Join us for this spectacular Havasupai Falls photography workshop as we journey to the “Shangri-La” of the Southwest, Havasu Canyon; The Land of Blue Green Waters. This legendary branch of the Grand Canyon contains Havasu, Navajo and Mooney Falls, three of the most beloved waterfalls in the American West and two spectacular new falls.
Nestled 3,000 feet below the canyon walls, Havasu Canyon is known around the world for its blue waters and spectacular waterfalls. Spring-fed, turquoise waters wander through islands of wavy, lush seep-willow and sculptured terraces of travertine. Havasu Creek, a year round stream with incredible aquamarine water flows by Supai village and descends another 1,400 feet, passing over five waterfalls, the highest being Mooney Falls. One hundred-foot Havasu Falls has a beautiful deep blue pool beneath, surrounded by thick green vegetation. Havasu Canyon with its tranquil, turquoise pools and hundreds of smaller waterfalls is an idyllic setting considered to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
Major changes have occurred since August 2008 when a significant flash flood swept through the canyon rerouting the water around the old Navajo Falls, while creating two new falls. Ever changing…nature takes its course and we are merely the blessed and grateful observers. Havasupai is as stunning as ever. Watercress-filled emerald pools abound in the new waterfalls, and the creek is deepening out below Havasu Falls. The first new major waterfall is being referred to as Upper Navajo Falls (New Navajo Falls). Located about one mile from the village of Supai, Upper Navajo Falls has dense foliage at the top much like the original Navajo Falls. About an eighth of a mile downstream is the other new waterfall that Mother Nature created with her flood waters: Lower Navajo Falls (Rock Falls).
We’ll take a helicopter to the village and hike to the campground. Participants will have a chance to photograph the lush surroundings for several days, enjoying the best photographic opportunities this unique and beautiful desert canyon has to offer. You will have expert instruction from award-winning Arizona Highways photographer Suzanne Mathia who has extensive experience photographing this iconic area and can help you create unique and memorable images.
We will awaken in base camp, nestled along a stream, beneath towering cottonwood trees and adjacent to these enormous waterfalls. You will find fresh brewed coffee and a hearty breakfast waiting in the camp kitchen. Suzanne will lead you on spectacular photo hikes each day crossing tropical blue streams, wading through lush meadows of wild grapevines and clambering up narrow side canyons with red rock walls towering thousands of feet overhead. You can even take a swim beside a 200 ft. waterfall or swing on a rope and drop into clear blue 20 ft. pools in the ultimate Grand Canyon water playground. Each day you will dine on healthy, hearty meals prepared by our experienced outfitters.
Prepare yourself for a trip like no other, and an opportunity to commune with nature on a world class scale, advance your landscape photography skills, and create incredible images.
- Photographic instruction
- Round trip transportation from Phoenix
- Individual tent lodging
- Meals in the Canyon are provided by our outfitter and lunch on the last day is included in workshop fee.
- Helicopter flight in and out of the Supai Village
- Luggage transport by pack horse *
- All applicable entrance, park, permit and tour fees
- Refillable water bottles
- Outfitter gratuities (if you wish to tip your outfitter guides additionally it is welcomed but not necessary)
- Post workshop Image critiques
*All luggage must be packed to fit into a soft-sided canvas draw-string duffel seen below (approx. 18”x 24″) that will be provided by our outfitter guides. Participants will transfer their luggage into these bags before descending into the canyon. Bags are then transferred into large canvas duffel bags before being given to our pack guides for careful transport to our camp site. (These bags are not for the camera gear – you will keep your gear with you).
In the midst of all this aquatic beauty, lies the tranquil creekside campground where we’ll be laying our heads. The most famous of the big waterfalls Havasu, Mooney, & Fifty Foot Falls-are all within a short walking distance from the campground. We’ll shoot all three, at the very best times for light & reflections. An optional day hike to Beaver Falls, three miles downstream, will be another highlight of our trip, encountering waterfalls and pools of otherworldly turquoise clarity. Please be aware that shooting locations stated in this itinerary may change. Each day we will determine which locations are best based on lighting and weather conditions. We want to give you the best possible photo opportunities.
Day 1 – Thursday, April 11
- Group will meet at 6:00 a.m. at the Holiday Inn & Suites Phoenix Airport to load gear and luggage and begin our journey to the Hilltop.
