Post Summary: Camping in Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon Camping

The Grand Canyon is one of Mother Nature’s finest works of art. Carved over millions of years by the Colorado River, this spectacular canyon earns its place as a Wonder of the Natural World. Much of the canyon is protected by Grand Canyon National Park. This popular national park is well worth the visit. One of the best ways to be the crowds is to camp at the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Camping in Grand Canyon Mountains National Park lets you be closer to the rim and can help you beat the crowds.

There are not a lot of choices when camping in the Grand Canyon so we have broken down what you need to know and created this comprehensive guide to Grand Canyon camping. This complete guide covers everything you need to know to plan a Grand Canyon camping trip including information on the Grand Canyon campgrounds, location, how to secure a campsite and so much more.

Are you considering camping in Grand Canyon National Park? Click HERE for the ultimate guide to Grand Canyon Campgrounds and get ready for your Grand Canyon camping trip.

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! Read the full disclosure policy here

Grand Canyon Campgrounds at a Glance

Amenities Key

CampgroundRegionReservationsSeason Sites Fees ADA SitesAmenities
Desert View East EntranceYesMid April to Mid October50$18YesF, FP, G, W
MatherSouth EntranceYes during peak seasonYear-round327$6 – $25YesF, FP, G, HA, L, S, W
North RimNorth EntranceYesEarly April to end of October90$18 – $25YesF, FP, G, L, S, W
Trailer VillageSouth EntranceYesYear-round84$50+YesD, F, G, H, L, S, W
  • D – Dump Station
  • F – Flush Toilets
  • FP – Fire Pit
  • G – Generator
  • H – Full Hookups
  • HA – Hammocks
  • P – Pit Toliet
  • PA – Accessible Pit Toliet
  • L – Laundry
  • S – Shower
  • W – Water

Getting to Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon National Park is located in northern Arizona. The park has two sections – the North Rim and the South Rim. The North Rim and the South Rim are not connected by road. It is a 3.5 hour drive around the canyon to get from one rim to the other. Most visitors visit the South Rim because it is the easiest rim to access and closest to most the airports.

The closest airport to the park is Flagstaff Pulliam Airport (FLG). This small commercial airport is located about 1.5 hours from the south rim. The closest major airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), located four hours south of the southern park entrance.

If you are road tripping through several of the nearby California, Nevada, New Mexico, or Utah National Parks, airport options include Las Vegas (LAS), Los Angeles (LAX), Salt Lake City (SLC) or Albuquerque (ABQ).

There are several transportation operators who run daily shuttles from Williams or Flagstaff to the south entrance of the park and from Las Vegas. Another available option is the Grand Canyon Railway, which offers daily trips from Williams to the Grand Canyon National Park Depot located inside of the park.

Estimated Drive time to Grand Canyon National Park from major cities

  • Phoenix, Arizona – 3.45 hours
  • Las Vegas, Nevada – 4.25 hours
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico – 6 hours
  • Los Angeles, California – 7.25 hours
  • Salt Lake City, Utah – 9.25 hours

Estimated Drive time to Grand Canyon National Park from nearby National Parks

A small RV trailer in camping in Grand Canyon National Park
NPS/Kristen M. Caldon

