Updated on May 11, 2020 by Asher Fergusson
I’ve used my experience and travel know-how to compile a list that I hope will make it easier for you! Learn what to wear in Havasupai, what NOT to bring, how to plan for seasons, and answers to many other FAQs.
Plan for challenging terrain, amazing adventures, and plenty of fun!
What to Pack for Havasupai – 17 Essentials
1. Neck Wallet
A neck wallet is perfect for keeping your important documents and valuable items organized and tucked safely away while you hike in Havasupai. You’ll be able to keep your wallet, smartphone, passport, keys, and anything else you might need in this handy pouch that can be worn around your neck and secured beneath your shirt.
2. Hiking shoes
Once you get to the trailhead in Havasupai, the hike to the Havasu falls is 10 miles there, and 10 miles back. Make sure you bring comfortable hiking shoes with ample ankle support! This pair is great for traversing the terrain of Havasupai and keeping you going all day.
Especially on a backpacking trip, you’ll want to be sure not to overpack! Using packing cubes will help you to bring only the essentials on your trip to Havasupai and your back with thank you later! This particular set is awesome because it comes in several different colors and includes separate cases for shoes and laundry.
You’re likely to be using your smartphone and camera throughout the day in Havasupai, either for navigation, music, photos, videos, or communication. Tossing a lipstick-sized portable charger in your pack or pocket will be a lifesaver if you run out of battery at an inconvenient time.
Depending on the season, you may experience some rain at Havasupai. This awesome windproof travel umbrella will protect you from the elements and is even large enough to fit two people underneath! Even if it doesn’t rain, a good travel umbrella will help shield you from the hot sun at your campsite or along your hike.
Since day hiking to the falls is prohibited, you will need to bring camping supplies. Don’t forget a lightweight waterproof tent that is light and small enough to carry inside your backpacking backpack. This one is lightweight and easy to set up.
If you’re going to Havasupai in winter, definitely bring a sleeping bag with an appropriate temperature rating. No matter what time of year you go, temperatures at night can get pretty chilly. For extra comfort, bring a sleeping pad as well. This lightweight one won’t weigh you down, and you’ll definitely thank yourself for bringing it when you feel that extra layer of comfort!
You don’t need to bring much clothing on this adventure – just an outfit to hike in, a swimsuit, and a few layers for night time. Bring clothing that has “quick-dry” or “sweat-wicking” in the name, and stay away from cotton, which absorbs sweat (and any other liquid) which makes you smellier faster!
There are a ton of trees in the areas around the falls. Bring a hammock that you can relax in or even sleep in at night, depending on the temperature and time of the year. This one is perfect for backpacking and camping.
The orange canyon walls and the blue green water are a photographer’s dream! Let your pictures and videos do the talking, and use a waterproof action camera like this one to capture your epic adventure. This one’s awesome because it’s waterproof up to 30 meters.
11. Backpacking Pack
The backpack options on the market today are almost limitless, so it’s important to find one you like. When you’re searching for the right one to bring on a multi-day hike, finding the right fit is key. This one has an internal frame, which places the weight of your bag in a comfortable way and will be perfect for Havasupai.
If you’re traveling more than 100 miles from home, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got reliable travel insurance in case of any sort of emergency. World Nomads is our number one pick whenever we travel as they take care of the costs for lost or stolen items, flight cancellations, and emergency medical care.
13. Quick Dry Towel
This one is a must. Regular towels take forever to dry, and if you need to pack up your things and move to your next destination before your towel is dry, you’ll end up with a mildewy and smelly backpack. This quick dry towel dries super fast so that you can fold it up and stash it away sooner.
Bringing a reusable water bottle is an extremely important part of staying hydrated. This one is a good size, and can slide into the pocket of your backpack. Make sure to fill it up with drinking-quality water BEFORE you get to the trailhead (no water there!) and bring a bladder of extra water just in case.
15. Camping Stove
A multi-day hiking and camping trip means you’ll be dealing with a big appetite! Bring a lightweight propane stove that you can easily fire up to cook your meals. This one is trusted by hikers all over the world and isn’t too heavy to hike with.
Early mornings and sunset hikes call for headlamps. A good headlamp is necessary, and you’ll use it much more often than you think. You’ll be glad you have a headlight when navigating your campsite at night or leaving your tent to use the bathroom.
