I’m thrilled to share my ultimate packing list for an epic adventure at Havasu Falls!
Having had the privilege of visiting this breathtaking destination twice (once in May of 2016 and again in June of 2023), I’ve refined my packing essentials to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience.
Keep scrolling to make sure you’re well-prepared for your own unforgettable journey to Havasu Falls!
>> Visiting Havasu Falls is a privilege, and those who go need to respect the Havasupai Tribe and Mother Nature nature by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply Leave No Trace principles on your next outdoor adventure here.
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Ultimate Havasu Falls Packing List
Before we jump into my Havasu Falls packing list, it’s crucial to highlight the importance of responsible recreation. Havasu Falls is a place of immense natural beauty, and it’s essential that we respect the land and the Havasupai Tribe who call it home.
Furthermore, I feel it’s necessary to address an unfortunate reality of visiting Havasu Falls. During both of my trips, I witnessed numerous instances of camping gear and trash left behind. From abandoned tents to water shoes, and even half-empty fuel canisters, it’s disheartening to see how careless visitors can be.
Please, please, please pack out everything that you bring in. The responsibility falls on us, the visitors, to leave no trace and ensure that the tribe does not bear the burden of cleaning up after us. Remember, the tribe incurs the costs of flying out any left-behind items, and it’s our duty to show respect and gratitude for their land.
As I share this packing list, I’m assuming that you are carrying your own gear for the trip. While you’ll come across well-equipped basecamps at the Havasu Falls campground, it’s important to note that these setups often rely on pack animals. Abuse to these animals has been reported, so it’s recommended to limit your gear to the necessities and avoid overburdening the animals.
With these important considerations in mind, let’s explore the essential items you’ll want to include in your Havasu Falls packing list:
Quick Links To My Havasu Falls Packing List
My Backpack: Gregory Maven 55
Dom’s Backpack: Gregory Zulu 65
Tent: REI Co-op Half Dome 2+
Hammock: Kammock Double Hammock
Backpacking Chair: Helinox Chair Zero
Sleeping Bag Liner: Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Compact Plus Sleeping Bag Liner
Mini Rumpl Blanket: Rumpl NanoLoft Puffy Travel Blanket
My Sleeping Pad: NEMO Tensor Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Pad
Dom’s Sleeping Pad: Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad
3 Liter Water Bladder: Gregory 3D Hydro Hydration Reservoir
Water Bottle: Nalgene Water Bottle
Electrolytes: NUUN Sport Hydration Tablets
Backpacking Stove: MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove
Spork: Sea To Summit Spork
Backpacking Mug: GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug
Backpacking Cookware: GSI Outdoors Halulite Boiler Pot
Coffee: Kuju Pourover Coffee
Headlamp: Black Diamond Cosmo 350 Headlamp
Trekking poles: Leki Lhasa Trekking Poles – Pair – Women’s
Solar light: LuminAID PackLite Titan 2-in-1 Power Lantern
Towel: Rumpl Everywhere Towel
Daypack: Gregory Nano 14
Clothes and footwear
Table of Contents
For your 3-night trip to Havasu Falls, a 50-70 liter backpack is recommended. I used the Gregory Maven 55, which was the perfect size to accommodate our cooking gear, my camping gear and camera equipment. Dom used his Gregory Zulu 65 and he carried our tent!
If you’re purchasing a backpacking backpack specifically for Havasupai, I highly recommend visiting a local REI or outdoor store to get it professionally fitted. It’s important to find the right fit for your torso length and hip size; the staff can assist you.
Alternatively, if you want to save money, you can rent a backpack from REI. There are REI stores outside Las Vegas and Flagstaff, Arizona, which are convenient for Havasu Falls.
Personal backpack recommendations:
Psst! Use Gregory discount code JACEY15 at checkout for some savings!
Budget-friendly backpack recommendation:
Choose a lightweight backpacking tent that suits the number of people sleeping in it.
My husband and I slept in our REI Co-op Half Dome 2+. Since we visited in June, it was too warm to sleep with the rainfly on, but it was handy to have for privacy while changing clothes.
If you want to save weight and skip the tent, you could bring a hammock to sleep in. I slept in the hammock for my last night and it was super comfortable!