Things to Know about Grand Canyon Camping

  • Grand Canyon National Parks had 4 front country campgrounds – one on the North Rim and three on the South Rim. Camping is only permitted in these campgrounds and in designed backcountry areas.
    • NPS Campgrounds: North Rim, Mather, Desert View
    • Private View: Trailer RV Park
  • The Mather and Trailer RV Park are open year-round. The North Rim and Desert View Campgrounds are open from open usually Mid-May to the end of October and late April to early October respectively.
  • Reservations are available for all Grand Canyon campgrounds from March to November.
  • Reservations can be made up to six months or 13 months in advance. Reservations are limited and if you want a reserved site you need to be ready to book exactly six months in advance of the first day of your trip.
    • Reservations for Mather, Desert View, and North Rim campgrounds can be made up to six months in advance.
    • Reservations for Trailer RV Park campgrounds can be made up to thirteen months in advance.
  • All Grand Canyon Campgrounds have reservable ADA-specific sites.
  • Generator use is permitted in campgrounds and select sites during the following hours: 7:00 am to 9:00 am and 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
  • The larger the RV the fewer campsites are available and only select sites in each campground can handle longer vehicles. RV and travel trailers are limited to 40 ft in length.
  • Hookups are are available at Trailer Village RV Park. Dump stations are available at Trailer RV Park, North Rim and Mather Campgrounds.
  • Standard campsites can have up to 6 people.  You are allowed a maximum of two vehicles and two tents. Large groups should reserve a group site in Mather and North Rim.
  • Camping in Grand Canyon is limited to 7 days consecutive days and 30 days per calendar year.
  • Checkout time for all campgrounds is 11:00 a.m.)
  • All wood and charcoal fires are allowed unless fire danger prompts special restrictions. All fires must be contained in park-provided fire pits. Please do not transport firewood. Burn it where you buy it. Firewood can be purchased at local general stores. The collection of dead and down vegetation for fires is NOT allowed.
    • Please ensure that your fire out full out before leaving it unattended.
  • Store all food items in your car or bear box.  Please do NOT leave any food, utensils out, or any scented items.  This includes toothpaste, toothbrush, chapstick.  Please put everything else in your car or bear box.  Scavengers such as ravens and chipmunks are drawn to campgrounds in search of food items. If the animals find food, they will continue to hang around and start to become an issue. Please help keep the wildlife wild by not feeding them.
A image of the the grand canyon in the early morning light.

What to pack for camping in Grand Canyon National Park?

  1. Printed Campsite Reservation: Just in case anyone asks for it. Cell service can be limited in the park.
  1. National Park Passport: The National Park Passport Book is the cheapest and best souvenir of your national park adventures. This book makes it easy to collect the National Park Cancellation Stamps. The cancellation stamps have the date of your visit and make it easy to track when you visited each national park service unit.
  1. Tent: This is one of the heaviest and most important pieces of camping gear. It is your shelter from the elements at night.
  1. Sleeping Pad: A sleeping pad is a small, packable inflatable mattress. Here is my favorite closed cell sleeping pad.
  1. Sleeping Bag: Your sleeping bag is important for a good night’s sleep and preventing you from getting to cold.
  1. Pillow: An inflatable pillow is a lightweight comfort item that can make getting a good night’s sleep much easier.
  1. Camp Stove: This portable mini backpacking stove makes car camping cooking much easier. I’d rather cook on this over a campfire any day.
  1. Fuel for the camp stove: I generally by my camping fuel at Walmart or REI on my way to the park. You can’t fly with it so it’s just easier to get on site.
  1. Cooler: One great thing about car camping is that you can keep a cooler in your car and it can keep fresh meat cold and provide cold drinks.
  1. Kitchen Set: It doesn’t take much to make an impressive camp meal but having the right tools can make you seem like a gourmet chef.
  1. Cooking Pot: Since I use a camping stove, I have this great set of folding pots that I do most of my camp cooking with.
  1. Spork: The Spork is the essential eating utensil of the campsite.
  1. Food: If I bring a cooler, I love planning easy to cook camp meals with fresh ingredients otherwise, I use a mix of dry backpacking foods.
  1. Snacks – There are limited services in the park.  So pick up all your snacks before you go.  Pack a couple of different options so you are prepared for any craving.
    • Fruit:  Pick hard fruits such as apples or pears.  These hold-up in the heat and in packs without getting squished to mush. Another option is freeze-dried fruit. Freeze-dried strawberries are the BOMB.  They are crunchy, sweet and the best part is they are lightweight and yummy.  These are my new favorite trail snack.
    • Vegetables: Cucumbers and carrots hold up well during hiking and in a hot car.
    • Granola Bars:  Take your favorite non-coated in chocolate granola bars.  Anything coated in chocolate will melt and be a sticky mess.  My favorite is a selection of Cliff Bars. They are great even when squished.
  1. Refillable Water Bottles – Do your part to reduce litter in our parks by bringing a refillable water bottle with you. A reusable and refillable water bottle can save you a lot of money and really help the environment. Here are my favorite water bottles
  1. Hydration Bladder – If you are hiking longer distances, a hydration bladder is the best way to hike with significant quantities of water. It is a rare hike when I don’t bring a full bladder with me.
  1. Sunscreen – You don’t want to get burned on your visit.
  1. Lip balm – Your lips need just as much sun protection as your skin does.
  1. Sunglasses – Similar to sunscreen, you need a good pair of polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun.
  1. Hat – Hats are another sun protection device. A hat can keep the sun off your face and neck and help minimize the need for sunscreen while on the trail.
  1. First aid kit – As with any outdoor adventure, accidents happen. It is better to be prepared and have a compact first-aid kit ready to help with any accidents.
  1. Headlamp – Always keep a headlamp handy. You never know when you might want it. It can be used for midnight bathroom runs to sunrise/sunset hikes. A good headlamp makes it easy to operate in the dark.
  1. Shoes – Shoes are probably the most important piece of gear to any hiker. Hiking shoes should be seen as an investment. On the trail, your feet are your transportation and a solid pair of hiking shoes help support your feet and can prevent injury.
  1. Hiking Day Pack – A good day pack is the best way to transport all your gear when hiking. I highly recommend getting a backpack that is designed for outdoor use. These packs come with handy pockets and straps. My 40 L day pack has a pocket for my water bladder and a clip to hold the water line in place.
  1. National Park Obsessed Shirt – Share your love of the National Parks and support National Park Obsessed with a National Park Obsessed T-Shirt.

