" news is: it's February 11th 2019. Serious computer glitches, got booted out several times. About to give up but gave it one more time and it went through. Of course, the prime time was taken and I was able to get February. I took it.

I have read about the hike and all. I'm sure some here have done it. Any tips? Yea, it will be cold with a cold front going through a few days prior.
It is beautiful! My family and I were there in June 2015, so I don't know what it's like in the winter. When we were there, it was very hot and we were relieved to have the water to cool off in; that won't be the case for you. We did not like the summertime crowds - that hopefully won't be an issue in February! Have you trained at all with a loaded pack? If so, the hike down and back up shouldn't be difficult at all. If you haven't had a chance to train, I recommend you try to do that at least a few times between now and the 11th. Are you camping or staying at the hotel? How many days and nights is your trip? Are you hoping to go beyond the campground to Mooney or Beaver? If it's icy, I can't imagine it would be safe to go down to Mooney, but maybe I'm wrong. We were able to make it all the way to the Colorado River as a long day hike, but I doubt that will be possible now. But it should be wonderful no matter what. The scenery is spectacular, and I would love to see it in the winter!
 

Carcass

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It is beautiful! My family and I were there in June 2015, so I don't know what it's like in the winter. When we were there, it was very hot and we were relieved to have the water to cool off in; that won't be the case for you. We did not like the summertime crowds - that hopefully won't be an issue in February! Have you trained at all with a loaded pack? If so, the hike down and back up shouldn't be difficult at all. If you haven't had a chance to train, I recommend you try to do that at least a few times between now and the 11th. Are you camping or staying at the hotel? How many days and nights is your trip? Are you hoping to go beyond the campground to Mooney or Beaver? If it's icy, I can't imagine it would be safe to go down to Mooney, but maybe I'm wrong. We were able to make it all the way to the Colorado River as a long day hike, but I doubt that will be possible now. But it should be wonderful no matter what. The scenery is spectacular, and I would love to see it in the winter!
This is my first overnighter. The permit is for 4 days and three nights. Thats all they give out now. I've carried heavy packs before (mainly lots of water for the dogs) but that was a long day hike. Did the Narrows in one day with a heavy pack.
Since its 10 miles downhill, I should be fine. I can always ride the helicopter back up if I feel like crap. Be in a tent in the campground. Looking forward to it even if it will be cold.
 

Janice

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Do you use hiking poles? I recommend them for the hike down in particular. The switchbacks near the top are kind of steep and rocky. Our friend wasn't using poles and fell. Trip over for her and her husband - they had to go to Vegas to deal with her broken wrist! For the hike back up, most of the way isn't difficult at all - just that last steep part (~1.5 miles) so you might not need the helicopter. Either way, have a great time! I'll be eager to hear what it was like at this time of year, so if you're willing to check back in afterward that would be great.
 

Carcass

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Do you use hiking poles? I recommend them for the hike down in particular. The switchbacks near the top are kind of steep and rocky. Our friend wasn't using poles and fell. Trip over for her and her husband - they had to go to Vegas to deal with her broken wrist! For the hike back up, most of the way isn't difficult at all - just that last steep part (~1.5 miles) so you might not need the helicopter. Either way, have a great time! I'll be eager to hear what it was like at this time of year, so if you're willing to check back in afterward that would be great.
Yea, I probably should do a report for a February hike after a cold front moves through.

I want to go past Beaver Falls but I doubt I will make it to the Colorado. 16 miles may be too much. Mooney will depend if there is ice on that spot through the caves and ladders.
 

Carcass

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Looking to hike Havasupai falls, but go all the way to at least Beaver Falls on day 1. 14 miles or so. Day two would hike from Beaver Falls to the confluence of the Colorado and back(8 miles). Day three back to the campground for rest and relaxation, then out on Day 4. Any advice? Too much?
 

Titans

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@Carcass - I did a BCP search on Havasupai Falls, but I'm not seeing lots of reports. I'm "tagging" Dave and blueeyes and their TR, so perhaps they see this and can help you out with the questions? You can also try to post it under the forum "TRIP PLANNING". Hope somebody sees it and can help you out, your trip is coming up soon!

@Dave :
https://backcountrypost.com/threads/havasupai-june-9-13-2015.5277/#post-61977

@blueeyes
https://backcountrypost.com/threads/havasupai-memorial-day-weekend-2012.1231/
 

Janice

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Looking to hike Havasupai falls, but go all the way to at least Beaver Falls on day 1. 14 miles or so. Day two would hike from Beaver Falls to the confluence of the Colorado and back(8 miles). Day three back to the campground for rest and relaxation, then out on Day 4. Any advice? Too much?
I could be wrong, but I don't think your plan will work. Unless they've changed the rules since 2015, I don't think you're allowed to camp in the Beaver Falls area. Even though campsites aren't assigned, I'm pretty sure you're only allowed to camp in the campground area, which is between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. Plus, I would NOT be comfortable going down Mooney with a heavy backpack on. I think that could be dangerous. When we went down Mooney, we only had small daypacks.

