How to get Havasupai camping reservations for 2019

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Courtesy: Alexa Vagnozzi

SUPAI, Arizona (FOX 10) -- It's that time of year again where thousands of people across the world attempt to obtain permits to an oasis hidden in the Grand Canyon.

Havasupai is known as a wonderland filled with blue-green waterfalls that is on the Havasupai reservation, located deep within the Grand Canyon. It is a sovereign Native American nation and the tribe asks that visitors are respectful and abide by all laws and customs.

It is approximately a 20 mile roundtrip hike from the Hilltop Trailhead to the campground entrance and back.

The elevation change is 2450 feet, and public Facebook group "Havasupai and Havasu Falls" explains that it is like "climbing down the Empire State building from the top to the bottom twice in a row, and then doing the same thing back up."

Each year, the tribe allows the public to purchase permits on February 1 to enter and hike the reservation to access the waterfalls and camp for multiple nights.

For the 2019 season, the tribe announced many new features and requirements to obtain the permits.

How to make reservations

The tribe suggests making an online account right away, so there will be no issue when the website opens up on Friday morning. 

In the past, the only way to make reservations was by telephone. Now, the tribe has eliminated the system all together, and campers can only make the reservations online.

The website opens up at 8 a.m. for the entire 2019 season, which ranges from February to November.

Havasupai Reservation says the "entire season completely sold out on last year's Opening Day."

Requirements of the reservations

If you want to visit Havasupai and Havasu Falls, you're required to make a reservation prior to your arrival.

The campground is essentially a "free-for-all" and it's over a mile long on both sides of Havasu Creek between Havasu Falls and Mooney Falls. The website explains that this means there are no assigned camping spots or designated areas. Campers are free to set up camp wherever they find a safe area.

Reservations are now required to be three nights and four days. There are no day-trips.

There is only one name that can be put on the reservation, and that reservation is "only valid if the person named on the reservation is present at the Tourist Check-in Officer in the Vaillage of Supai with photo ID - otherwise the reservation is NOT valid and will NOT be honored."

Pricing for reservations

For a weekday reservations, the tribe is charging $100 per person per weekday night. On the weekends, including Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, expect to pay $125 per person per night.

These prices include all necessary permits, taxes, and fees.

To break it down, a three night, four day stay will be a total of $300 and $375 per person, depending on how many weekend nights are included.

New details for 2019

For the first time, the Havasupai tribe established an official transfer system for campground reservations and reservation spots.

This allows campers who either need to fill a spot or need to transfer the reservation entirely, do so in a hassle-free way that's also secure.

Also, the tribe created a new waitlist system for pack mule reservations.There will be no pack mule reservations available online or in person.

Once the reservation is complete, campers can put in a qaitlist request for the pack mule.

The standards of caring for the pack mules has increased after reports of abuse in recent years, so the tribe says there will be fewer pack mules available.

For more information on the reservations, visit Havasupai Reservation's website.

Fox 10 reported this story from Phoenix.