This Waterfall-Filled Hike Is A Thrill-Seeker’s Paradise


Arizona’s sensation Havasupai Falls has a new rival for favorite waterfall in paradise: Beaver Falls.

In the same remote canyon location as the Instagram favorite Havasupai, nearby Beaver Falls is an even more picturesque swimming hole. The adventure to both waterfalls includes hours on a desert trail, steep canyon switchbacks, wooden ladders and rickety bridges. And it’s a fifteen-mile hike each way, so you’re gonna need to trek with some gear. But hoist up that monster pack because the journey is so epically worth it.

Step-by-step, here’s the deal. (If you make it through all 11 steps without wanting to book an Arizona excursion, we’re revoking your official wanderlust card.)

1. Start at the Hualapai Hilltop trailhead.

The adventure to Beaver Falls begins in Grand Canyon National Park. You have an eight-mile hike ahead of you, starting with climbing down the winding paths from the top of the canyon to the red-rock base.

You won’t find much shade in the midday sun so make sure your pack is filled with plenty of water. And maybe a hat.

2. Follow the canyon.

Congratulations, you made it down the canyon’s switchbacks! Don’t think about the way back up, instead admire the river-crafted canyon path through the cliffs. You’ve got miles yet to go through the rocks, but the photo ops are sublime.

3. Reach the village.

Supai Village is your little oasis of civilization after the wild canyon trek. There’s a restaurant and a store where you can refuel your supplies, as well as WiFi, so you can post some pics of your progress so far.

4. Pass New Navajo and Fifty Foot Falls.

Add this place to your bucket list!

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Don’t miss the little turnoff from the main trail to hit the hike’s first big falls. New Navajo is only about a half mile down from Supai Village. Quickly following Navajo, you’ll find Fifty Foot Falls.

You’re in the fairytale land of waterfalls now! While you can (and probably should) make a pit stop for a dip in the water, don’t cliff-jump.

5. Hike to Havasupai.

Things look a lot greener this side of the canyon. The plentiful water keeps the environment lush and welcoming, a very different feel than the long desert trails. It’s only a couple miles total from Supai Village to your spectacular destination.

6. Get your first glimpse of Havasupai Falls.

After a lonnng hike in, this view let's you know it was worth it.

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Just a couple steps past this glorious vista, you can follow a trail down to the turquoise pools at the base of Havasupai Falls.

The entire Havasupai region is named for the bright hue. The Havasupai people are literally the “people of the blue green water” and they’re the traditional guardians of the Grand Canyon.

7. Find your campsite.

Your campsite won’t be far from the water. In fact, may have to carry your tent across this bright blue stream before you head back to the falls to swim, or before you rest for the night. We won’t blame you for either track, although we know we’d head straight for the glistening pool.

8. Pitch your tent.

Hammock and tent views⛺🌊

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Your little home for the night is quite a get. Thanks to Instagram and the extreme popularity of the falls, you need to book your spot weeks, months, maybe even an entire year before you want to swim in the beautiful waters of the Havasupai region.

9. Consider Mooney Falls.

The adrenaline-inducing descent at Mooney Falls isn’t for the faint of heart. There aren’t stairs on the cliff face. Sometimes hikers are left to climb the rocks with just dangling chains for assistance.

But Mooney is the highest of the waterfalls in the area and it’s located just below the campground, so if you’re feeling brave (and very very well-balanced), go on down.

10. Trek to Beaver Falls.

Exactly where I want to be on Monday. #happymonday

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Got another night at the campground? Great, because your adventure isn’t over. Three miles past the campsite, you’ll find Beaver Falls. These cascades are straight out of a painting of utter paradise.

It’s not an easy hike; the route isn’t well-marked and the terrain is tough, but just look at the falls! One more waterfall can’t hurt.

11. Dive in!

This is what you came for, right? Take your pick of any of the sparkling pools and get swimming!

If you go…

You can’t do the trip in a single day and you need a permit to camp in the area. Heads up, sometimes the phone lines to reserve your camping spot are busy for hours and there’s no online way to get a permit. The experience and the falls are basically like playing the hiking lottery.