Those hoping to get a permit to hike to the halcyon blue-green waters of Havasu Falls on the Havasupai land in Arizona will have to wait another year as the tribal council has announced its lands will stay closed to visitors until 2023.

In an announcement on its website, the Tribal Council said it is "undertaking the necessary repairs and enhancements to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for our valued guests."

"We have seen our tribal lands return to their natural beauty over the last two years and are eager to share their beauty once again," said Chairman Thomas Siyuja, Sr. 

The collection of Havasu, Mooney and Beaver Falls draws eager hiking enthusiasts from around the world looking to take in the picturesque aqua waters. It has been the focus of countless Instagram photos as well as the backdrop to Beyoncė’s Spirit video.

Further adding to the enchantment, this natural wonder can only be visited with a permit and typically by making the more than 11-mile trek into Havasu Canyon located on tribal land in the Grand Canyon that is not part of the national park.

No day hikes are permitted so most visitors treat it as a multi-day backpacking trip.

Multi-layered pool of Havasu Falls
Multi-layered pool of Havasu Falls, Supai, Arizona, The tribal land of the Havasupai will remain closed until 2023. © USA Getty Images/iStockphoto

The tribe only issues 350 permits a day and typically when those go on sale to the public in February on the tribe's reservation website, they are quickly snapped up for the season. A permit covers three nights at the campground near the Supai village at a cost of at least $100 USD (€88) a night during the week and $125 (€110) during the weekend. In the past, reservations for the lodge have cost $440 (€388) per night.

The Havasupai Tribal Council closed the falls to tourists and locked down the reservation when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020. Since then, permits to hike to the falls have remained suspended with the Havasupai reservation as a whole closed to tourists.

What if you have a reservation for Havasupai Falls

According to the tribe, if you have a reservation, it will be moved to the same dates in 2023. The tribe stated this will apply for reservations to the campground, lodge and for pack mules.

The tribe said it will not make any new reservations available for purchase while tourism is suspended.

Prior to the pandemic, advanced reservations for Havasupai typically went public in February for the campground and on June 1 for the lodge.

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This article was first published January 2022 and updated May 2022

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