Packing List

What to Bring to Hike to Havasu Falls - The Ultimate Packing List for 2023

So you miraculously scored a permit to hike to Havasu Falls, huh? Well what are you waiting for? It’s time to start packing for the trip of a lifetime!

Figuring out what to bring to hike to Havasu Falls can feel overwhelming, but I’ve created this detailed packing list to simplify things. Chances are, you already have most of the gear and supplies you’ll need at home. I’ve listed out all of the camping gear, hiking clothes and footwear, and other supplies I packed for my 4-day, 3-night trip to Havasu Falls when I last visited in February 2023.

As you go through this Havasu Falls packing list, keep in mind I intentionally packed light and only brought essential gear. Because I packed too much when I hiked to Havasu Falls in 2018 (and my body hated me for that), my goal for this latest trip was to hike to Havasu Campground carrying no more than 20-25% of my body weight.

This ultimate packing list and gear guide will make it easier for you to know exactly what to bring to hike to Havasu Falls for an adventure of a lifetime! 

Everything You Need To Pack For Havasu Falls

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Things You Need to Know to Plan Your Trip to Havasu Falls

Beyond figuring out what to pack for Havasu Falls, there are a few other critical Havasupai tips you need to plan for:

  • Everyone visiting Havasu Falls is required to have a permit. Day hiking is not allowed. 
  • You must bring all of your camping equipment and meals. Gear and food are not provided.
  • All visitors are required to carry out everything that they’ve brought in. There are no trash cans in Havasu Campground. 

For everything you need to know to help you plan your trip to Havasupai Falls, check out my post "9 Travel Tips You Need to Know to Travel To Havasupai Falls in 2023".

Hiking Gear to Pack for Havasu Falls

Hiking Backpack

You’ll need a hiking backpack large enough for you to carry everything you need for your 4-day 3-night trip to Havasu Falls. Backpacks with a capacity of 45 - 70 liters should be adequate for most hikers.

My go-to backpacking backpack for both my hikes to Havasu Falls in 2018 and 2023 is the Deuter Aircontact Lite 45 + 10 SL because of how functional and comfortable this backpack is. Not only does this hiking backpack have an adjustable back to get that perfect fit for any hiker, but it also has an expandable top lid that provides an additional 10 liters of capacity to the 45 liters of the main compartment. My other favorite feature of the backpack is the mesh back system for efficient ventilation, keeping me cool and comfortable on the trail.

If you don’t have a backpack for your hike to Havasu Falls, you can either rent a backpack or purchase one that’s right for your body. My husband and dad rented backpacks from our local REI store before heading out to Havasu Falls. 

Pro Tip: to minimize any pain or injuries on your hike towards Havasu Falls, it’s important to learn how to properly adjust your hiking backpack so the weight is distributed properly on your body. Don’t learn the hard way like me! 

Hydration Bladder + Water Bottle

There is no water source along the 10-mile Havasupai trail you’ll hike to get to Havasu Falls. However, once you’ve reached Havasu Campground, you’ll be able to get drinking water from Fern Spring. 

This means that you’ll have to fill up your hydration bladder with enough water to hike all the way to Havasu Campground, especially if you are hiking to Havasu Falls in the summer months when temperatures are over 100F.

In addition to my 3L hydration reservoir, I also packed a 32 oz water bottle. I found an extra water bottle to be helpful while cooking meals at the campground.

Trekking Poles

I don’t typically use trekking poles for hikes, but I decided to try them out on my latest hike to Havasu Falls due to the rocky terrain. I found that the trekking poles not only helped with stability as I hiked through section of the wash, but they also minimized strain on my knees.

Camping Gear to Pack for Havasu Falls


Although you can bring any tent you want, I highly recommend a lightweight backpacking tent. That way, it can fit into your backpack easily and isn’t too heavy as you hike toward Havasu Falls.

