Skip to content

Chasing waterfalls: Permits to visit one of the most exclusive falls in the U.S. open Saturday

Jan. 29, 2020
3 min read
Chasing waterfalls: Permits to visit one of the most exclusive falls in the U.S. open Saturday
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Permits to visit the Havasupai Indian Reservation — and the iconic blue-green waterfalls that cascade over red rocks cliffs — go live on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 8 a.m. MST, or 10 a.m. EST. The permits are for visits starting as soon as March 1, 2020.

And for travelers who, like myself, have this spectacular hike on their bucket list, you know that means it's go time.

Not quite sure what all the hype is about? Just take a look at TPG associate editor Brendan Dorsey's photos from the hike.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

https://www.instagram.com/p/BjqNoXagZbT/

The Havasupai Reservation is located in northern Arizona and is home to the famous Havasu Falls. And before you ask, yes, the water really does look that blue in person. The falls have that unmistakable turquoise hue because of sunlight reflecting off accumulated calcium carbonate in the water, and the striking contrast of the surrounding red rock canyon emphasizes the color.

While Havasu Falls is a pretty sought-after destination for tourists, it's extremely difficult to access. The Havasupai Tribal Council only issues a few hundred permits per day to prevent overcrowding, and these permits are only released once a year, on the morning of Feb. 1. Over the past two years, permits have sold out within minutes of opening, so we suggest that you're up and ready to go at 8 a.m. on the dot.

Before you set your alarm, be sure that you and everyone in your travel group has already made an account, as that's required to complete the reservation.

Permits cost $100 a night on weekdays and $125 a night on weekends, and all stays on the Havasupai Reservation require a three-night minimum stay.

Related: Where to camp, stay and play near the Grand Canyon

It's important to know that the hike to Havasu Falls can be challenging — it's no walk in the park, if you will. In addition to limited ticket availability, the 10-mile hike from the Grand Canyon is pretty strenuous. It typically takes between four and five hours to get there, and then another five or six hours to get back, with no protection from the sun in either direction. The campground itself is has no frills, so you'll want to bring all the necessary camping supplies, such as a lightweight tent, food and plenty of water.

Travelers can also opt to use pack mules or helicopter to the falls, though the hike is definitely part of the entire experience. More information on that (and how to book) can be found on the Havasu Falls official website.

The Havasu Falls and the surrounding creek and land are sacred to the Havasupai tribe, and travelers who are lucky enough to score a permit should be mindful of this when visiting. Alcohol is strictly prohibited, as are drones. Visitors must also be extremely careful about staying on the designated trail, and offenses such as rock climbing, diving off the falls and removing rocks or plants are punishable with fines and expulsion from the site.

Additional reporting by Jordan Allen.

Featured image by Getty Images/500px Prime

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases