This essential 2019 Havasu Falls packing list is geared toward those who intend on hiking into Havasupai Falls. Hiking into Havasu Falls is, in my opinion, the best way to experience this trail and these waterfalls. You'll want to spend at least 2 nights and 3 days backpacking the Havasu Falls Trail in order to give yourself the most time to explore the area and spend time at the waterfalls. It is also a 25 mile hike roundtrip, so you will want to make sure you have the right backpacking gear for your time camping there. You can read all about the Havasu Trail in my Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls which has trail details on camping, permits, weather, photography, and more at Havasu Falls. This post however, is focused on what the essential Havasupai packing list looks like and what kind of gear you should bring with you on your backpacking trip to Havasu Falls.
Make sure to plan in advance what you will need to be packing for Havasupai as you might not have all the gear you need (particularly if you’ve never gone backpacking before). I do think Havasu Falls makes a great beginner backpacking trail, but you will definitely want to borrow, buy or even rent the appropriate backpacking gear for your trip.
Again, click the link below to read all about the Havasu Falls Hike!
Leave No Trace: I also want to note the importance here, that should go without saying, but be sure that whatever you pack in with you that you ALWAYS PACK OUT. Trails like Havasu Falls are extremely special and extremely popular, and sometime people leaving trash and gear behind, and that is NOT the right way to treat this land. If we continue to abuse nature and our earth in this way, we will lose access to places like these. Please, don't do that. Let's respect the land, and even better… if you pass by trash that isn't yours, pick it up!
Want to print this Havasupai packing list?
The checklist below is a full detailed list of what should be in your Havasupai backpacking list, including a sheet on layering tips, and ideas for the kinds of food to pack for Havasu Falls.
Ok, onto the Havasupai Falls packing list, detailed below:
what to bring – havasu falls packing list
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If you find yourself asking, “What should I pack for Havasu Falls hike”, then you’re in the right place my friend. As I mentioned above, there are some essential items that you should bring with you on your hike.
1) Backpacking Backpack [Recommended Brand: Deuter 45+] (40-50L):
Deuter's 45+ Liter backpacks make great first time backpacking backpacks. This was the first backpack I used when I started backpacking, and I still use it often to this day. It's very comfortable, has plenty of pockets and makes packing really simple!
2) Tent [Recommended Brand: Big Agnes]:
Any basic tent will do at Havasupai, although a lighter tent, such as a Big Agnes Backpacking Tent might be a little easier to carry. It sort of depends on how many people are going on your trip and how you will pair up carrying your gear.
3) Hammock [Recommended Brand: Eno] (optional):
If there is a slight chance for rain on your trip, definitely bring a tent, but if the weather looks nice you could also consider bringing a hammock (like Eno's DoubleNest Hammock) as there are ample places to set up a hammock at the Havasupai campground.
4) Sleeping Bag [Recommended Brand: Big Agnes] (15-25 degree F):
I always recommend getting a down sleeping bag if you are going to be a "serious" backpacker. If that's you, I recommend getting a 0 to 15 degree rated bag. If you will be doing more high altitude hiking, just splurge on the zero degree bag, it will be worth it. However for this hike, you can do with a less intense rated sleeping bag, so if your bag is rated 30 or under you will probably be OK. We love the Big Agnes Brand down bags.
5) Sleeping Pad [Recommended Brand: Therm-a-Rest] (inflatable or foam):
if you've read any of my other posts, you know that the Therm-A-Rest NeoAir XTherm sleeping pad is my favorite sleeping pad. It's light weight and easy to pack. It's super comfortable (no body parts touch the ground), and it's warm! You could alternatively bring a foam pad as well.
6) A GPS is Nice to Have [Recommended: the GAIA App for Your Phone]
I’ve been testing out some GPS Apps to find a more affordable GPS solution for my readers, and I’m LOVING the GAIA GPS App. Handheld GPS’s are up there on one of the most expensive items a hiker or backpacker can get for the backpacking gear arsenal, but what’s really cool is that there are a lot of great alternatives these days that can be pair up to your phone and used offline even at a fraction of the price. So far my favorite phone GPS app solution is the premium version of the GAIA GPS, which allows you to download maps in advance and take them offline into the backcountry (perfect for the Havasu Falls Hike!). You can record your tracks, upload prior tracks, and so much more with this nifty phone App, and GAIA is offering a special discount to those who subscribe online through my link above, 20% off their normal prices.
7) Headlamp [Recommended Brand: Petzl]:
I pretty much don’t go anywhere without a headlamp. I have a Petzl headlamp, and it has been going strong for over 3 years now. It's also always good to pack an extra set of batteries too whenever you hike or backpack.
8) Water Reservoir [Recommended Brand: Camelbak] (3 Liters):
Camelbaks are awesome for hiking! They are the easiest way to stay hydrated, and I typically always bring one with me. I recommend getting one that has at least a 3-liter reservoir.
9) Sturdy Water Bottle [Recommended Brand: Nalgene]:
Also consider bringing a Nalgene or water bottle for backup. I've had friends who had their Camelbaks start leaking part way into a hike (although, it's never happened to me personally), so if my hike is long enough (over 5 miles, which Havasu Falls Trial is), or if it is really hot out (which it also is), I will usually pack an empty Nalgene as backup. Then, if a leak develops in my Camelbak, I can at least transfer water to the Nalgene and still be OK.
10) Water Filter [Recommended Brand: Katadyn]:
There are two main water filters I recommend, and I own both. I like the Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter and I like the SteriPen. I use the Hiker Pro more often when I backpack, but when I want something small to bring with me on hikes I will throw the SteriPen in my pack. You could also opt for a Sawyer Squeeze, which is more affordable! There are pros and cons of each of the different options.
11) Camping Stove [Recommended Brand: MSR] (Optional, You could go stoveless depending on what foods you bring):
I love the MSR Reactor Stove System. I bought this after my Jet Boil broke down, and I like it a lot more. It works great at high altitude and takes only about 30 seconds to bring water to a boil. If you bring a stove, make sure to bring a lighter with you as well.
I like these Light My Fire Sporks because you get a spoon and fork all in one. Your bases are covered.
13) Waterproof Phone Case (Optional):
If you plan to take your phone, consider bring a dry bag to house your phone in (like the JOTO cellphone drybag). You will be hiking in and out of water on this hike.
14) Sunglasses [Recommended Brand: Goodr]:
My favorite pair for day hikes are Goodr Sunglasses. I originally bought these glasses last year when I got into trail running. I couldn't find a pair of glasses that were comfortable and would stay on my face when I was running. These finally did the trick, and now I love wearing them hiking too! They come in a bunch of great color options and the best part… they are only $25! If you want something more classic Native Eyewear is also another good choice because they have a great lifetime warranty.
15) Food & Snacks (I.e. Good-to-Go Meals, bars, etc):
This should be slightly obvious, but make sure to pack enough food for the appropriate number of days you will be hiking. I like to pack cliff bars, complete cookies, and lara bars for quick snacks. Good To-Go Dehydrated Dinners are some of my favorite dehydrate meals to bring on backpacking trips as well. The ingredients are great, and they are super delicious. My favorites are the Thai Curry and the Herbed Mushroom Risotto!
16) Trekking Poles [Recommended Brand: Black Diamond] (snap lock, not twist lock): I love the black diamond trail pro shock trekking poles. Michael and I both have these. They have a set for women (blue) and men (red). I've owned a pair of cheaper trekking poles in the past and they break fairly easily. These are almost indestructible. I've been using the same pair for almost 5 years now, and still going strong.
17) Sunscreen & Lipbalm [Recommended Brand: Joshua Tree]: This should be a no-brainer, but always wear and bring sunscreen for a hike. I really like Neutrogena brand. Just like sunscreen, it is also important to bring lip balm that has sunscreen in it on your hike. My favorite lip balm is the either the Joshua Tree brand.
18) Bug Spray or Wipes: If you have warmer weather, it’s always safe to just bring some of this just in case. I prefer the wipes for hiking and backpacking because it is lighter and easier to pack.
19) Outdoor Camera Gear [Read About Our Favorite Outdoor Adventure Photography Gear Here]: Don't forget to pack a camera or a phone to capture your hike! You can read our post on the Outdoor Adventure Photography Gear we use if you want details on the cameras we recommend for outdoor photography, but also you can't go wrong these days with your phone camera either. Your choice!
20) Backpacking First Aid Kit: Another nice item to have is a small first aid kit to throw in your bag that has some basic first aid essentials in it, like the Lifeline Trail Light Day Hiker First Aid Kit. Better safe than sorry.
21) Pool Floaty (Optional, for water): It can also be fun to hang out on a pool floaty in the falls, these are fairly light to pack, so why not bring one! If you are feeling adventurous, maybe even bring a giant pizza pool float. The important thing to remember though is that if you pack a pool floaty into Havasu Falls, then you better pack it out with you as well.
22) Swimsuit (Optional, for water): Something that you don't normally bring on a hiking trip, but is a must if you want to swim in the Havasu creek is a good swimsuit! Bring whatever brand you love!
23) Small Packable Towel (Microfiber): It will also be useful to have a small towel if you can spare the room in your bag. I didn't take one with me on my trip, but I sometimes wish I had for after our dips in the water. You could pack a small towel such as a lightweight microfiber towel.
24) Hiking Appropriate Clothing [Read more in our Essential Hiking Gear List]: For details on clothing, hiking boots, and socks we recommend, I suggest reading our Essential Hiking Gear List. The key thing here is to remember that even though the desert can get very warm during the day, the night times can get very cold. Think layers!
What are the best shoes for hiking Havasupai? As for footwear, definitely bring a good pair of hiking boots and at least 2 pairs of wool socks. You can also bring some water shoes if you would prefer to use them for hiking through the water, but we just walked around barefoot in the water.
download a printable version of the above Havasu Falls Packing List below:
Hope that you found this useful, be sure to check out our Complete Guide to Hiking Havasu Falls to make sure you've nailed down all of your trail and hiking details!
If you are looking for more Arizona and hiking inspiration, check out our other resources below!
More Arizona Hikes and Desert Hiking Trail Guides:
Arizona: Best Hikes in Sedona Arizona
Arizona: Hiking Humphreys Peak (Tallest Peak in Arizona)
Utah Desert Hike: Kanarra Falls Hike
Utah Desert Hike: Hiking Angels Landing
New Mexico Desert: The Ultimate Guide to White Sands National Monument in New Mexico
California Desert: The Ultimate Death Valley Weekend Getaway
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