How Do I Get A Hiking or Camping Permit For Havasupai and Havasu Falls?
There is no magical secret to getting a permit for Havasupai, unless you know someone in the tourist office (which some hikers do).
*** Permits are EXTREMELY DIFFICULT to get and are STRICTLY enforced.***
In previous years, to get a permit, you had to call the Havasupai tourism office at: (928) 448-2121 or 928.448.2141 (there are other numbers around, but these are the ones I got through on). This might still be a good option if the website isn’t working (which seems to happen often). There is no answering machine or queue when you call. 99% of the time you will just get a busy signal. I literally called 100+ times per day for two weeks before getting through.
Know Before You Book
- Reservations open Feb 1st and are GONE ALMOST INSTANTLY
- Full payment is required when making the reservation
- No refunds and no name changes (you will be asked to show ID when checking in)
- Only one credit card can be used per reservation
- Day trips are prohibited
Havasupai Permit Costs and Camping Fees
Costs as of 2018
One Person, 2 Days (1 Night): $140.56
One Person, 3 Days (2 Nights): $171.12
One Person, 4 Days (3 Nights): $201.67
Weekend nights (Fri, Sat, Sun), Holidays, and Spring Break are an additional $18.34 per night
Why Is It So Difficult To Get a Havasupai Permit?
In a nutshell: social media.
Havasupai use to be a not so well known destination. As social media continues to explode and more and more people are posting their amazing photos of Havasu Falls, more people are becoming aware of Havasupai and want to come here. After all, that’s probably how you heard about it right?
The demand is increasing, but the number of available permits is not. I heard that there are only around 200 permits available per day. When registration opens on Feb 1st, everyone (including travel and tour companies) are on the phone dialing and redialing to try to get a reservation. When the travel companies get through, they are buying tons of permits all at once – enough reservations for their tour groups for the entire year. So when an individual finally gets through, the majority of the weekend permits are already sold out.
I personally don’t believe that the phones are always busy all day. I think that the phones will ring and ring but not be answered for the majority of the day until someone in the tourism office gets around to it or has the free time. Given that there’s no answering machine or queue on the phone line, you just have to get lucky. Then you have to be extremely flexible with the dates you want to book – DO NOT “think about it” and call back later because those dates will be gone.