Arizona’s Havasupai Falls, so popular that reservations nearly sell out on the first day they become available each year, will be closed to visitors in response to the new coronavirus pandemic.
The Havasupai Tribal Council said it would temporarily suspend hiking and tourism to the canyon in a remote part of northwestern Arizona.
Havasupai Falls will be closed to visitors March 16-April 14, according to an email from the tribe’s publicist, Abbie Fink.
“The health and safety of the many tourists who visit as well as our tribal members, employees and consultants is very important to us,” Chairwoman Eva Kissoon said in the email sent March 14. “The Tribal Council considered many options and determined that temporarily closing Supai to tourists at this time was the best decision.”
The tribe said no cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Supai.
All tourists were required to leave the canyon on March 16.
Tourists with reservations during the closure should go to havasupaireservations.com to reschedule. A message there says that permit holders will receive an email explaining next steps:
“Reservation holders with campground reservations that have arrival dates between March 16, 2020, and April 14, 2020, will have the opportunity to reschedule their reservation for dates within the 2021 season.
“An email will be sent to these reservation holders with instructions on how to reschedule their campground reservations.
“All campground reservations remain non-refundable. Travel insurance is always strongly recommended.
“For all lodge reservation holders, please call 928-448-2111 or 928-448-2201. Do not call these numbers for matters regarding the campground.
Reservations are nonrefundable, but people who are unable to reschedule their trips for the 2021 season can participate in the tribe’s transfer policy.
A reservation holder can log into their account at havasupaireservations.com, choose an available date and then click the Transfer button. This makes the reservation available to others searching for availability. If someone else claims the reservation, the original holder will be reimbursed for the cost minus a 10 percent transfer fee.
The last time Havasupai closed to tourism was in July 2018 when a flash flood swept through the canyon and 200 visitors were evacuated by helicopter.
It’s an 8-mile hike from the top of the canyon to Supai Village, and another 2 miles to the campground area. Most of the falls are beyond that.
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