If you are new to visiting the National Parks, check out our National Park Essentials Guide to get you started.

The Parks are Calling Wall Art Sign
$25.99
Grand Canyon National Park Print Poster
$26.00
Grand Canyon National Park Map Water Bottle
$39.00

Where to camp in Grand Canyon National Park?

Grand Canyon Campground Map

Campgrounds in Grand Canyon National Park

South Rim Grand Canyon Campgrounds
  • North Rim Campground
North Rim Rim Grand Canyon Campgrounds
  • Desert View Campground
  • Mather Campground
  • Trailer Village RV Park

Campgrounds near Grand Canyon National Park

Campgrounds near the South Rim
  • Grand Canyon Camper Village
  • Long Jim Loop Camping
  • Ten-X Campground
Campgrounds near the North Rim
  • DeMotte Campground
  • Kaibab Camper Village
  • Jacob Lake Campground
A green tent and picnic table in one of the grand canyon's campgrounds.
NPS Photo

Getting a Grand Canyon Campsite

Grand Canyon Camping Reservations

Grand Canyon National Park NPS-run campgrounds (North Rim, Mather, Desert View) accept reservations. Campground reservations can be made online at Receation.gov. Reservations are can be made up to six months in advance.

If your visit is between May and November, holiday season or during spring break season, it is highly recommended that you be ready to make your reservation six months in advance.

Trailer Village RV Park accepts reservations up to 13 months in advance. It is recommended that you make your reservations here as soon as you can.

Grand Canyon First-come, first-serve Campsites

There is no first-come, first-serve camping in Grand Canyon National Park from March to November. If you are visiting between December and February, first-come, first-serve camping is offered at Mather Campground. These generally fill mid-morning.

When you arrive at the campground, grab a registration envelope and drive into the campground. Find an open campsite. Before setting up check the signpost and ensure there isn’t a paper stub. If there is a paper stub on the sign post the campsite is still occupied.

RV Camping in Grand Canyon National Park

The only RV hookup in Grand Canyon National Park is located at Trailer Village RV Park. The rest of the campgrounds do not offer hook-ups. The longer your RV is the more limited your camping option. Not every campsite in a campground can accommodate the maximum length trailer.

The following Grand Canyon campgrounds can accommodate RVs or travel trailers:

  • Desert View Campground – Max length is 30 ft
  • Mather Campground – Max length is 30 ft
  • North Rim Campground – Max length is 40 ft
  • Trailer Village RV Park – Max length is 50 ft
A classic multi colored view of the grand canyon

Camping at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

North Rim Campground

North Rim Campground is the only campground on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. This mid-sized campground is set in a stand of Ponderosa Pines and Aspen trees. Most of the campground is shaded and this high elevation campground is known for its mild summer tempatures.

This campground has a range of hiker/biker. group, tent-only and RV sites. If you are really lucky, you might snag a site with a canyon view.

