Your Guide to Finding the Best Campground Grand Canyon Now

UPDATED February 2, 2024 — Looking for the best campground Grand Canyon? Local expert Scott Talboom can help you find the perfect spot for your trip.

With years of experience and knowledge of the area, Scott can recommend the best campsites for your needs.

Whether you’re looking for a secluded spot to pitch your tent or a family-friendly campsite with all the amenities, Scott can help you find the perfect place to call home during your visit to the Grand Canyon.

So don’t hesitate, let Scott Talboom help you plan your dream camping trip to the Grand Canyon today!

Table of Contents

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Add to your Grand Canyon folder for later!

Hello fellow National Park travelers!

I’m Scott Talboom, and as a local northern Arizonan camping enthusiast, I’ve been wandering these parts for decades.

What is the best Campground Grand Canyon? I would look at it another way, ‘what is the best Grand Canyon campground for you and your needs?’ It depends on

  • where you want to go,
  • what kind of experience you seek and
  • what vehicle you use.  

Since you enter Grand Canyon National Park through four different gateways, we’ve divided “Finding the Best Campground Grand Canyon” into four sections: 

  1. Best Campground Grand Canyon South Rim
  2. Campgrounds North Rim Grand Canyon 
  3. Camping near Grand Canyon East Entrance
  4. Best campground Grand Canyon West Rim

So let’s start with the first area, the South Rim:

1. Best Campground Grand Canyon South Rim

looking into the Grand Canyon from a South Rim viewpoint at sunset
South Rim viewpoint during sunset | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo

On the South Rim, you’ll find a variety of campgrounds within the boundaries of Grand Canyon National Park. Between Mather, Trailer Village RV Park and Desert View (see #3 below) campgrounds, you’re sure to find the best campground Grand Canyon South Rim, for your trip.

Mather Campground is open year round and has large sites | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo

Grand Canyon Campground Mather in South Rim Village

Open all year. No Hookups.

Mather Campground is the best campground Grand Canyon if you want to be close to amenities and a few of the comforts of home like flushing toilets and drinking water fixtures. Although there are no hookups, each site includes a campfire ring with a cooking grate, picnic table, parking space and room for up to three tents. 

Ponderosa pine, Pinyon, and Juniper trees were critical to ancient Native American survival now shade Grand Canyon Campground Mather. Today, contemporary Native Americans living near the canyon still look to these trees as a food source and for ornamental and medicinal purposes.  

Within proximity of your campsite, you will share your experience with a variety of wildlife, including mule deer, elk and coyotes, and you might get a glimpse of the endangered California Condor.

These massive birds can occasionally be spotted soaring over the canyon or perched on a canyon ledge surveying their domain.

So then, Mather Campground is the best campground Grand Canyon on the South Rim to view various wildlife. 

bluebird blue skies, green pines and three large RVs park at one othe best campgrounds grand Canyon with snow on the ground
Trailer Village RV Campground is open all year inside grand Canyon National Park | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo

Trailer Village RV Park in South Rim Village

Open all year. Hookups.

Trailer Village RV Park is the best campground Grand Canyon if you seek the comfort of home in your RV.

Near the town of Tusayan and only 1/2 mile from the canyon rim, Trailer Village RV Park offers the Grand Canyon experience and pull-through, paved sites with full hookups for RVs up to 50 feet in length.

Each location features a picnic table, barbecue grill, 30- and 50-amp electrical service, cable TV, and water and sewage hookups. In addition, the nearby

Camper Services offers coin-operated showers, laundry facilities, vending machines and telephones.

Make your reservations for RV camping at least a month in advance. 

small cinderblock shed with low angle roof has sign reading in part: "Stop & Register within."
Trailer Village check-in booth is operated by concessionaires who do not accept the Golden Age Pass

Other Camping Near Grand Canyon South Rim

 

As much as everyone would like to pitch a tent on the rim of the Grand Canyon, sometimes camping near the Grand Canyon National Park rather than within it is not a bad idea, especially during the peak seasons of May-September.

 

Fortunately, other camping near the Grand Canyon in areas surrounding the canyon is close enough to enjoy the majestic beauty of the canyon that millions of people come to see every year.

