Updated on April 26, 2019 by Asher Fergusson
What to Pack for Havasupai and Havasu Falls
This glorious destination is notorious for its gorgeous Havasu Falls, along with beautiful vistas and engaging hikes. Packing for a hike in Havasupai is an art, and packing for an extended hiking or camping trip can be fairly complex.
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 wear in Havasupai and at Havasu Falls
It’s easy and quick to dress for a multi-day backpacking/ hiking trip. 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:
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?
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.