When we first set off for Havasu Falls, I wondered what we would do to pass the time with 2 entire days inside the Havasupai Campground. I knew one would be used to hike to Beaver Falls but with a total round trip distance of only 6-miles, I hadn’t expected that to take up an entire day. Now, here we were on day 3 of our journey to Havasu and I found myself wanting to stay a week. We could have spent this day making our way down to the Colorado River but instead, we choose to explore Rock Falls and Fifty Foot Falls, the waterfalls we had passed on the hike in.
Stats for Hiking Fifty Foot Falls
- Permit: Required to hike to Havasupai & Fifty Foot Falls
- Type: Out-and-Back
- Distance: 1.25-mile from the south gate of the Havasupai Campground
- 8.75-miles from Hilltop Trailhead
- Class: Moderately-Easy (From Campground)
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 225′ (From Campground)
Use These Links to Navigate to Any Part of This Journey Through Havasu
- Havasu Falls Introduction
- Havasu Reservation
- Hiking to Havasu Falls
- Havasupai Campground
- Climbing Mooney Falls
- Hiking Beaver Falls
- Hiking Fifty Foot Falls
- Things to Know and Pack
Rock Falls (AKA: Lower Navajo Falls)
To start our day (really a restart for me since I was up in the dead of night once again taking star photography at Havasu Falls) we hiked back up to what we thought was Fifty Foot Falls near the trail in from Supai. This was nearly a 2-mile hike back from our campsite. Rock Falls is beautiful with a few gorgeous travertine terraces above the fall. We spent an hour here poking around and swimming in the blue-green water before realizing that a small side trail continued back towards the south and to the hidden Fifty Foot Falls.
Fifty Foot Falls
The narrow trail enters into a thick area of grass that at 9′ high towers over those who venture in. The path emerges from this dense grass to a wall of water cascading from a cliff that I assume was 50’ high. The wall of water is at least 150’ wide and broken up by small pieces of dry areas into 5 different waterfalls.
This was the 3rd day of our journey and Havasu was revealing even more of her unique beauty to us. As waterfalls go this one is special. I doubt everyone who makes their way to the Havasupai Campground finds this gorgeous collection of waterfalls. These falls feel very personal. You can not only hike directly up to them but can stand underneath the cooling waters of this desert oasis.
The Lime Cliffs
Here, like at Mooney & Havasu Falls, the land between the water looks as if it was melted chocolate poured onto the earth that then froze as it cascaded over the edge. Unlike the other locations, there are shards of the cliff that have broken off and fallen here. People have stacked the shards into a unique looking cairn.
Back to Havasu
As the day wore on this Fifty Foot Falls oasis became crowded and we choose to head back to Havasu Falls to enjoy a late lunch there. After lunch, we splashed through the pools at Havasu Falls before returning to our campsite. We rested on the cliff edge and took in the view of the canyon beyond Mooney Falls. I tend to grow restless and decided to head back down to Mooney Falls to get another view from below. This time I mostly had the trail down to myself which made the descent much easier. This allowed me to video the climb back up.
We spent the remainder of the evening talking with some fellow campers who had made their way into the canyon that morning. There is something magical about sharing an experience like this with like-minded people. It is also surreal to realize that everyone in that campground and all those who will visit this year were all doing the same thing on February 2nd. We were all fighting the inefficient Havasupai registration system to have the privilege of visiting this amazing place.