Published on December 26, 2012 by Amy
Supai (Havasupai: Havasuuw) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Coconino County, Arizona, United States, within the Grand Canyon.
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As of the 2010 census, the CDP had a population of 208. The capital of the Havasupai Indian Reservation, Supai is currently one of only two places in the United States where mail is still carried out by mules, the other being Phantom Ranch in the Grand Canyon.
It is the most remote community in the lower 48 states. The only way to get to it is to take a helicopter or to hike or ride a mule along the Havasupai Trail. Supai is 8 miles (13 km) from the nearest road. There are no cars in the community.
Tourists and some residents were evacuated from Supai and surrounding area on August 17 and 18, 2008, due to flooding of Havasu Creek complicated by the failure of the earthen Redlands Dam after a night of heavy rainfall. Evacuees were taken to Peach Springs, Arizona. More heavy rains were expected and a flash flood warning was put into effect, necessitating the evacuation, according to the National Park Service. The floods were significant enough to attract coverage from international media.
Damage to the trails, bridges, and campground was severe enough for Havasupai to close visitor access to the village, campground, and falls until the spring of 2009. Further flooding in 2010 resulted in damage to repairs made previously and closures effective until May 2011. Those returning will find yet more changes to the once familiar landmarks near the water.
Located within the Grand Canyon, Supai is only accessible by foot, pack animal or helicopter. Mail and package delivery to the community is thus delayed; delivery time for mail from Bullhead City, Arizona, via the United States Postal Service is at least a week because it is carried out by mule.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), all land. It lies 3,195 feet (974 m) above sea level.
As of the census of 1990, there were 423 people, 104 households, and 88 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 248.8 people per square mile (94.0/km²). There were 136 housing units at an average density of 80.0/sq mi (30.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 94.56% Native American, 4.96% White, and 0.47% Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.95% of the population.
There were 104 households out of which 60.6% were married couples living together, 16.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 15.4% were non-families. 10.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 4.07.
In the CDP the population was spread out with 39.4% under the age of 18, 8.0% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 12.5% from 45 to 64, and 5.7% who are 65 years of age or older. For every 100 males there were 98.6 females. For every 100 males age 18 and over, there were 87.4 females.
Supai can be reached by hiking 9 miles (14 km), descending 3,000 feet (910 m) in elevation from Hualapai Hilltop through the Hualapai Canyon. Alternatively, the AirWest Helicopters service schedules flights from Hualapai Hilltop to Supai. Hualapai Hilltop is located about 70 miles (110 km) from the community of Peach Springs, along paved BIA Road 18.