If you want to see the beautiful waterfalls of Havasupai but don’t think you can do the entire hike or are traveling with small children who cannot complete the hike, riding the helicopter to and from the village will be your best option. There is only 1 helicopter managed by the tribe, and it doesn’t fly every day so you may have to confirm the schedule ahead of time.
Here’s the flight schedule for 2017:
|March 15 – October 15||October 16 – March 14|
The chopper starts flying at 10:00 am and continues until everyone gets a ride or until it gets dark, whichever comes first.
Here’s the best resource I’ve found for the Havasupai Airwest helicopters. Flight availability is first-come-first-served; you cannot reserve spots in advance. I don’t know what the process is for flying down to the village, but I’m assuming that it’s the same as flying back up to the trail head: You go to the helicopter landing pad, check in, then wait your turn.
We came across a lot of different information regarding what time to check in on the flight out of the village. Some people say to line up starting at 10:00 pm (the previous night), the tourist office told us to line up at 6:00 am, etc. I didn’t take the helicopter out, but my friends left the campsite at 4:00 am in the morning to hike to the village. They got there to put their names down around 6:00 am and didn’t end up flying out until 1:00 pm.
Here’s how it works:
- When you arrive at the helipad waiting area (which is in the center of the village near the convenience store), you will need to put your name and weight on the waiting list.
- Then you pay on the spot, $85 one-way. Cash or credit.
- If you are traveling with a group, you will all be assigned a group number. You’ll know how many groups are in front of you, but not the number of people in the group. There could be 5 groups ahead of yours, but one group may have 2 people and another may have 30, so it’s hard to tell when you will actually get on the plane.
- Each flight can carry 4 passengers with luggage, or 6 passengers without luggage.
- You and your luggage may not be traveling on the same flight so you may have to wait for your stuff if it’s coming on the next flight.
- A one-way flight is 10-minutes long.
There is only 1 helicopter that just flies back and forth all day which is why you may be waiting a long time for your turn. A round-trip flight is about 30-minutes.
Another important thing to note is that supplies and tribal members get first priority. Well duh. But that also means that you can’t tell exactly how many people are in front of you or how long you’ll be waiting for. Just be prepared to spend your whole day waiting.
My family and I chose to hike out instead of taking the helicopter and let me tell you, we are not planning on hiking out again. Once is definitely enough. The next time I visit Havasupai, I’m definitely planning to stay for extra days and take the helicopter back to the car.
The view is pretty awesome too, I’ve heard. You can point and laugh at all the little people suffering on the hike back LOL.