- After a break for lunch we will transfer our gear to the Supai guides who will transport our luggage. We will then wait for our helicopter to descend into Supai Village. (There is no set helicopter flight schedule. The Supai tribe has first flight access, all other tourists will be flown in as space permits. The wait can vary from a few minutes to a couple of hours. We will use this time to get to know each other and answer camera questions and other photo information).
- After a brief pit stop in the Village we will begin a leisurely 2 mile hike to Havasu Falls stopping at New Navajo Falls and other water pools along the way.
- Mid-afternoon we’ll arrive at our campsite and put our packs in our tents.
- Then it’s off to shoot Havasu Falls for the late afternoon light.
- Back to camp for dinner.
Day 2 – Friday, April 12
- Rising with the morning light, our day will begin with morning shoots along the meandering stream and waterfalls before having a hearty breakfast prepared by our wonderful outfitters.
- Mid-morning we will embark on an adventure down Mooney Falls. We will spend most of the day traversing in pools of cool blue water where you will have ample opportunity to photograph waterfalls and travertine steps lined with lush green flora.
- Late afternoon we will return to relax and review our day’s captures.
Day 3 – Saturday, April 13
- After breakfast we will follow the stream looking for great light and capture the reflections and color from the canyon walls.
- In the afternoon we will explore the watersheds under the trees from camp to the top of Mooney.
Day 4 – Sunday, April 14
- Morning reflections will begin our day before enjoying another hearty breakfast.
- Some adventure seekers may opt to travel once again below Mooney Falls on to Beaver Falls ( a three mile hike one way) with one of our outfitter guides.
- Others will have the option to photograph the swirl pools above Havasu Falls and meander on their own to flush out other great photo ops.
- After a lunch break the group will explore Carbonite Canyon and an old mine.
- Returning to base camp in the afternoon participants can enjoy some leisure time basking by the cool crisp water.
- After our dinner, those interested can enjoy some night photography and light painting at Havasu Falls
Day 5 – Monday, April 15
- Our last day we will rise early and pack our gear to give to our guide for transport.
- After our final breakfast the group will begin the trek back to the Supai Village making stops at New Navajo Falls and Fifty-foot Falls for more rocks and reflection photos.
- Arriving at the village we will await our turn to helicopter out of the Village. Native members and construction crews take priority seating, so there is often a wait to get out of the canyon. You will have some time to relax and share stories while we wait.
- Once we have all been flown to the Hilltop we will start back to Phoenix.
- Lunch in route.
- Arrive in Phoenix Monday evening where we will say our good-byes and adjourn the workshop.
Strenuous Rating: Moderate.
This workshop is designed for the extreme hiker/photographer and outdoorsman/woman. Over the course of the week we will hike 10-15 miles to and from camp and shooting locations. Participants must be able to navigate vertical rock steps and chain hand rails while carrying their camera gear. We will be traversing and rock-stepping across various pools and streams, so participants must be sure-footed and be prepared for hazardous terrain.
The Workshop will Depart from / Return to:
Holiday Inn Phoenix Airport
3220 S. 48th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85040
Phone: (480) 543-1700
Pre-night and post-night rooms are available for workshop participants at our corporate rate. Participants are required to make their own reservations and pay for these dates. The corporate rate is only available on a space-available status and must be booked online. The corporate rate is not available by phone. The workshop will depart at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of April 11th.
Lodging During the Workshop
During the workshop you will be treated to outstanding service by our guides and outfitters. Your complete camping experience is included from tents, sleeping bags, sheets, and sleeping pads, to outstanding meals, snacks and dessert.
- 90 days or more prior to the start of the workshop your deposit will be refunded less $100
- Between 89 and 61 days prior to the start of the workshop, AHPS will retain your full deposit.
- 60 days and fewer to the start of the workshop your entire workshop fee is retained.
Arizona Highways PhotoScapes reserves the right to cancel any workshop if our minimum student enrollment is not met. In the event AHPS cancels a workshop, participants will be given the option to reschedule to a later date or receive a full refund for the workshop components booked directly with AHPS. Please Note: we are not liable for the additional expenses incurred such as airfare, hotel accommodations or any other components booked outside of the workshop.