For our trip, we went down to our campsite the first day, set up tents, rested, and explored that area. The second day, we explored further downstream, going down Mooney and to Beaver. Then the third day, since we knew what to expect, we got an early start (6:30 am) and quickly made our way down Mooney, past Beaver, and then past the boundary between the tribal area and the national park, and made our way to the Colorado. We had a firm, turn-around-no-matter-what time of 12:00 noon, since we did not want to go up Mooney in the dark. We got to the Colorado around 11, spent an hour relaxing, then headed back up and got back to camp around 5:00-5:30. Sunset will be around 6:00 pm for you in February; for us in June it was much later. Maybe you'll be faster at figuring out the route than we were and won't take as long as we did. Also, it was hot, so we did relax in the water a bit in the afternoon on the way back up and probably could have made it back up to camp more quickly than we did if we had needed to.
 
Last edited:

Carcass

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@Carcass - I did a BCP search on Havasupai Falls, but I'm not seeing lots of reports. I'm "tagging" Dave and blueeyes and their TR, so perhaps they see this and can help you out with the questions? You can also try to post it under the forum "TRIP PLANNING". Hope somebody sees it and can help you out, your trip is coming up soon!

@Dave :
https://backcountrypost.com/threads/havasupai-june-9-13-2015.5277/#post-61977

@blueeyes
https://backcountrypost.com/threads/havasupai-memorial-day-weekend-2012.1231/
Thanks.
Trip planning. Geez I'm an idiot.
 

Janice

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I could be wrong, but I don't think your plan will work. Unless they've changed the rules since 2015, I don't think you're allowed to camp in the Beaver Falls area. Even though campsites aren't assigned, I'm pretty sure you're only allowed to camp in the campground area, which is between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. Plus, I would NOT be comfortable going down Mooney with a heavy backpack on. I think that could be dangerous. When we went down Mooney, we only had small daypacks.

For our trip, we went down to our campsite the first day, set up tents, rested, and explored that area. The second day, we explored further downstream, going down Mooney and to Beaver. Then the third day, since we knew what to expect, we got an early start (6:30 am) and quickly made our way down Mooney, past Beaver, and then past the boundary between the tribal area and the national park, and made our way to the Colorado. We had a firm, turn-around-no-matter-what time of 12:00 noon, since we did not want to go up Mooney in the dark. We got to the Colorado around 11, spent an hour relaxing, then headed back up and got back to camp around 5:00-5:30. Sunset will be around 6:00 pm for you in February; for us in June it was much later. Maybe you'll be faster at figuring out the route than we were and won't take as long as we did. Also, it was hot, so we did relax in the water a bit in the afternoon on the way back up and probably could have made it back up to camp more quickly than we did if we had needed to.
Here's a photo showing how you get down Mooney. I realize it would not be crowded like this when you're there, so you wouldn't have to worry about other people on your way down or up, but this might help you understand why I advise against a heavy backpack even if you're allowed to camp in the Beaver area.
IMG_9288.JPG
 

Carcass

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Here's a photo showing how you get down Mooney. I realize it would not be crowded like this when you're there, so you wouldn't have to worry about other people on your way down or up, but this photo might help you understand why I advise against a View attachment 74805heavy backpack even if you're allowed.
Thanks. I've done stupider things before. It has chains to aid descent. Im wautibg to hear from the agency aboyt Beaver Falls camping. I've seen photos/reports where people camped at the top of Mooney Falls. I wouldn't do that,
 

Janice

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Thanks. I've done stupider things before. It has chains to aid descent. Im wautibg to hear from the agency aboyt Beaver Falls camping. I've seen photos/reports where people camped at the top of Mooney Falls. I wouldn't do that,
Actually, it would probably be fine to camp just before Mooney Falls, as it's pretty flat and wide up there and not treacherous until you start down. Some of the chains are a big reach from the ladder rungs. I guess if you're tall with long arms and legs it's easier to reach than it was for me.
 

Carcass

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Actually, it would probably be fine to camp just before Mooney Falls, as it's pretty flat and wide up there and not treacherous until you start down. Some of the chains are a big reach from the ladder rungs. I guess if you're tall with long arms and legs it's easier to reach than it was for me.

Im short with short arms. It will be fun. Thanks for your input.
 

Dave

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My recollection is the tribe prohibits camping anywhere except for between Havasu and Mooney. You're in the rez until below Beaver and then you're in GCNP, so at-large camping isn't really a thing.

February might not be all that bad once you're down low in the canyon, honestly. Summer is too hot. I hiked out late in the day to avoid the heat. The climb down from Mooney isn't just steep/narrow, it's also slick.
 

Janice

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My recollection is the tribe prohibits camping anywhere except for between Havasu and Mooney. You're in the rez until below Beaver and then you're in GCNP, so at-large camping isn't really a thing.

February might not be all that bad once you're down low in the canyon, honestly. Summer is too hot. I hiked out late in the day to avoid the heat. The climb down from Mooney isn't just steep/narrow, it's also slick.
Dave, we also hiked out late in the day to avoid the summertime heat. That nighttime hike under the half moon (no headlamps needed) was one of the most magical things I've ever experienced. I will never forget that!
 

blueeyes

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My advice

Don't try and camp at the trail head the night before you hike in. There is a ton of traffic or if you choose this take ear plugs and a buff to pull over your eyes.

Don't park against the cliff rocks fall and crack windshield's.

Small rodents will rip through tents and bags for your food. Pack all food and toiletries in something rodent safe or hang from a tree so they can't get your food.

Stay out of the pack mule trains way. They will run you over.

We went over Memorial and it was cold at night but lovely during the day. I would imagine in February it will be cold at night and okay during the day. Obviously watch the forecast and pack layers.

Don't take a disagreeable 12 year old.

Other than that have fun and enjoy!

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
 
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