“a towering & breathtaking waterfall”
When planning a trip to Mooney Falls, please also add the Havasupai Trailhead to your trip. The trailhead must be used to access the falls at the bottom of the canyon, and Mooney Falls cannot always be routed properly due to its location far from a road. Mooney Falls is about 1 mile past Havasu Falls, just past the campground. It is a towering and breathtaking waterfall of about 200 ft. in height. There is a really nice view of the falls from the top, looking down on the enticing pool into which the waterfall drops. The fun part (and scary part) of this waterfall, though, is getting to its base. From the top of the falls, the trail continues down to a warning sign, indicating to proceed at your own risk, and not to try descending in inclement weather. From here, you have to squeeze through two narrow tunnels built into the cliff. When you emerge from the tunnels, you are looking straight down the cliff to the pool at the base of the falls, and wondering if you are crazy enough to proceed. It is a steep descent. But it is really not too difficult, unless you are scared of heights. There are sturdy chains to hang onto as you work your way down, and many footholds. Going back up is actually much easier. Once at the bottom, there is a lot of exploring to do. There is a great pool at the base of the falls for swimming. If you continue down the trail a bit, you will also come across a small but interesting 20 ft. waterfall. There are great views of the canyon there as well. The trail continues down to Beaver Falls and the Colorado River (another 6 miles downstream, after a lot of creek crossing and wading). Mooney Falls is named after James Mooney, who died here while attempting to rescue an injured friend by climbing back to the top with his friend tied onto his back.
Mooney Falls is the tallest of the five wonderful waterfalls located along Havasu Creek in the Grand Canyon. Hiking down to Mooney Falls is a great, short adventure when camping at the Havasu Canyon Campground. Not only that, it is certainly the most adventurous to reach, requiring travelers to hike down through a menacing passageway cut through the side of the canyon wall by miners at the turn of the 20th century. Descend to Mooney Falls at your own risk! That said, it's well worth the adventure. Make sure to venture down to Beaver Falls and the many cascades in between!
When you go, be sure to go early in the morning to beat the rush. It is a one-way route down to Mooney Falls and the wait can get quite long at peak times. You don't want to go at rush hour (varies seasonally) and you definitely don't want to make like a salmon and go against the flow on this route!
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