For both my hikes to Havasu Falls, I packed my 2-person backpacking tent, the Hubba Hubba NX2. Although it’s incredibly lightweight, the tent is durable. And this backpacking tent has two doors, making it easier to get in and out of the tent, especially if you’ll be sharing it with someone else.

Pro Tip: if you are sharing a tent with someone else in your group, you can split up the tent components so that each of you is carrying parts of the tent, making your backpack a little lighter. 

Sleeping Pad

Your sleeping pad will keep you comfortable and warm as you camp at Havasu Campground. Since you’ll be carrying all the gear you need into your hiking backpack, you’ll want a lightweight, compact sleeping pad.

My Static V sleeping pad by Klymit has gone everywhere with me since I started really adventuring in 2015. Not only is it lightweight and compact, but this sleeping pad is durable!

Pro Tip: if you are visiting Havasu Falls during colder months, I’d recommend purchasing a sleeping pad with a high R-value, which is a measure of insulation. The higher the R-value of the sleeping pad, the better it will insulate you from the cold ground.

Sleeping Bag

Make sure your sleeping bag is rated for the night temperatures you expect in Havasupai. On my last two hikes to Havasu Falls, I experienced nighttime temperatures of mid-20F to mid-30F. For both trips, I packed my Cosmic Down 20 sleeping bag by Kelty.

If you are hiking to Havasu Falls in warmer months, you may be able to get away with a lighter sleeping bag, or even a camp blanket.

Compression Sack

You’re probably wondering “How the hell am I going to fit all of this Havasu gear in my backpack?”

Compression sacks have seriously been a lifesaver when it comes to packing efficiently. I use a compression sack to get my sleeping bag as small as possible so that I can pack it into my backpack!

Pro Tip: compression sacks are super functional. Sometimes, I’ll stuff clothes inside of them so I could use the compression sack as a DIY pillow for camping. But while camping in Havasupai, I stored my food in my compression sack before hanging it in trees, out of reach of rodents.

Camping Pillow

A camping pillow helps to keep your head elevated off the ground, helping to keep you warm and comfortable. Fortunately, there are lightweight, inflatable camping pillows that don't take up too much valuable real estate in your backpack!


Along the turquoise Havasu Creek that runs through Havasu Campground is one of the prettiest places to hang a hammock. Since there are a lot of trees in Havasu Campground, you can skip sleeping in a tent and spend the night in a hammock instead!

Camp Cooking Gear to Pack for Havasu Falls

Backpacking Stove & Fuel

A lightweight, compact backpacking stove is a must for cooking your meals during your Havasu Falls trip. For my 4-day, 3-night Havasu Falls trip, I packed a Jetboil and one small fuel canister (100g) to boil the water I needed for the camping meals I was planning to make. 

If I'm planning on doing more than just boil water to make my campsite meals, I'll bring my lightweight, portable camping stove. Attach one of these bad boys onto an isobutane fuel canister and you can do all kinds of campsite cooking, as long as you bring your own backpacking pot and pan. I packed one of these pocket backpacking stoves for my dad to use to cook his meals at Havasu Campground.

Backpacking Mess Kit

A backpacking mess kit is a great all-in-one, compact cookware set that you can pack for campsite cooking at Havasu Falls. If I am doing more than just needing to boil water in my Jetboil, I’ll bring my mess kit so that I have a lightweight pot, skillet, bowls, and other cooking accessories to cook my camping meals.


A spork is the only utensil you’ll need to eat your meals at Havasu Falls.

Extra Bags

It will be your responsibility to pack everything back out of Havasupai at the end of your trip since there are no garbage cans in Havasupai for tourists to use. That includes garbage, food wrappings, and everything else you packed in for your hike to Havasu Falls.

So pack a few extra bags to collect your garbage throughout your stay in Havasupai. It is our responsibility to keep the Havasupai Indian Reservation more beautiful than we found it.

Food Storage Gear to Pack for Havasu Falls

The squirrels and raccoons are notorious in Havasu Campgrounds for stealing food from unsuspecting tourists. These critters are known to tear and bite through tents and backpacks and even tightrope to hanging food bags just to get to some food! My brother’s tent was torn through on their first night in Havasu Falls by some of the squirrels.

