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.***
Reservations become available Feb 1 at 8am (Arizona Time) for the next full year (until Feb 28th of the following year)
In previous years, to get a permit, you had to call the Havasupai tourism office, but now they have a website where you can make your reservations online (yay!) and specifically say to NOT call the office.
In the past, I literally called 100+ times per day for two weeks before getting through to make a reservation, so this is a much better system! In case you need to call the office for customer service or other inquiries the numbers are: (928) 448-2121 or 928-448-2141 (there are other numbers around, but these are the ones I got through on).
Also new for 2019:
- All campground reservations are now a minimum 3 Nights / 4 Days
- Campground reservations (and reservation spots) are now officially transferable via the account that you create when signing up
- Pack Mule reservations are now online ONLY
- Trip / travel insurance options
Know Before You Book
- Reservations open Feb 1st for the next 12 months are GONE ALMOST INSTANTLY
- Full payment is required when making the reservation
- There is only one name on the reservation – and a reservation is only valid if the person named on the reservation is present when you checkin in the Supai Village (10 miles down into the Grand Canyon).
- Only one credit card can be used per reservation
- All reservations are non-refundable, non-changeable, and non-transferable (except via the official transfer system which will charge you a 10% transfer fee).
- Day trips are prohibited
Havasupai Permit Costs and Camping Fees
Costs as of 2019
Weeknights: $100 per person per night
Weekends: $125 per person per night
This means if you’re trip starts on a Monday, your 3 night trip will cost a total of $300.
If your trip starts on Saturday, your 3 night trip will cost $350 ($125 for Sat, Sun night, then $100 for Mon).
Making Your Reservation
Visit the online reservation site before you Feb 1st to set up your account and get ready for the mad dash that is about to happen. Make sure to enter your credit card information which will save you time in the checkout process later on.
Once your account has been created, on Feb 1st log in before 8AM to get ready. At 8 AM the page will automatically refresh and the “Make a 2019 Campground Reservation” button will activate which will allow you to proceed. Choose the number of people in your party (up to 12 people per reservation) and then go to the calendar. The available dates on the calendar are the START DATES for your 3 Night / 4 Day reservation based on how many people are in your party.
Once you select your start date, you will have 2 minutes to complete the reservation before it times out.
If you’ve already entered in all of your information, you just need to click the check box to accept the terms and conditions and then you’ll be good to go!
Note: Start dates that are not available may become available again once people who had selected them change their minds and select something else instead or cancel their reservation – so check back throughout the year!
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 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 which they then resell at a much higher cost (even though the Supai people specifically forbid this). So when an individual finally gets through, the majority of the weekend permits are already sold out.
You have to be extremely flexible with the dates you want to book – DO NOT “think about it” – get whatever dates are available because they will otherwise be gone by the time you’ve decided.