The Best Camping around the North Rim and South Rim

Planning a Grand Canyon camping trip? You’re on the right track; many say there’s no better way to appreciate the beauty of the canyon than to experience it firsthand. Here’s an introduction to the basics of camping in and out of the gorge:

Grand Canyon camping is only allowed within designated sites in the National Park. Be prepared to pay nightly camping fees in addition to entrance fees; reserve well in advance and adhere to all park service regulations.

South Rim

Open from mid May to mid October, Desert View Campground offers Grand Canyon camping 25 miles east of Grand Canyon Village. Reservations are not necessary; sites are allocated on a first come, first serve basis. Cost: $10 per campsite per night. RV hook ups are not available.

Mather Campground is open year round in the Village. Reservations are recommended from April to November; otherwise it’s first come, first serve. For more information call (800) 365 2267 within the U.S. and (1) 301 722 1257 internationally. Cost: $15 per campsite per night from March to November; fees reduced to $10 from December to February. Showers and laundry facilities are available at additional cost. RV hook ups are not available.

North Rim

The North Rim Campground is open from mid May to mid October. Reservations are required; call (800) 365 CAMP to reserve up to five months in advance. Cost: $15 to $20 per campsite per night. A dump station is available and campers may use the shower and laundry facilities for an additional cost. RV hook ups are not available.

Camping in the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon camping in the backcountry (in the gorge), requires a permit issued by the Backcountry Information Center. Visitors can print the form from the National Park Service’s Web site at www.nps.govwww.nps.gov. You may also request the form by fax or mail (telephone requests not accepted). Spots fill up quickly; the park service recommends submitting your application well in advance. Cost: $10 per permit with an additional $5 fee per person.

Camping near the Grand Canyon

Located two miles south of Tusayan, AZ is the bare bones Ten X Campground. Operated by the U.S. Forest Service, Ten X is open from mid April through September. Cost: $10 per vehicle per night. Cold water faucets and pit toilets are available though there are no showers or RV hook ups. Reservations are not needed unless it’s for a group. Call (928) 638 2443 for more information.

Tusayan also has a commercial campground called Camper Village. Camper Village is open seasonally; $18 to $26 per night gets you RV hook ups and access to coin operated showers. Call (928) 638 2887 for more information.

You may also camp ‘free range’ (camp outside park boundaries in the national forest). Certain restrictions apply; for example, all campsites must be at least one quarter mile away from Highway 64. For more information contact the Tusayan Ranger District at (928) 638 2443.

Grand Canyon camping services

Grand Canyon Village and Desert View Campground offer services and facilities inside the park; outside the park campers must drive seven miles south of the canyon to the town of Tusayan,. Canyon Village Marketplace in the Village has camping, hiking and backpacking equipment for sale and rent; they also offer limited repair services. Groceries can be purchased at the Marketplace, the Desert View general store and in the town of Tusayan. Showers and laundry facilities are in located in Tusayan and the Village.