Sites: 90 sites

Cost: $18 – $25 per night

Reservations Accepted?: Reservation Required

ADA specific sites: There are 3 ADA specific sites.

RVs?: Up to 40 ft in length.

Pets: Yes, but please review the Grand Canyon National Park Pet Policy

Facilities: Potable water, fire pit, flush toilets, picnic table, showers, sinks, disposal station, laundry

Season: Mid-May to end of October

Typical Fill Time: Filled via Reservation

Closest General Store: North Rim General Store

Campground Map: Click Here

A couple of tents in a pine forest in North Rim Campground.
NPS Photo by Michael Quinn

Camping at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon

Desert View Campground

Desert View Campground is located about 26 miles east of Grand Canyon Village. Desert View allows Grand Canyon campers the chance to camp on the South Rim without the hustle and bustle of the village. The campground is near Desert View Watchtower and the east entrance.

The campground has running water and flush toilets. There are no showers or laundry and the campground has a little shade but is mostly set in a shrub area.

Sites: 50 sites

Cost: $18.00 per night

Reservations Accepted?: Reservation Required

ADA specific sites: There are two ADA sites and a number of other sites of wheelchair accessible picnic tables.

RVs?: Up to 30 ft.

Pets: Yes, but please review the Grand Canyon National Park Pet Policy

Facilities: Potable water, fire pit, flush toilets, picnic table, , sinks

Season: Middle of April to middle of October

Typical Fill Time: Filled via Reservation

Closest General Store: Desert View Camp Store

Campground Map: Click Here

An elevated view of a orange and grey tent in Desert View Campground
NPS Photo

Mather Campground

Mather Campground is located in the Grand Canyon Village. This popular campground is located 1 mile from the Canyon Rim. The campground is set in a stand of ponderosa pines so there is plenty of shade. This is a developed campground with showers and laundry.

This campground has a range of campsite offerings from pull-thru RV sites to shared hiker/biker sites to group and horse sites.

Sites: 327 sites ( 55 Tent Only, 2 Walk in, 2 Horse, 7 Group, 15 Other)

Cost: $6 – $25 per night

Reservations Accepted?: Reservation Required from March to November, first-com-first-serve the rest of the year

ADA specific sites: 14 ADA accessible sites

RVs?: Up to 30 ft.

Pets: Yes, but please review the Grand Canyon National Park Pet Policy

Facilities: Potable water, fire pit, flush toilets, picnic table, showers, sinks, disposal station, dump station, seasonal showers, laundry

Season: Year round

Typical Fill Time: Filled via reservation during peak season, early morning the rest of the year

Closest General Store: Mather Campground Store

Campground Map: Click Here

A yellow tent in a stand of Ponderosa Pines in Mather Campground
NPS Photo

Trailer Village RV Park

Trailer Village RV Park is a full-service RV campground with full hookup (cable, electrical, sewage, water). The campground is an open area with paved spaces for each spot. There is little shade in the campground.

Reservations can be made up to 13 months in advance.

Sites: 84 sites

Cost: Starting $36 per night

Reservations Accepted?: Reservation Required

ADA specific sites: Not specifically but all sites are paved

RVs?: Up to 50 ft

Pets: Yes, but please review the Grand Canyon National Park Pet Policy

Facilities: Potable water, flush toilets, picnic table, showers, sinks, disposal station, dump station, full hookup

Season: Year round

Typical Fill Time: Filled via reservation

Closest General Store: Mather Camp Store

Campground Map: Click Here

RV's parked in a row in Trailer Village RV Park.
NPS photo by Michael Quinn

Thoughts on Camping In Grand Canyon National Park

I hope this guide answers all your questions about camping in Grand Canyon National Park. If you still have questions let us know in the comments below.

Pin to Save for Later: The Ultimate Guide to Camping in Grand Canyon National Park

Are you considering camping in Grand Canyon National Park? Click HERE for the ultimate guide to Grand Canyon Campgrounds and get ready for your Grand Canyon camping trip.

Jennifer is a long time national park blogger and the founder of National Park Obsessed. She is a dedicated National Park lover who is working on visiting all 62 US National Parks. She has currently been to 53 of the National Parks. She is dedicated to sharing her knowledge of the Parks with others and helping them learn to love the parks as much as she does.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.