17. Water Shoes
The main selling point of Havasupai is Havasu falls, where you’ll find gorgeous waterfalls and pools of blue green water. In the summer, you can spend all day (or multiple days) in and around the water. Pack some full-coverage mesh water shoes like these, which have enough traction to hike around the slippery falls.
Other Havasupai packing list items not to forget
What to wear in Havasupai and at Havasu Falls
Athletic shorts, leggings or hiking pants are key, depending on the time of year (and time of day) you’ll be hiking in.
Quick-dry tops, tanks or long-sleeves are great. Bring layers depending on the weather. Hiking shoes are a must.
Seasons in Havasupai and at Havasu Falls
Winter (December, January, February):
The Havasupai Waterfalls are closed during winter, as is the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. So Havasu Falls trips, Thunder River and Deer Creek Falls are not options during these months. If you go, bring lots of layers and extra wool socks!
Spring (March, April, May):
Spring is arguably the best time to backpack into Clear Creek and Cheyava Falls, since they will be flowing! Spring is an excellent time of year to visit Havasu Falls. It’s prime time for hiking and swimming. Bring that swimsuit, and a few extra layers for cold mornings.
Summer (June, July, August):
Summer is hot, hot hot. Start your hikes early. Once you’re at the falls it’s paradisal. The water is 70 degrees year round, which is perfect when it’s 100 degrees outside the water! Exercise caution if you’re going in July and August, since that is monsoon season. Bring less clothing and more sunscreen!
Autumn (September, October, November):
Autumn is great for all waterfall trips, including Havasu Falls. Layer up for cold nights and mornings. Beanies and gloves are recommended.
Dressing appropriately for the activity:
Hiking to Havasu Falls – On the ten-mile hike from the trailhead to the falls, wear comfortable athletic clothing, sturdy hiking shoes, your backpack, and always check the weather before you go, in case you need to bring a rain jacket or rain fly for your backpack.
Spending the day in the water – Once you make it to the falls, you won’t want to leave. Wear a swimsuit and water shoes, if you’d like. Make sure to lather on that sunscreen, especially if you are going in the heat of summer.
Camping at night – It does get chilly at nighttime in this part of Arizona. Wear leggings, long sleeve shirts, jackets, wool socks, and a beanie.
What NOT to bring to Havasupai
2) Cotton clothing – Always wear synthetic fabrics. Sweat-wicking and quick-dry are the key words.
4) Bulky sleeping bag – With so many compressible options available now, save your precious backpack space for other items.
What NOT to wear:
Don’t wear denim, as it doesn’t lend itself well to hiking and the outdoors. Don’t wear flimsy flip flops on the trek into and out of the falls. Don’t bring too many changes of clothing. Keep your backpack light by re-wearing your hiking clothes multiple times.
FAQs for your trip to Havasupai:
How do I get to Havasupai?
The two closest airports to Havasu Falls are Las Vegas (4 hours) or Phoenix (5 hours).
Do I need a permit?
YES, you won’t get in otherwise.
How do I get a permit?
The hardest part of planning a backpacking trip to Havasu Falls is getting a permit. Advanced reservations are required, and permits usually sell out for the entire year within the first couple of months of the year. Act quickly as soon as the reservation lines open.
Planning your trip during a shoulder season is a really good idea. Mid-summer is a time when everyone is on summer vacation, and it will be difficult to get a permit for those months. If you can go mid-week in April or late-October, then you’ll have a better chance of getting a permit!
What are the camping fees?
● 2 Days / 1 Night: $140.56 per person
● 3 Days / 2 Nights: $171.11 per person
● 4 Days / 3 Nights: $201.67 per person
How long is the hike from the trailhead to the campground?
The total distance to the Havasu Falls campground is 9.5 miles. The total one-way elevation change to campground is -2,400 feet on the way there, and the opposite on the way back.
What’s the hike like?
The hike on the way in is long but not too difficult, and the initial descent is on a well-maintained series of switchbacks. Once you are in the river bed, the hiking can be a bit slow due to the sandy gravel, but the trail is very easy to follow. The way out is obviously more difficult since it will be totally uphill.