This is why it’s critical that you store your food properly in Havasu Falls any time you are not cooking. On our most recent trips to Havasu Falls, our group tried a few different food storage methods that have been successful, including hanging my food bag in trees and storing food in a bear canister.

(A) Bear Bag & Paracord OR

On both of my Havasu Falls trips, I’ve protected my food from Havasu critters by storing my food in bags and hanging those food bags in trees with paracord. On my first hiking trip in 2018, I simply used my sleeping bag compression sack to store my food in. However, on my latest trip, a friend let me borrow her RatSack and Ursack bear bags to use for food storage in Havasupai. These camping food storage bags are not only extremely durable but very difficult (even for myself) to break into, making them an effective way to protect your food in Havasu Falls.

I didn’t use any special techniques to hang my food bags in Havasu Campground. I just made sure the food bag was hanging high enough off the ground and far enough away from the base of the tree out of a critter’s reach.

Pro Tip: check your local outdoor store to see if you can rent camping food storage bags if you don’t want to already have them or don’t want to purchase them. I rented some additional RatSacks for my friends to use from my local REI. 

(B) Bear Canister

The benefit of using a bear canister to properly store your food in Havasu Falls is that you don’t need to hang your food from trees, making it more convenient for you to access your food when it’s time to cook.

Pro Tip: check your local outdoor store to see if you can rent camping food storage bags if you don’t want to already have them or don’t want to purchase them. I rented some additional RatSacks for my friends to use from my local REI. 

Clothes to Pack for Havasu Falls

To get an idea of what clothes to bring to hike to Havasu Falls, check the weather in Supai Village. 

  • What are the day and night temperatures to prepare for? 
  • Is any rain or precipitation expected?

I’ve only hiked to Havasu Falls in winter (March 2018 and February 2023), when day temperatures were high 40s/low 50s Fahrenheit and night time temperatures were in the high 20s/low 30s. Even though it was cold, you know damn well I still packed my bathing suit to swim on those turquoise waterfalls!

Below is a list of clothes I packed for my most recent 4-day, 3-night trip to Havasu Falls.  Depending on when you’re hiking to Havasupai, you may or may not need some of the clothing recommendations below So feel free to customize this packing list that fits you!

Pro Tip: to pack light, I recommend bringing only the clothing you’ll absolutely need and leave the rest at home…the weight adds up! Pack hiking shirts and bottoms that are lightweight and quick-dry/moisture-wicking so that you can use them for multiple days without them smelling too badly. My favorite hack is packing hiking tops and bottoms that can be mixed and matched to make different outfits in a minimal way.

Hiking Shorts

Although I was hiking in cooler weather in February, hiking shorts were so helpful to have when it came to river crossings as we hiked to Beaver Falls and the Colorado River (the “Confluence”). I opted to wear hiking shorts instead of pants because I personally did not want to be hiking in wet clothing after river crossings, especially in colder weather.

You don’t need any specialized or expensive shorts for hiking. Just any pair of shorts you are comfortable hiking in! However, one of my favorite pairs of hiking shorts that fit my thicker legs are Kuhl's Freeflex shorts. Not only are they durable and flexible, but they are stretchy!

Hiking Pants

Any pants comfortable to hike in will do. I do prefer hiking pants that are lightweight, durable, and flexible to keep me comfy on the trail. For Havasu, I wore my favorite pair of hiking joggers because the temperature at the trailhead was too cold for shorts. I love these joggers by Merrell because they are lightweight, durable, and fit my thick legs comfortably!

Hiking Tops

I packed 2 hiking tops for my Havasu Falls trip. Anytime I hike, I stay away from cotton shirts and opt for quick-drying hiking shirts. Cotton clothing absorbs moisture and will be uncomfortable and stinky as you sweat on your hike. Most of the hiking bras and shirts I wear are from the athletic section at TJ Maxx!

