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Grand Canyon Backpacking List: Hiking is Summer and Winter

Home » Grand Canyon Backpacking List: Hiking is Summer and Winter


Grand Canyon National Park is well-known not just in the US but throughout the whole world. Every year thousands of tourists come to see the fascinating spectacular landscape and breathtaking views. Grand Canyon National Park is situated in the northwest of Arizona and covers the area of 277 miles long and 18 miles wide. The park is considered one of the oldest national parks in the US.

When it comes to visiting the park, you can go for a short hiking trip for a day or opt for trekking and explore the destination for a few days. If you have decided to discover this beautiful spot, you should not just plan your itinerary but be aware of the list of Grand Canyon hiking gear. I recommend taking the items below with you to make the most comfortable and fascinating trip ever.

My name is Eddie, and I am a very passionate traveler. Hiking is the best way for me to spend my weekend or vacation actively. Through my experience, I have learned what to take with you on a trip to make it safe and comfortable, how to overcome difficulties on your way and eventually achieve your goal.

In this article, I have come up with the Grand Canyon backpacking list with all the essentials that you will definitely need while hiking. To make the most of your trip, follow these tips regarding what to bring to the Grand Canyon.

Packing List for Grand Canyon in Summer and Spring Season

two girls jumping near the Grand Canyon

Before we tackle the list of things, you should know that the first thing you have to have is the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. It will allow you to access not just Grand Canyon but 2,000+ recreational sites throughout the country.

An annual pass for adults costs $80, but for elders, there is also a Senior pass that comes at $20 per year, and there is an option to purchase a lifetime pass for $80 only. For military members and their families, the entrance is completely free as well as for kids who are 4th graders and younger.

What to Pack for the Grand Canyon: The Basics

Before you hit the road, make sure you have your phone, ID, cash, and credit cards with you. Also, it is important to take a few bottles of water as you will need for your trip, whether it’s just a day or more.

Any hiking or trekking adventure is an active one, so make sure to pack some nourishing snacks and energy bars. Think in advance of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Prepare some sandwiches, veggies, fruits, biscuits to your liking. In case you want to prepare the meal outdoors, you will have to bring a gas stove, fuel, and pots.

Hiking Adventure Gear

Choose the most comfortable backpack to pack all the things you need. Usually, a medium bag of 15L or a larger one for 30L with compression straps and back panel can cover all the hiking needs. I also recommend having a waist bag to pack the most important items you want to have handy all the time.

For navigation, take a park map, a compass, and a navigator with you to get a better sense of direction. In addition, it’s obligatory to have a flashlight, lighter or matches, and a firestarter as well. Just in case, take a few extra batteries if your flashlight dies.

If you want to stay for a few days, take a travel-size pillow, sleeping bag, sleeping pad as well as a rain-proof tent with you. You can add a camping hammock to the list if you have some extra space in your backpack.

Don’t forget about electronics. You will definitely need a charger for your phone, so make sure to pack a power bank, cables, and a headset. Take your camera and charger with you to make the trip memorable and take pictures of stunning views.


Think over what to wear to Grand Canyon in spring and summer very carefully as your outfit for the day will define the level of your comfort, which will influence the overall impression from the trip. This aspect is very important, so here are my main recommendations.

The most important thing is to protect your head from sun exposure. It’s mandatory to take a hat, bandana, or a cap to protect yourself from sunstroke. You have to wear clothes in layers as it might be hot at daytime, yet mornings and evenings can be colder.

That’s why I recommend to put on light quick-drying shorts or pants and a lightweight moisture-wicking T-shirt. Make sure to wear a long-sleeved shirt or light fleece jacket to protect your skin from sunburns. For colder times, pack a hoodie in with you.

Take extra care of your feet with special hiking sneakers to protect yourself and make the hiking process safe. No flip-flops are allowed even if the weather is hot. I bet you don’t want to twist your ankle.

Taking into consideration that the weather can be pretty much unpredictable, take your raincoat or waterproof jacket and pants with you to protect yourself from both rain and wind. I advise you to pack some extra clothes and socks with you so you can change them when needed and stay comfortable and neat. If you stay for a few days, then you should take your sleepwear.

Health and Hygiene Items

Unexpected situations may occur during your trip, so you should always be prepared beforehand. It’s paramount to take the first aid kit and essential medicines to be ready to provide emergency medical care or merely sooth pain when needed.

Speaking of your personal hygiene, your toiletries list depends on how much time you will spend on the trip. The most important things include hand sanitizer, sunscreen (especially in summer), sunglasses, moist or antiseptic wipes, among others. To make your vacation more peaceful, you can take insect repellent with you as well.

If you spend a few days trekking, then you probably need a travel-size shampoo, shower gel, toothbrush, and toothpaste. Hand and body moisturizer is optional. Feel free to expand the list and add items for your comfort.

Packing List for Grand Canyon in Winter Season

Grand Canyon

For the winter season, your Grand Canyon packing list will be slightly different. The basic items such as toiletries, medicines, hiking gear will be pretty much the same. But there are essential things you should remember about when going for hiking or trekking in the cold season.

First of all, I recommend taking trekking poles as trails might be very slippery. Also, if the temperature is lower than 50 °F, you should take a winter sleeping bag to stay warm while resting.

Taking into consideration the low temperature, you might need some extra clothes to make you feel comfortable and warm at day and especially at night when it’s much colder. In winter, layering is extremely important as you might want to take off a piece of cloth to cool after physical activity and put it on when you need to get a little warmer.

  • Choose a long-sleeve T-shirt as your undergarment. You can put on top a warm fleece sweatshirt. Take a quality waterproof warm winter jacket that will protect you from cold winds and rains. It’s the main thing for outdoor activities in winter. Waterproof pants are also the basic thing you should wear on top of warm leggings.
  • Choose the right footwear. You should opt for heavy insulated warm boots as well as for warm wool socks and high gaiters to keep your legs and feet warm. Make sure you wear comfortable boots, so you can easily walk during the day.
  • Don’t forget about a wool hat, scarf, gloves or mittens to protect your head and hands from cold. In winter, it’s crucial to take extra cloth and footwear as weather changes all the time.

Summing Up the Packing List for Grand Canyon Hiking Trip

I hope that you found these lists of what to pack for the Grand Canyon hiking trip useful. In the text above, I have accumulated the knowledge I gained from years of hiking experience. It goes without saying that you can adjust the list and add some other stuff that you find useful. However, I have provided all the essentials that will make your time traveling comfortable with minimum inconveniences.

It is worth exploring the beautiful sites of the US and going hiking or trekking any season. Now, I would like to hear from you, have you had prior experience hiking? What have you taken with you, and what things were missing that you desperately needed during your trip? Leave your comments below, and I will be happy to share experiences.

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