We’ve all seen epic pictures of Havasu Falls. There’s no doubt in mind that everyone should have Havasu Falls on the top of their bucket list. Visiting Havasu Creek in Havasu Canyon is a breathtaking experience. Even if you’re not an outdoor person, this place might change how you view nature. However, you want to see this epic destination at its best.
I’m not saying don’t make a Havasu Falls reservation for the monsoon season. If that’s the only thing left, then go ahead! It’s not rainy the whole season. Some years it’s actually quite dry like this 2017 monsoon season. If you need want to continue planning for your trip, view my complete Havasu Falls Hiking Guide.
It’s all about the weather, and monsoon season can suck at Havasu Falls. July, August, and September fall under monsoon season, and it brings unpredictable rainstorms. You don’t want to be caught hiking around Havasu Canyon during a rainstorm. It’s not just that it rains, but it’s more likely to poor heavily. Heavy rain will cause rock fall from the cliffs above. It also brings in dangerous flash floods requiring you to find high-grounds and sometimes leaving you stuck in one place. The worst, for me, is that the famous blue-green color gets a new concentration of brown from the mud. Trust me, you don’t want to see Havasu Falls in murky brown water.
My first visit to Havasu Falls was in 2013. A group of hikers had canceled their reservation. This opened up permits to the campgrounds for my group of four, but the only date available was in the middle of July. Sadly, monsoon season had already started and I knew this. I took the dates anyways and tried our luck.
The weather forecasted only 10% chance of rain the day before our hike. However, only 30 minutes after getting to Supai Village, dark clouds rolled in. Thunder began to echo through the canyon and rain poured in. I remember we were sitting at the village cafe when this happened. Huge puddles of mud formed outside of the cafe, streaming down the trail path. On the cliffs of the canyon were temporary waterfalls caused by the inflow of rainwater. To be honest, it was a cool sight (for the moment).
The first sight of what should have been the blue-green water completely killed the mood. The Havasu Creek water was so brown it was like a chocolate factory in the middle of the desert. Of course, we were reassured by other visitors that the water is usually majestic and blue and not fake. The water was blue moments before our arrival and it did not return during our visit of 2 nights.
Let’s face it. Majority of people who obtained a permit has to go through a lot of work before the permits sell out for the year. The area is so limited on visitors! Havasupai only allows 200 campers on any day. With flash floods, the campgrounds at Havasu Falls become even more restricted. You have to find high grounds to sleep in. Sharing space with other campers is not a bad thing, but it can get cramped. You might even give up some comfort as you have to settle for unleveled campsites.
Havasu Falls hiking can get cut off at any moment. At any point, the Havasupai rangers can restrict paths to some of the waterfalls. Of course, this is for your safety. But wouldn’t you want to be able to visit all of the waterfalls while in the area? It’s such a hard task to get a hold of the permit, you just never know when you will be back. My trip in 2013 was not complete. One, the water was not blue-green. And two, the path to Beaver Falls was restricted.
It’s not often you see pictures of Havasu Creek or it’s waterfalls this brown. The time it takes for Havasu creek to regenerate its blue-green state depends on the rainfall. Heavy rainfall will cause the creek to take a few days before returning back to its normal state. If it continues to rain then that will delay the process as well. Below is a picture of Havasu Falls the day after it rained. Some areas were muddier than others.
Are you sick of these brown waters yet?
Check out the 5 amazing waterfalls at Havasupai in it’s prime colors.