The Grand Canyon is one of nature’s greatest works of art. The Grand Canyon was carved and carved by the Colorado River over millions of years. The Canyon is approximately 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide and the Grand Canyon is a North American wildlife hotspot. But not all of the famous sites are in Grand Canyon National Park – parts are also in Kaibab National Forest, Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Navajo Nation, Hualapai Indian Reservation, and Indian Reservation. Havasupai.
While most people go straight to the national park, few take the time to see the other areas. The Havasupai Indian Reservation is completely surrounded by Grand Canyon National Park and is considered one of the most remote (and amazing) Indian reservations in America. Visiting the reservation is worthwhile but also tricky. Only a limited number of tourists are allowed in the reservation and tickets can sell out quickly.
What to know about the Havasupai Indian Reservation
The process of the Colorado River carving out the Grand Canyon has been going on for about 5 to 6 million years. During this period, the river carved out about 2 billion years of Earth’s geological history. Some of the best of them are located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation inside the national park. The topography of the reserve is a plateau county which is dissected from deep canyons.
Cataract Canyon is particularly notable for its high concentrations of travertine in Havasu Creek and is the largest individual side canyon in the Grand Canyon. The main settlement is Supai, considered the most remote community in the contiguous United States. Access here is only on foot, by mule or by helicopter. It is about 8 miles from the nearest road.
- Surrounded: The Havasupai Indian Reservation is surrounded by Grand Canyon National Park
- Name: Havasupai “Havasu (means “blue-green water”) and Pai (means “people”)
- Population: 636 (On reservation)
- Waterfalls: Havasu Falls, Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls
Next time you go to the Grand Canyon, plan to visit some Grand Canyon attractions outside of the national park as well.
Advance booking and temporary closure
One must have tribal permission to enter the reservation and these tickets can be reserved well in advance – log in and create your account on their website HavasupaiReservations.com. It is best to plan ahead if planning to visit. Also, at the time of writing (April 2022), the reservation is closed to tourism until June 2022 due to the pandemic.
- Farm: The Havasupai Indian Reservation is closed to tourism until June 2022 due to the pandemic
The main attraction of the Havasupai Indian Reservation is the Havasu Falls. It’s one of the most spectacular places in all of the Grand Canyon and tickets tend to sell out within minutes of going live. As Havasu Falls is on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, a permit will be required to visit. Plan ahead to get the permit, season dates will be posted Feb. 1 at 8 a.m.
- Height: 90 to 100 feet or 27 to 30 meters
- Color: A bright blue green
- Summer: Trail may be closed to flooding or extreme heat – above 115°F / 46°C
While Havasu Falls is the main attraction, there are two other waterfalls just north of the campground on the Havasu Falls Trail. Reservations for camping and falls are for 3 nights and 4 days – no more and no less. One will need to carry all one’s gear along the trail to the campsite – alternatively, one can book a pack mule to carry it instead.
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One of the reservation’s most popular destinations is Havasu Falls, and horses and mules have been used by the tribe for transportation for hundreds of years. Mules can make the trip to the reserve much easier (remember there are no day trips to Havasu Falls).
All reservations must be made through their website at HavasupaiReservations.com – this includes creating a profile.
Pack Mules (fees are per Pack Mule):
- Cost: $400 round trip: Between the Hilltop trailhead and the campground entrance and return
- Maximum weight: 32 pounds per bag and up to 4 bags
- Time: Drop off bags by 10:00 a.m. at the trailhead and 7:00 a.m. at the campground
A fun fact is that the Supai Colony is the only remaining place in the United States where mail is still carried by mules.
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