The Havasupai Reservation really is another world. Things have changed a little since a 1930s anthropologist called it “the only spot in the United States where native culture has remained in anything like its pristine condition”, but the sheer magic of its turquoise waterfalls and canyon scenery makes this a very special place.
Havasu Canyon is a side canyon of the Grand Canyon, 35 miles as the raven flies from Grand Canyon Village, but almost two hundred miles by road. Turn off the interstate at Seligman or Kingman, onto AZ-66, then follow Arrowhead Hwy-18 to Hualapai Hilltop. An eight-mile trail zigzags down a bluff from there, leading through the stunning waterless Hualapai Canyon to the village of SUPAI. Riding down on horseback with a Havasupai guide costs $70 one way, $120 return and there’s often a helicopter service as well. Hiking is free, but all visitors pay an entry fee on arrival at Supai.
Beyond Supai the trail leads to a succession of spectacular waterfalls, starting with two dramatic cascades, New Navajo Falls and Rock Falls, created by a flash flood in 2008. Beyond those lie Havasu Falls, great for swimming, and Mooney Falls, where a precarious chain-ladder descent leads to another glorious pool.