Havasupai Packing Guide: Essential Packing Guide to Backpacking Havasu Falls

Havasupai Packing

Backpacking into Havasupai is an adventure that brings you to a lush, dream-like waterfall paradise located in a hidden section of the Grand Canyon. The only way in is via a long, hot 10-mile hike. Once you arrive, you’re greeted with stunning waterfalls that spill over red rocky cliffs and plunge into turquoise-blue pools of water below. Ahhhhh, paradise.

However, actually getting here is no picnic. The hike is long and hot, and more than likely you will be carrying somewhere between 20 to 40 lbs on your back.

This weight, plus the scorching heat can make even the flattest sections of this trail feel a lot more grueling than you’d expect. At the end of the hike, on your way out, there is a steep, one-mile, 1,200-feet ascent via grueling never-ending switchbacks that will make you really feel that weight on your back and hips. Because of this, it is extremely important that you pack as lightly and as minimally as possible! All in all, aim to keep your pack between 20 to 30 lbs maximum if possible.

But, you’ve come to the right place my friend! I’ve put together this guide to help you do just that, while also ensuring that you don’t miss any critical items for your backpacking trip into Havasupai. Read on!

(But click here if you’re looking for my COMPLETE Guide to Havasupai – hiking information, how to get to the trailhead, how much time do you need here, etc.)

Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Essential Camping Gear:

First things first, let’s discuss your essential camping gear for hiking into Havasupai. You will likely be sleeping in the campground (unless you’ve managed to snag a spot at the lodge). If you’re camping in the campground, you’ll require the following camping gear:

Lightweight Tent:

The size of tent will depend upon how many people you’re sharing a tent with. I recommend purchasing as light of a tent as possible that is also good quality. This is your “home” that you will be carrying on your back, so the combination of good quality + lightweight will be worth its weight in gold! Here are some super lightweight options:


Looking for even more options to consider so you can feel certain you have made the right purchase? This is such an essential item that I have created an entire blog post for you dedicated to recommending the best lightweight tents available in 2019!

Lightest Backpacking Tents

Sleeping Pads:

After all of the hiking you will be doing at Havasupai, a comfortable sleeping pad is definitely an essential! Foam pads are options too. However, here are a couple of my fave, ultra lightweight, inflatable sleeping pad options:


Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon, ArizonaSleeping Bag:

You’ll want to make the decision about what temperature-rating of a sleeping bag to purchase depending upon when you are visiting Havasupai. Go with the lightest bag possible that is still built for the coldest temperature you think you will encounter on your trip. (Check here for the monthly temperatures at Havasupai, scroll down to the chart and select your sleeping bag based upon the lowest temp). Obviously, the bag options will be heavier the lower the temperature rating is. I have two different sleeping bags (one lightweight one that is good until 7C, and one bulkier three-season bag that is good until -10C or so).


Nice-to-Haves for sleeping:

The following aren’t essential, but can add a bit of luxury to your camping trip – if you have the room, of course! (As an alternative, a down jacket stuffed inside of its own hood makes a great pillow). There are plenty of trees to hang up a hammock around your campsite at Havasu, so feel free to bring one along if you have the extra space and weight allowance remaining in your pack!


Havasu Falls

Essential Backpacking Gear:


Probably the most important item overall for backpacking is….your backpack! You’ll want a 45L – 60L pack for Havasupai, depending on how much you bring (and your packing abilities!) Here are a few of my faves!


Hiking Shoes:

You’re going to be hiking a long ways over your trip to Havasupai. Investing and breaking in a good pair of hiking shoes is a must! Shoe preferences are very different for each person and you might like a more narrow or wide foot, more arch support etc. Here are some fantastic options to begin with if you’re looking for a new pair:


Hiking Poles:

Not everyone will require hiking poles, but they can definitely come in handy for those steep descents, or if your knees aren’t the best and you’d like a little extra support! Here are some great options:



Super critical, even if you don’t plan to hike in or out in the dark. A headlamp will help you find the bathroom, water source, etc in the dark. Don’t ever go hiking or camping without one, even on a day trip – you never know! And don’t forget extra batteries. Here are some awesome options:


Water Purification:

There is a water source at the campground that is usually treated, but I recommend bringing a water purification option just in case. They are small, lightweight, and affordable (especially if you choose tablets or drops)! Here are some different options:



A JetBoil or a small camping stove will let you cook up dehydrated meals in a flash! Here are some lightweight options:


Don’t forget the matches/lighter and fuel!

Here’s a list of some remaining items that you will likely need on your trip to Havasupai:

  • Hiking clothes (shorts, tank tops, warm layers, extra socks, sports bras, underwear, etc.)
  • Swimsuit or two for swimming
  • Small towel
  • Water shoes or waterproof hiking sandals (I love Keen brand)
  • Waterproof phone case or camera
  • Dehydrated meals, lightweight snacks (I’ll do an entire post about backpacking food in the coming weeks)
  • Bowl/cup, spoon/fork (or spork!)
  • A bag to pack out your garbage (everything you hike in MUST be hiked out)
  • Biodegradable soap for doing dishes
  • Packing cubes for keeping your personal items organized (I love EagleCreek brand)
  • Flip-flops (lightweight; these come in handy when your feet get sore)
  • First-Aid kid (for blisters, injuries, headaches/pain, illnesses etc)
  • Lighter or matches, small canister of fuel for your stove
  • Water bottle(s) – I prefer Nalgene brand
  • Baby/cleansing wipes (for your face and body)
  • Toiletries (contact solution, toothpaste, toothbrush, chapstick, etc.)

Have I missed anything? I am planning on working on a few more blog posts dedicated to backpacking in the coming weeks (backpacking food recommendations, how to pack your bag, tips for packing as light and small as possible etc.) so stay tuned! 🙂

Are you looking for my COMPLETE Guide to Havasupai? Visit it here for loads more information about visiting Havasu Falls (how to get a permit, how to get to the trailhead, what is the hike like, how to find each waterfall, campground information etc.)

Disclaimer: There’s a chance that this blog post includes affiliate product links. At absolutely no extra cost to you, I may receive a small commission for any purchase made through these links. Any commissions received are very much appreciated, as they help me to be able to continue posting travel blog content free of charge to my lovely readers. Of course, all recommendations are unbiased, and I will always only recommend products and services that I truly believe in. Thank you for your support!


Havasupai Packing Guide



Questions? Comments? Some other topics you’d like me to cover? I’d love to hear from you, just leave me a comment below!

Havasupai Packing Guide: Essential Packing Guide to Backpacking Havasu Falls

I’m Jenn, a photographer, travel writer, and content creator based out of the beautiful Canadian Rockies. I’m glad you’re here – now let’s explore!

Learn More About Me

email Newsletter

Subscribe to my exclusive email list to receive giveaways, discounts, free travel guides, new blog posts & more!

Your privacy will always be respected; unsubscribe anytime.

    featured From The Blog

    Instagram feed