Long-Sleeve Sun Shirt

For any kind of desert or summer hiking, sun shirts are a must for an extra layer of protection from the sun's harsh UV rays. Not only are sun shirts lightweight and quick-drying, but they also protect your skin from the sun. I packed one sun shirt for my Havasu Falls trip as a hiking top as well as an extra layer in the cold (if needed). 

Rain Jacket

If rain is in the weather forecast during your trip to Havasu Falls, you may want to pack a light rain jacket

Although it didn’t rain during my first trip to Havasu Falls in 2018, my Marmot Precip rain jacket was also helpful as a windbreaker on those windy days.

Base Layers

If you’re hiking to Havasupai in colder months, you’ll know that the secret to keeping warm is layers, layers, layers!

The first layer to pack to keep you warm in Havasupai is a base layer top and bottom that are moisture-wicking. These layers are closest to your body and help regulate your body temperature.

Due to limited space in my backpack, I only packed 1 base layer top and 1 base layer bottom which was sufficient for me.

Mid Layers 

The next set of layers to pack for cold weather camping in Havasu are your mid-layers. You’ll wear this mid-layer shirt and pants over your base layers for additional warmth.

For Havasu Falls, I packed a fleece hoodie and pair of fleece bottoms to wear in those 20-degree nights of February!


To top off all the layers I wore at night camping in Havasu Campgrounds, I packed my puffer jacket. Not only is this jacket the last piece in my layering system to keep me warm, but it is highly compressible, making it easy to pack into my backpack as I hiked to Havasu Falls. 

Bathing Suit

Let’s be real - you can’t hike to the incredible Havasu Falls or Beaver Falls and NOT swim in these famous turquoise waters!


Pack as many as you need! I haven’t tried any kind of specialized hiking underwear, but my recommendation is to avoid cotton. Instead, I just pack underwear that is comfortable for me to hike in.

Cold Weather Accessories - Beanie, Gloves, and Neck Gaiter

If you are camping in Havasu Campground during cold weather months, you’ll want to pack a beanie, gloves, and neck gaiter for additional warmth. If you’re camping during warmer months, you may not need any of these.

Hiking Shoes & Footwear to Pack for Havasu Falls

Hiking Shoes

You’ll mostly hike through rocky terrain as you make your way to Havasu Campground, especially in the wash basin section. Make sure to pack a pair of hiking shoes that provide enough traction, ankle support, and comfort.

I was torn between hiking to Havasu Falls in my Altra Lone Peak trail running shoes or my traditional Merrell Moab hiking boots. I ultimately chose the hiking boots because I preferred to have more ankle support. But that decision is personal.

Pro Tip: do not try to hike this long of a trail in brand-new shoes. Try to break in your hiking shoes in order to prevent injuries, pain, and blisters.

Hiking Sandals or Water Shoes

If you plan to hike to Beaver Falls or the Colorado River (“The Confluence”) from Havasu Campground, plan for several river crossings through Havasu Creek. On both trips to Havasu Falls, I packed a pair of hiking sandals that were not only helpful for river crossings but were great to wear at camp when I wanted to ditch my hiking boots.

Pro Tip: on my first trip to Havasu Falls, I wore my Chaco hiking sandals for the hike to Beaver Falls. However, I got a few blisters from the rubbing of the wet sandal straps during the hike. On my second trip to Havasu Falls, I decided to wear a pair of socks with my hiking sandals and they didn't seem to blister. Others didn’t seem to blister even without wearing socks with their hiking sandals, so it’s up to you if you prefer to wear socks or not with hiking sandals!  

Hiking Socks

Socks are just socks, right? Wrong! 

I learned the importance of bringing the right hiking socks on my first trip to Havasu Falls in 2018, where hiking in the wrong kind of socks left me with painful blisters to manage during my trip. 

