Havasupai Indian Reservation, Havasu Falls, How To Get a Permit

I have recently been posting about how excited we are for our upcoming trip to the Havasupai Indian Reservation to feast our eyes upon the majestic Havasu Falls in Arizona. This particular adventure has been a long time coming. We have spent the last three years vying for one of the coveted permits and fiiiiinally were able to scoop them up. What makes this adventure extra special is Richard & I will be joined by five of our great friends from Reno & Texas! We are STOKED. Now, why am I writing this blog before we go? As we have talked about the upcoming trip on Facebook I have received comments and messages asking “how-to” so I thought, “why don’t I just write about it” aaaannnd here we are!

Something to note about this hike is that it is no easy task obtaining a permit and you MUST be flexible with dates to give you the greatest opportunity for success. Make sure that everyone in your group is completely on board & can hike the 10 miles each way as well. There are a few options to
avoid hiking but they are expensive and not a 100% guaranteed option anyway.
They have pack mules as well for a whopping $400 round trip! Unless you are rolling in the dough be prepare to hoof it & carry your gear.  Besides, isn’t the hike in/out all part of the adventure?

This year they started a new online system which made the reservation process…. easier? It still took us two hours before we were able to secure a reservation with this updated online system, and unlike in previous years, they no longer take reservations over the phone.

What to Know

Campground permits become available on February 1st of each year at 8am Arizona Time. You will need to know how many people are going to be in your group because you need to book your permits on one reservation to ensure everyone gets the same dates. This year they implemented a 3 night/4 day reservation time frame, no other options. Of course, you don’t have to stay that long but you know you will want to. No Day Hikes, you must stay overnight. It is $100 per night M-Th and $125 per night F-Su. One person’s name is on the reservation & they must be present at time of check-in at the Tourism Office in Supai
WITH a valid ID. This is seven miles from the trailhead, so forgetting it at the car will be one mistake you’ll regret. Campground spots are first come, first serve once you get down to the river so earlier is better.

How it Works

Before Feb. 1st you need to create an account on the reservation website: www.havasupaireservations.com/  and assign the credit card to your account that you wish to use for making the reservation. This card must have enough funds to cover permits for everyone that is in your group. You cannot use multiple cards. This is critical for making sure your time does not run out once you’re in & have picked your date.

On Feb 1st you will need to log into your account BEFORE 8am Arizona time. Once 8am hits & the “doors” open, immediately refresh the page. As time goes by, after the initial refresh, it will be a game of to refresh or not refresh the page. Be patient as the website will be overloaded with users just like you trying to score their ideal time frame. For reference, between three of us trying for the group, it took two hours before one of us made it all the way through to book the reservation. The site constantly loaded slow, if it loaded at all, and popped up random error codes that forced us to refresh the page. Once you make it to the calendar select the start date for you trip and it will populate the duration of reservation. Follow the prompts for payment to get you through to a successful reservation confirmation.

CELEBRATE

Once you have booked your trip CELEBRATE! You are one of the lucky ones. Get your friends to pay you money & start planning the logistics of transportation & all the camping details. I will be writing another post about our prep for the hike both in terms of people & pack logistics, as well as a recap after Havasupai about what we learned while we were there. There is always something to learn about how you packed/prepped! Let us know if this was helpful & if you have any questions! What do you think about their new reservation process? Comment below!


PS: This year for the first time ever they have a transfer system for spots that you do not plan to use on your reservation. You can only do this using the official transfer system on the website. There is a 10% fee assessed for any spots that are successfully transferred away. Once you log into your account click the blue cancellation /transfer list button to find out what is available. Peeps that did not get a reservation in Feb. for 2019 this is a great opportunity if you have your heart set on going this year. When I last went to check the list there were 8 permits available for random dates.

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