The Best Place to Camp in Grand Canyon National Park
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The Grand Canyon National Park needs no introduction. One of the most famous national parks in the entire world. It offers a range of thrilling and jaw-dropping camping and hiking opportunities to those who love the geology and the great outdoors.
Located just a couple of hours east of Las Vegas, these stunning canyons stretch further than the eye can see and are over 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and over a mile deep in places.
They’re made of deep orange sandstone which as slowly eroded over the course of millions of years. Home to a huge range of flora and fauna, people come here to gaze down thousands of feet to the winding Colorado River, enjoy a spot of star-gazing and get away from it all.
Of course, there are many different places you can camp in the Grand Canyon but they’re all very different and suit different people’s unique needs.
That’s why we’ve put our heads together and create a list of our favorite campgrounds in this impressive National Park, including both the South Rim (the part that receives most visitors) and the North Rim (the wilder and rougher part.) Enjoy!
The Grand Canyon National Park Campgrounds: The South Rim
1. Tuweep Campground
Looking for a rural, remote and uncrowded camping experience in the Grand Canyon? Then you’ll love the experience of staying at the Tuweep Campground. The trek across rugged and difficult roads is challenging and you’ll need to make sure you have a spare tire, but it’s all worth it when you look out over the incredible canyon which surrounds you and down on to the Colorado River.
This is a site without running water or electricity, fires and grills are prohibited and so is hunting or collecting, so come prepared. It’s also very small and only offers 10 campsites, so it’s always a good idea to give them a call and book before you make the drive here.
You’ll need a backcountry permit to stay here.
Find out more about Tuweep Campground here
2. Mather Campground
Unlike the first campground on this list, the Mather Campground is very easy to access and very large too. Operated by the National Park Service, you get a choice of 300 campsites plus tons of facilities such as laundry, showers, grills and decent bathrooms and the free shuttle bus stops right outside.
Although there aren’t hookups available for RVs, it’s worth the sacrifice for the family-friendly vibe. It’s open all year round and can get very busy, so it’s very worth booking ahead. Make sure you get hold of your backcountry permit before you come because you’ll need it to stay here.
Find out more about Mather Campground here.
3. Trailer Village RV Park
If you need hookups for your RV and you want to be as close as possible to the South Rim, head to the Trailer Village RV Park, right next to the Mather Campground.
This place offers all kinds of fancy facilities including wifi access, a free shuttle bus, a picnic table, barbecue grill, 30 and 50 amp electrical service, cable TV, water and sewage hook-ups, coin-operated showers, laundry facilities, vending machines, and telephones so you can still enjoy your creature comforts whilst you’re enjoying the great outdoors.
Find out more about Trailer Village RV Park here.
4. Desert View Campground
Desert View Campground is a small place but it’s a great Grand Canyon camping choice if you’re seeking the best views of the Colorado River and its geology. Peaceful and scenic, it’s just 25 miles east of Grand Canyon Village and a wonderful spot for star-gazing, enjoying the sunrise and disconnecting from the modern world.
Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis so make sure you arrive early so you can grab your place. Also, bear in mind that the campground is only open between mid-April to mid-October. Facilities include flush toilets, picnic tables, a fire ring, and there’s water available here too for added convenience. You’ll also need a backcountry permit to stay here.
Find out more about Desert View Campground here.
The Grand Canyon National Park Campgrounds: The North Rim
6. North Rim Campground
We love the North Rim Campground for the incredible trees that surround the site, the huge variety of wildlife around you and the beautiful sunsets and sunrises that you can witness from right here in the park. (Pro tip: choose campsites 11, 14, 15,16, 18 for the best views.)
Boasting shady sites and within walking distance of Bright Angel Overlook, it’s a great place to come if you want to explore the local trails and breathe in the fresh air. When it comes to facilities, you can enjoy coin-operated showers, a laundry service, picnic tables, a fire ring, and even a general store with food and camping supplies. Travel just a mile down the road and you’ll access a dining room, deli, general store, gift shop, and post office too.
This campground only opens from May 15th through October 15th and booking is required between May and September. You’ll need a backcountry permit to stay here.
Find out more about North Rim Campground here.
7. DeMotte Campground
Just seven miles north of the entrance to the Grand Canyon North Rim and right next to a lovely grassy meadow, the Demotte Campground offers a nice mix of reservable and first-come, first-served campsites. You’ll also see plenty of wildlife here, including the famous Kaibab squirrel.
Located in the Kaibab National Forest, it offers vault toilets, picnic tables, cooking grills, a fire ring, and drinking water. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide hookups for the smaller RVs that are also welcome here.
Find out more about DeMotte Campground here.
8. Jacob Lake Campground
Boasting easy access to a ton of hiking and biking opportunities, the Jacob Lake Campground lies 44 miles north of the Grand Canyon’s North Rim Entrance Station in the Kaibab National Forest. It’s not the most scenic campground but it’s a great choice if it’s the high season and all the other campsites are full.
Open between mid-May and mid-October, the facilities include vault toilets, drinking water for personal use, campsite grills, tables and fire rings, but unfortunately no showers.
If you get tired of camp food, you can head across the road and eat at Jacob Lake Inn. The food there is absolutely fantastic!
Find out more about Jacob Lake Campground here.
Camping at the Grand Canyon will always be an extraordinary experience that is guaranteed to astonish, delight and amaze the whole family.
The sheer scale of this landscape, the rough terrain and the way the entire Canyon seems to glow at sunrise and sunset will turn your next camping trip here into something you’ll never forget.
Learn more about 13 Best National Parks for Camping and Hiking.