This time, I packed 3-4 pairs of hiking socks with slight cushioning for comfort on the trails. Like my hiking clothes, I opt for socks that are non-cotton in order to prevent blisters and odor. I tend to always hike in Merino wool socks by Darn Tough because they have light cushioning, are moisture-wicking, and are odor-resistant. 

I packed 3-4 pairs of hiking socks, which were enough for my 4 days at Havasu Falls. I kept 1 pair of socks as my clean pair that I slept in, while the other 3 pairs of hiking socks were rotated between for hikes to Beaver Falls, the Confluence, and back out of Havasu Canyon.

Anti-Blister Balm

Blisters are an annoying thing to have to deal with when you’re on a multi-day hike away from home. I’m not sure if it was from wearing the wrong socks or just the wet straps of my hiking sandals rubbing my feet, but I struggled with blisters on my first hike to Havasu Falls.

Since then, I learned that the easiest way to deal with blisters on a hike is to prevent them. That’s why I packed a small anti-blister balm with me for Havasu Falls. Before putting on my hiking socks and boots, I’d apply the balm on my feet and in between my toes to minimize any rubbing that may lead to blisters. And fortunately, no blisters were had on this hiking trip to Havasupai!

Other Supplies to Pack for Havasu Falls

Sun Protection - Sunglasses, Sunscreen, and Hat

Regardless of the time of year when you hike to Havasu Falls, the sun is always strong! A pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, and a hat will come in handy.


There are no lights in Havasu Campground. And when the sun sets, it gets eerily dark. You’ll need to pack a headlamp to get around the campground at night or for those early morning hikes.

Portable Charger

There is no electricity or charging outlets at Havasu Campground. I packed my Anker portable travel charger to keep my phone and other electronics charged!

Microfiber Towel

I packed a personal microfiber towel for my trip to Havasu Falls because of all the swimming I knew I’d be doing! Especially in February when the temperatures are colder, there’s no better feeling than drying off and warming up in a towel after swimming in Havasu Falls or Beaver Falls. I like these microfiber towels because they dry quickly and pack down to a size that doesn’t take up too much room in my backpack.

Medical / First Aid Kit

Although you don’t go on an adventure hoping for injuries or illness, it’s always better to be prepared. I’ll typically pack at least a simple first aid kit with bandages, antibiotic ointment, and aspirin in my backpack every time I hit the trails.

Since this trip to Havasu Falls was with a group of 11 other hikers, I packed my lightweight adventure medical kit that contains first aid supplies and survival tools just in case. Fortunately, the only thing we used up from the medical kits was aspirin for our old, aching knees!

Reusable Antimicrobial Pee Cloth

Where my ladies at?! This one's for all of you tired of the old "drip dry" method after peeing outdoors. I hadn’t used a reusable antimicrobial pee cloth before, but I decided to try one on my trip to Havasu Falls and it was game changing! I knew I’d be spending miles on the trails without easy access to a toilet, so a reusable pee cloth would come in handy. Not only is it easy to clip this pee cloth onto your hiking backpack, but it can snap closed for privacy.


Hopefully, this Havasu Falls packing list and gear guide makes it easier for you to figure out what you’ll need to bring to hike to Havasupai for the adventure of a lifetime!

*Please remember that we are guests to the Havasupai Indian Reservation, where the Supai tribe has opened up their homes and welcomed us in to enjoy its beauty. It’s critical we respect the people, culture, and sacred lands. Visiting Havasu Falls is a privilege, not a right. 

Other Helpful Havasu Falls Trip Planning Guides

Is hiking to Havasu Falls on your adventure bucket list?

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about the author
Molly Chhiv
What's up, my dudes! I'm a weekend adventurer and blogger based in the U.S. that found my self-confidence, independence, and limitless potential through the outdoors. So much so that I quit my engineering job to do more fulfilling work in the outdoor industry!

But real talk: the outdoors can be intimidating. So I'm on a mission to empower you to find your confidence to adventure more. From beginner hiking tips to learning how to travel on a budget, I've got you. Whatever your adventure and whatever your skill level, I'm here to HYPE YOU UP!

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