What to pack for a trip to the Grand Canyon

If you have an upcoming trip to the Grand Canyon National Park, you’re probably wondering what to pack. The type of clothing, footwear and travel items you should bring depends on the season you're visiting (although some items are essential no matter what time of year you visit).

No matter when you go, you'll most likely be doing lots of walking, hiking and exploring, so comfort and safety are the biggest things to consider. Included in this list are the packing essentials for a guided tour where camping gear will be provided for you. The weight of your bag will be a lot heavier if you're going on a non-guided backpacking trip.

What to pack for a spring or fall trip

Packing essentials include:

  • A pair of hiking boots or sturdy, comfortable footwear

  • T-shirts 

  • Shorts

  • A pair of sports leggings 

  • Long pants 

  • A waterproof outdoor coat (ensure it’s not just ‘water resistant’)

  • A light sweater or fleece 

  • Sunscreen

  • A scarf

  • A sunhat and a warm hat 

What to pack for a summer trip

Your packing list should include:

  • Shorts

  • A pair of sports leggings or pants

  • T-shirts and tank tops

  • Long-sleeved t-shirts or thin button-down shirts 

  • A waterproof rain jacket (ensure it’s not just ‘water resistant’)

  • A pair of hiking boots or sturdy and/or comfortable hiking sandals (ideally waterproof)

  • A bathing suit

  • A sunhat 

  • Sunscreen

  • A light sweater or fleece (you'll need it if you're hiking to the North Rim where it's much cooler)

What to pack for a winter trip

Winter is cold, and the canyon may be covered in snow. Your packing list should include: 

  • A warm and waterproof winter coat (e.g. a parka)

  • Long-sleeved t-shirts 

  • A thick sweater or fleece

  • Long, warm pants 

  • Thermal underwear 

  • A warm hat 

  • A pair of gloves and a scarf

  • Waterproof boots 

  • Warm socks 

  • Sunscreen (it may be cold but the sun still shines and it’s easy to get burnt at higher elevations)

Personal items to bring

Don't forget to pack these essential personal items:

  • A whistle 

  • Mini first aid kit 

  • A daypack 

  • Sunglasses

  • A reusable water bottle 

  • Lip balm

  • Small rubbish bags 

  • Insect repellent 

  • Toilet paper (one or two rolls should be enough)

  • Hand sanitizer 

  • Camera

  • A journal (it's nice to document your stories, things you see, people's names, great conversations you've had, etc.)

  • Snacks (energy bars, granola, cookies, nuts, dried fruit, jerky, etc.)

For a more comprehensive list of what to bring on your Grand Canyon trip, check out our ultimate packing guide

Want to learn more about the Grand Canyon? Return to Grand Canyon FAQs

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