The water at Havasupai is world renowned for its bright blue and soft green tones that flow year-round, allowing for anyone to enjoy them no matter when they visit.
In order to get to these stunning falls and relax in the natural pools of water, you have to hike about 10 miles and in order to do THAT, you need water.
Some may be worried that you need gallons upon gallons of water to survive the trip to Havasu Falls and then even more to survive the days and nights while camping.
While you will need access to readily available water during the hike, you don’t have to pack water the entire trip.
Do note that all the trails will not have tested running water available so bring what you need and then a little more just in case something happens. Also be sure to keep frozen Gatorade, water, and a cooler in your car before you leave for camping. While it may seem weird, the water and Gatorade will stay cold, or even frozen depending on the cooler, allowing you to have an ice cold victory drink once you make it back up to the parking lot.
Hualapai Hilltop Hike to the Village
For those who elect to hike down instead of taking the helicopter, you should expect to pack anywhere from two to four liters of water depending on how fast of a hiker you are as well as when you hike down.
If you go during the busy season, which is during summer and early fall, you should be packing around three liters of water at least due to the outside temperatures reaching upwards of 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
When we went down early September, it was around 80 to 90 degrees and I alone went through about 2 liters and other people in our group went through more.
If you’re hiking alone, I would highly recommend taking whatever you think you need, plus another liter simply because you won’t have the liberty of sharing water with a group of friends like those who hike down in groups would.
The trail is trafficked pretty frequently so you may get lucky if you run out but don’t count on that as an option.
Once you arrive at the village, water will be available for purchase at one of the two convenience stores if you ran out on the way down.
At the campsite, near unlimited water will be supplied for free to anyone who has access to it.
The drinking and cooking water for the campsite is fed from a spring which has been channeled to a spigot where people can fill their bottles and plastic containers with as much water as they can carry back.
I would recommend bringing in a five-liter collapsible bag and hanging it in a safe place because it reduces the number of trips you need to take to get refills.
The water coming from the spring spigot is perfectly safe to drink and is tested regularly while the water flowing over the falls may not be.
The water in the pools and rivers are safe to swim in which should mean that they’re safe to drink, but there may be one or two times where you get unlucky and it ruins your trip so it’s best to just stick with what you know has been tested.
LifeStraws are a nice middle ground when it comes to water solutions on the trails because it can reduce the weight of your pack tremendously while still supplying you with water. The only downsides to the LifeStraw are that you need water around you in order to use it as well as being awkward to use sometimes due to the fact that you have to crouch or even lay down at water level.
You can also bring water treatment tabs if you want to be extra safe, just note that the water may take up to 30 minutes for the tab to do its work. Time will vary depending on what kind of treatment tab you use, so be sure to read the instructions before using them.
In short and in my experience, bring around two to four liters of water for the hike down to the village, don’t worry about bringing extra water in because the campsite has drinking water, and pack about a liter of water per two hours of hiking when you’re out on the trails. LifeStraws can come in handy in a pinch, I just prefer to bring in something I know will always be within arms reach.