There are two sides to the Grand Canyon to camp out – the North or South Rim. Most people will choose one depending on how difficult of a hike they have planned including Rim-to-Rim or the hardest Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim. If you are not a hiking enthusiast but just want to see the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, there are a few different camping opportunities for you.
The Grand Canyon sits in northern Arizona and the Colorado River snakes through beautifully at the bottom. The Grand Canyon is one of the 7 Wonders of the World and is breathtaking in its sheer size and beauty. Here are the best campsites in the Grand Canyon on both the South and North Rim.
South Rim Campgrounds
On the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, reservations can be made six months in advance and are available for Mather Campground which is located within Grand Canyon Village. This village is a historic district and has a lodge, shuttle buses, visitor center, and Grand Canyon train depot.
Tent camping is perfect to do at Mathers as there are no RV hook-ups at this campground. It is beautiful here and a great way to escape the hustle and bustle. With 300 campsites for tent camping and RVs, Mathers Campground is the largest camping area on the South Rim.
If you are in an RV you can stay at a Trailer Village located within Grand Canyon Village and it has full hookups and is operated by Xanterra.
Desert View Campground
If you want a smaller, more rustic camping experience try Desert View Campground located at the east entrance to the park. It is first-come, first-served campground and there are no RV hookups but there are 50 camping spots. This campground can accommodate RVs, but really more of the smaller varieties like travel trailers or RVs smaller than 30 feet in length.
North Rim Campgrounds
North Rim Campground
The only federal campground on this side of the Grand Canyon is the North Rim Campground. It does not have RV hookups, but does have a dump station and has showers and laundry available.
During the winter months (December 1 to May 15) backpackers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers are permitted to use the North Rim Campground’s group campsite, but you must have a back country use permit. The highway into the park is closed during the winter, so there is no winter car camping. If you want to camp outside of the Grand Canyon, there are a few other choices that you can look into.
This campground is operated by the US Forest Service and is 16 miles north of the canyon rim. There are no RV hookups here and the good thing is that 50% of the sites are on the www.recreation.gov website.
Jacob Lake Campground
This site is a little further out at 45 miles and is also administered by the US Forest Service. It is open only during the summer and there no hookups nor reservation but they do have free evening programs.
Kaibab Camper Village (Jacob Lake)
There is one commercial campground located near Jacob Lake on Arizona Highway 67. Here there are full hook-ups available and they can accommodate most RV sizes.
Are you planning a visit to the Grand Canyon? Is the Grand Canyon on your family travel bucket list?