Ahh…the renowned Havasu Falls. Her majestic 100-ft veil cascading over the side of red rocks with their crevices and crags worn over time, offering a spot for green moss to flourish from the generous mist and spray. A pool below so aqua, so turquoise, so clear, awaits the downpour of fluid life, only to reflect the blue-green hues of limestone minerals in the most alluring way possible. How is this real??
And when I call this waterfall a “veil,” it actually used to be named “Bridal Veil Falls” before some floods in the early 1900s that changed the landscape of the area. The waterfall apparently used to flow over the entire top of the travertine formations!
So this post is really just a photo dump, but these falls are just too pretty not to take pictures with! Plus, hubby was trying out his new lens and taking long exposures of the waterfalls to create that dreamy veil look. Long exposure heaven for all you photography peeps!
How Many Days is Enough?
Some people have asked me how many days is enough for visiting Havasupai. Was 3 days enough? Yes and no. More nights means more food to pack, more trash to carry out, more days of irregular bowel movements. Yes, I went there, and no, I’m not sorry for mentioning it because we are adults and we are humans. And every healthy human needs to poop. 😛
I think it’s safe to say that a 3-day trip is average, but perhaps 4 days would have been even better to explore one more waterfall or enjoy Havasu Falls a little more! We also didn’t get to check out Navajo Falls, which was on the way into the campsite. I kind of wish we did just have a lazy day that didn’t involve over 2 miles of hiking (meaning just chilling at Havasu Falls and Navajo Falls), and I kind of wish I had brought a floatie. See my list on things I would have done differently!
Maybe not my giant unicorn floatie…but a smaller one might have been okay. Although, if you’re going to carry all your stuff, the lighter, the better! And everything. adds. up! My packing list is coming soon…I know, I know. Been slacking on blogging a lot!
Travel Pearl: My tip for a 3-day trip is to get to Havasupai early enough (say 1 or 2pm) so you can set up your campsite and then go enjoy Navajo Falls or Havasu Falls in the afternoon when you get there! Day 2 can be Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls in the early morning, followed by Havasu Falls in the afternoon when you get back. You can also go to Navajo Falls but it requires more hiking uphill a little under a mile.
Havasu Falls and Photos
To get to the Havasu Falls after you have completed the hike, you’ll see the falls from above as you are hiking in. Follow the steep hill down the side of the canyon in the direction of the campsite. At the bottom of the hill, there will be an entrance to a path leading down to the falls on your right hand side. If you are coming from the campgrounds, obviously, the entrance will be on your left and just a little ways past the big clearing for the helicopters. And if you are still lost, just follow the sound of the roaring falls!
It’s not hard to spot the entrance in the day time, but at night when it’s pitch black out, we really almost missed it. There are a lot of rocks and slippery sand too, so be cautious if you are only wearing slippers. My husband wanted to take some night photography of the stars and the waterfall, so we trekked out after dinner, but it was really quite pitch dark out there and NO ONE was out there. Kind of eerie, I have to confess, but at least no one ruined the picture? 😀 (Keep scrolling to see that gorgeous night shot!)
We got to the campsite a little late (3:30ish) and it looked like prime time to be enjoying the waterfall and pools when we were looking from above. By the time we set up our tents and supplies and changed out of our icky hiking clothes, the sunlight had already pretty much passed out of the canyon. The waterfall and pools are COLD! And while it probably feels great right after the hike, once you’ve cooled off and the sun has passed out of the canyon, it’s harder to enjoy that freezing water!
So if you get to the campsite early enough and finish setting up before 3pm, Havasu Falls should be an excellent spot to chill and swim! There’s a picnic table in the water too that you can sit at and some other small falls that lead down the creek. It looked pretty busy down there when we arrived at 3:30pm. I recommend wearing water shoes just in case!
Here are a bunch of pretty photos of Havasu Falls to induce more wanderlust, including hubby’s awesome night shot! We wished the stars were clearer that night, but I thought it still turned out great! 🙂
These next photos are from Day 1 after we unpacked all our stuff and set up camp! It was kind of late afternoon, probably around 4:30-5pm.
The next set is from Day 2 after we got back from Mooney Falls and Beaver Falls! It was a little later in the afternoon and I was hoping to see some sunset colors, but… there weren’t really too much that day. =( Still got some nice shots in with Havasu Falls though! And fun fact: my swim suit and pareo in these pics are from Bora Bora! 😀
Travel Pearl: If you wait until after sundown, people will clear out of the area and you can get unobstructed pictures and views of Havasu Falls without anyone photo bombing your shots!