Even if you don’t plan on sleeping in a hammock, it’s still a great piece of gear to bring, as there are plenty of fantastic spots around the river and waterfalls to hang your hammock. I packed my Kammock Double Hammock and ENO Atlas XL Hammock Suspension System.
Sleeping Bag For Havasupai Camping
Depending on the time of year you’re backpacking to Havasu Falls, you’ll need a suitable sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner.
If you visit in spring and fall, a 3-season, 20-degree bag will work!
If you visit in the summer like I did, you can get away with an inexpensive twin sized sheet or lightweight sleeping bag liner.
When I visited in June 2023, the highs were around 98° Fahrenheit with lows in the 50s. It was too hot, still and stuffy to sleep with the tent fly on.
In addition to the sleeping bag liner, I brought a Rumpl NanoLoft Puffy Travel Blanket to cuddle with. It was too hot to sleep with for most of the night but it was nice for the cool early mornings and the one night I slept in my hammock..
A sleeping pad ensures a comfortable night’s sleep while camping in Havasupai. My husband and I each brought lightweight inflatable sleeping pads.
Dom used the budget-friendly Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad, and I slept on the NEMO Tensor Ultralight Insulated Sleeping Pad. Because I’m a bit extra, I also brought the Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad to use as a yoga to stretch my sore muscles.
Remember to consider the weather and time of year when selecting your sleeping bag and other sleep-related gear to ensure optimal comfort during your Havasu Falls adventure!
Water on the trails
The hike to Havasu Falls is strenuous and provides little shade. And depending on the time of year, the temperature can reach up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit.
I recommend carrying at least 3 liters of water to hike to Havasu Falls. The best way to do this is to use a hydration bladder so you can drink as you hike. I drank over 2 liters on the hike in and on the hike out.
Water and hydration
Once you reach Havasu Falls, you’ll have access to fresh drinking water. We didn’t filter it, and it tasted great!
In addition to carrying a 3-Liter hydration bladder, I recommend bringing a Nalgene bottle (or two) to drink out of around camp. I personally don’t put electrolytes in my hydration bladder, so that’s where the Nalgene comes in!
I regretted not bringing electrolytes on my first trip to Havasu Falls!
After the strenuous hike and all the exploring you’ll be doing, you’ll want to replenish your body with electrolytes. I carried my favorite electrolyte, Nuun!
Backpacking Stove + Fuel
A backpacking stove is essential if you want warm meals and hot coffee on your trip. Don’t forget to bring a fuel canister!
On our first trip to Havasu Falls in 2016, we used a budget-friendly backpacking stove from Amazon. Unfortunately, it broke right before our 2023 trip, so we picked up the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe Stove, and it worked great!
Everything you bring – your half-used fuel canisters, gear, and all trash- must be packed out with you. To pack out everything you pack in, you’ll need to bring a trash bag! A standard kitchen trash bag works fine.
Feel free to pick up any litter you find on the hike out.
In my experience, you only need one utensil to eat backpacking food – a spork!
If you plan on eating straight out of your cook pot or are bringing dehydrated food, you’ll want a long utensil to avoid dirty knuckles! This $12 spork from Sea to Summit is lightweight, strong, and the only utensil you’ll need in the backcountry.
If you’re only willing to spend about $5, check out this spork from humangear. It’s lightweight and gets the job done.
I brought my GSI Outdoors Infinity Backpacker Mug to make my morning oatmeal and to drink coffee. I like this particular mug because it’s lightweight and has a lid.
My husband and best friend can’t go without coffee when we camp. They drank pour-over coffee from Kuju!
Hot Weather Hiking Clothes
Having experienced Havasu Falls during the summer, I fully understand the importance of sun protection and quick-drying materials.
Here’s a look at my Havasu Falls clothing packing list:
Read Next: My Guide to Hot Weather Hiking Clothes
Pro-tip for hiking Havasu Falls: Ditch the cotton! Cotton is not ideal for hiking as it doesn’t wick moisture well and can cause chafing and skin irritation when wet.
Instead, I suggest opting for moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabrics like merino wool or polyester.
Here are the shirts I packed for Havasu Falls:
Patagonia Lightweight A/C Button Down (for hanging out around camp)
Sunglasses are a hiking essential, and I love this polarized pair from Sunski.
