Essential Havasu Falls Backpacking Gear Packing List
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 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 kind of gear you should bring with you on your backpacking trip to Havasu Falls.
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!
Ok, onto the list, detailed below + packing list printable available for free at the bottom of post.
WHAT TO BRING ON YOUR HAVASU FALLS Trail HIKE
If you plan on backpacking the Havasu Falls Trail Hike there are some essential items that you should bring with you on your hike.
*Please note that some of the below links and in this post are affiliate links.
1) Backpack: 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 or Hammock: 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. Any basic tent will do at Havasupai, although a lighter tent, such as Marmots Crane Creek 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.
3) Sleeping Bag & Pad: 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 sleeping bag. We love the Big Agnes Brand down bags. And 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!
4) Headlamp: 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.
5) Water Bottle and CamelBak: 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. Also consider brining 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.
6) Water filter: 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.
7) Camping Stove: 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.
8) Spork: I like these Light My Fire Sporks because you get a spoon and fork all in one. Your bases are covered.
9) Water proof phone case: 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.
10) Sunglasses: 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.
11) Food and Snacks: 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!
12) Treking Poles: 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.
13) Sunscreen & Lipbalm: 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.
14) Bug Spray: 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.
15) Camera: 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!
16) 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.
17) Optional Pool Floaty: 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.
18) Swimsuit: 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!
19) Small Packable Towel: 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.
20) Clothing based on time of year you will be hiking: 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! 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.
For more detailed descriptions on gear that we like and recommend, check out our Essential Hiking Gear List.
You can also download a printable version of the above Havasupai Hiking Gear List in the box below:
Havasu Falls Trail Packing List
Download the Havasu Falls Trail Hike Packing list for easy reference when packing for your trip.
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!
Allison aka She Dreams of Alpine