Havasu Falls’ majestic emerald and blue waters were most recently featured in Beyoncé’s Spirit music video, which dropped on July 17th in anticipation of the live-action Lion King film and her album, The Gift. But in order to get the shot, the falls were shut down on July 10th and instead of seeing the falls in their full glory, visitors with permits who had trekked for miles were met with a shut down location.
There are a number of astounding revelations to be gleaned from this. One: A lucky group of hikers were actually on the same corner of the Grand Canyon as Beyoncé. Two: Beyoncé and her team shot, edited, and shared the music video within a week. Three: That magical landscape featured in the Spirit video is real, and it’s in the U.S. But getting there is more than just a trek. The trip is long, arduous, and requires months of planning and exclusive permits for a reason.
According to the Arizona Republic, the journey starts with an eight-mile trek. Once you reach the village of Supai, you walk another two miles of terrain to the campground. Perhaps the next morning, you wake up bright and early to finish the last three-mile stretch to the bottom of the Grand Canyon to get to Havasu Falls, also known as Havasupai Falls.
Every year, on February 1st, the Council releases permits that cost $100 per night on weekdays and $125 on weekends with a three-night minimum. The only way to access the falls is either on foot or by helicopter. Beyoncé and Blue Ivy made their way down on a helicopter, of course.
The Havasupai Tribal Council controls the land that Havasu Falls is on and distributes, at most, 300 permits per day to visitors and campers. This isn’t the kind of national park visit you can plan on a whim. So if intense hiking and weekends without toilets aren’t your jam, maybe watch the video on repeat.