In December of 2018, the Havasupai Tribe announced that third-party outfitters will not be allowed to operate at Supai. All reservations. including pack-animal assisted transport, must be made directly through the Tribe. While SAVE doesn’t know if this ban is permanent, at least for the time being these overburdened pack animals will not be forced to carry down the typical “glamping” items for the outfitters and their customers. Read More
SAVE began advocating on behalf of the Havasupai horses and mules in March of 2016. More than one year later, the majority of the outfitters who book trips there continue to offer pack service despite the fact that conditions for these animals remain largely unchanged. Practicing responsible tourism is not just the duty of tourists, but also of the outfitters and guide companies who profit from them.
Outfitters have consistently denied their complicit behavior with these untrue talking points: We only use a reputable, family-owned business who takes good care of their animals or We do not use abused animals. Additionally, they are now saying that they will only use animals permitted by the Tribe - the implication being that animals will be in better condition because they have been "permitted." The reality is that there are no provisions in the permit that ensure the welfare of the pack animals.
Outfitters may make their arrangements through Charlie Chamberlain's family-run business. That work is frequently sub-contracted out to individual wranglers (tribe members), who show up with their animals after the trip has left Hilltop to hike down with the guide/s. No one from the company is present to see the animals, their condition, who they belong to or how much weight is packed on their backs. The same is true on the way back up the canyon trail.
Outfitters may make their arrangements through the Tribal Tourism Office, in which case the same procedure as described above is followed. Note that every outfitter we have spoken to has said the same thing, which begs the question, Does Charlie Chamberlain have 150 pack animals to accommodate all of these companies? The answer is no. Additionally, his animals pack the U.S. mail down to the canyon daily. Again, if no representative is present when gear is packed, how can they make the claims they make?
The Tribes' new permitting procedure states NOTHING regarding the weight, condition or health any animal must be in in order to be deemed "permitted." So, the permitting system is meaningless as far as SAVE is concerned. Do not be fooled by this language - contact the outfitters and insist that they be more ethical, responsible, and accountable in how they run their companies.
Below is a list of companies who are known to use pack animal-assisted trips to Havasu Falls. Please do NOT support any business who is complicit in the abuse. If you have knowledge of any others, please contact SAVE.
Explore Arizona Tours | 1-888-354-6186
The companies listed below DO NOT use animal-assisted pack services to Havasu Falls. Please consider them when booking a trip, and tell others to as well.
Important Contact Information
If you witness abuse, report it immediately. Document it with photos and videos as it is reasonable to do so. Be sure to make note of the time and location and any specifics about the animal you see, making it easier to identify the animal later. Contact the following agencies:
Havasupai Animal Control Officer
BIA Law Enforcement Arizona
Phoenix office: 602-379-6958
Supai office: 928-448-2892
Havasupai Tribe’s Public Relations Contact
Abbie Fink: 602-957-8881 | Afink@hmapr.com
Tribal Council Contacts
Tribal Council: email@example.com
Council Chairman, Muriel Coochwytewya: 928-448-2731 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Vice Chairman, Edmond Tilousi: 928-812-4186 | email@example.com
Tribal Secretary: 928 448 2731 | firstname.lastname@example.org