Cold Weather Hiking Clothes
If you are hiking to Havasu Falls in the spring or winter, you’ll want to consider packing a warm jacket, fleece pants and a beanie!
Wool is the best choice when choosing socks for hot-weather hikes because of its durability, moisture-wicking properties, extra padding, and odor-resistant features.
My favorite hiking socks for summer are the Darn Tough Micro Crew Socks – I hiked in one pair and packed two extra pairs!
I have slowly started to prefer hiking in low boots or trail runners because they are lightweight and give you more flexibility. I wore my HOKA x Cotopaxi Anacapa Breeze Low Hiking Shoes on this adventure.
Water Shoes or Sandals
Trust me, you’ll want to pack waterproof shoes or sandals for your Havasu Falls adventure!
They’re perfect for exploring the waterfalls and pools, providing comfort and protection. Plus, they give your feet a break from boots at camp.
Additional Havasu Falls Backpacking Gear
You’ll need a headlamp if you plan to go anywhere before or after the sun sets! I packed my trusty Black Diamond Cosmo 350 Headlamp.
I realllllly regretted not bringing trekking poles the first time I backpacked Havasu Falls. Hiking with trekking poles can improve balance, take some stress off your joints, and increase endurance (especially when going uphill).
My “luxury” item was the LuminAID PackLite Titan 2-in-1 Power Lantern. Not only does it add a nice light source around camp, but it can also charge your phone in a pinch! Don’t forget your charging cord!
Trust me, you’ll want sunscreen!! I carried a full Kinfield Cloud Cover SPF 35 tube for Dom and me to share. (Use code JACEY15 to save at checkout!)
This was another item I regretted not bringing on my first trip to Havasu Falls! I love my lightweight microfiber towel from Rumpl and bring it on almost every adventure I go on.
If you plan on hiking down to Mooney or Beaver Falls, you’ll want to consider packing a lightweight day pack to carry your essentials with you.
Dom carried our Gregory Nano 14 and we were able to fit our essentials for the day hike to Mooney. It also came in handy when bringing a bunch of water bottles to the spring.
Bandanas have dozens of uses when you’re spending time in nature! I packed two bandanas and used them in various ways – to clean dishes, as a cooling cloth, and as a mask on the dusty trails.
Backpacking Havasu Falls FAQ
What are some good footwear choices for hiking to Havasupai Falls?
I recommend hiking with broken-in hiking boots or trail runners. You’ll want to wear something sturdy while walking through the desert. The trail isn’t very technical, it’s just long. I hiked in my HOKA x Cotopaxi Anacapa Breeze Low Hiking Shoes.
What is the best time of the year to hike Havasu Falls?
The best time of year to hike Havasu Falls is typically from late spring to early fall, specifically from May to September. During this time, the weather is generally warm, and the water temperatures are comfortable for swimming.
Should I bring a hammock or a tent to Havasu Falls?
In my opinion, yes!! I brought a hammock to relax in and sleep in for one night – it was worth carrying the extra weight!
Is there drinking water at the campground?
Yes! There is fresh drinking water as soon as you get into the campground.
Are there bathrooms at the Havasupai campground?
Yes, there are pit toilets available.
Are there garbage cans at the campsite?
No, there are no garbage cans. You need to pack out all of your trash and camping equipment. Please don’t leave stuff behind in an effort to help other campers… that’s still littering.
Can I bring alcohol to Havasu Falls?
According to the Havasupai Tribe, alcohol is prohibited.
Is it easy to get permits for Havasu Falls?
In my opinion, no. We got our 2023 permits in 2020.
If you are trying to get permits, your best bet is to follow the Havasupai Transfers Facebook page.
Can you hike to Havasu Falls in one day?
No! You can’t enter Havasu Falls without proper permits.
Final Thoughts On My Ultimate Packing Guide for Havasupai
At the end of the day, the most important things to pack for a good trip to Havasupai are comfortable hiking shoes, water shoes, extra water vessels (think Nalgene bottles), a day pack, SPF, a hammock, and lots of snacks!
My advice is to pack minimal clothing to save room for food – you’ll be hungry after all that hiking!
I’m sharing lots more Havasupai tips on my Instagram so be sure to follow me!
Let me know if you have any questions about what to pack for a trip to Havasu Falls in 2023!