 

Here are a few Grand Canyon campgrounds outside the National Park and near the South Rim: 

Paved road leads to forest of tall Ponderosa pines with sign reading in part: : "Ten-X Campground' at the best campground Grand CAnyon for being close, yet away from the crowds
Ten-X CAmpground is located just south of the Grand Canyon South Rim in the Kaibab National Forest

Camping near Grand Canyon South Rim at Ten-X Campground

Open May 15 – September 30 |  No hookups.

Ten-X Campground is one of the best options for camping near Grand Canyon. You will find standard nonelectric and tent-only non-electric campsites. The Ten-X Campground is a National Forest Service campground located at an elevation of 6,600 feet / 2012 m and has a quiet, convenient setting.

Shaded by majestic Ponderosa pines and Gamble oak trees, Ten-X Campground is only 4 miles from the Grand Canyon South Rim entrance and 2 miles from the many amenities available in the town of Tusayan. 

Ten-X Campground | Kaibab National Forest photo
black, wrought iron arch goes over strees with Americana behind including US flag, hotel sign, mountain of green pines and puffy white clouds in blue sky

RV campgrounds near Grand Canyon South Rim

Open all year. Hookups.

Indeed, one of the best choices for RV campgrounds near Grand Canyon is in what locals call the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon,” the town of Williams, Arizona. 

RV Campground near Grand Canyon Railway

Grand Canyon Railway RV Park is located approximately 60 miles / 96.6 km from the south entrance of the Grand Canyon and offers three types of RV spaces.

Select from pull-throughs, buddy spaces or back-ins. All are 50-amp and large enough for big rigs. Each site comes with high-definition digital TV provided by DirecTV, wireless Internet and access to an indoor swimming pool and hot tub. 

Additionally, the property has coin-operated laundry machines, a shared picnic area with gas grills, a fire pit and a new shower facility.  

Best of all, you are within walking distance of the quaint, historic Route 66 town of Williams and the Grand Canyon Railway.

Experience the Grand Canyon in an environmentally friendly way without maneuvering your rig through the busy roads within the park by taking a relaxing ride to the South Rim via the Grand Canyon train. 

RV Campground between Williams and the South Rim

For those looking for RV campgrounds near Grand Canyon and the reliability of a franchise name, the Grand Canyon/Williams KOA Journey could be one of the best RV campgrounds near Grand Canyon for you.

They provide many ways to stay, including RV sites, tent sites, hotel-style deluxe cabins, or camping cabins. In addition, their pull-thru and back-in RV spaces can hold rigs of all sizes. Options for sites include full hookups or water and electric hookups.

Or set up your tent at one of their many tent sites, which have gravel tent pads with either no hookups or water and electric hookups.

Distance from the KOA to Grand Canyon South Rim is approximately 60 miles / 96.6 km.

Booking.com
red foliage in forground, glamping tent behind with dawning sun shining on its creamy walls and panoramic windows
The sun comes up and a new day dawns on Tent 5 at Backland in northern Arizona

Camping near Grand Canyon South Rim as a “Happy Glamper” 

 

Open all year. Ask about hookups.

 

For some, the best camping near Grand Canyon is not much like camping. Welcome to the world of “glamping.” Glamping is not like staying in a hotel, but not exactly roughing it, either. 

 

Under Canvas offers luxurious camping near Grand Canyon. Yes, you will sleep in a tent; however, it has a king-size bed, wood stove with complimentary wood, and a private bath with flushing toilets, sink and shower. 

 

Bring the kids, the property is family-friendly, and tents with a sofa bed are available too. Better yet, complimentary smores are available every night, and you can roast them over an open fire under the stars just like you were camping rather than glamping.

 

Under Canvas is approximately 25 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon in the town of Valle or Grand Canyon Junction, the village’s new moniker.

 

A bit further away is Backland, a luxury eco-lodge that is perfect for glamping near the Grand Canyon.

Not sure what glamping is all about, then our story, glamping what to expect, is for you!

 

Dispersed camping is available near Arizona Trail at Grandview Fire Lookout | U.S. Forest Service, Southwestern Region, Kaibab National Forest photo

Dispersed Camping Grand Canyon South Rim Areas

As a rule of thumb, the closer you get to the Grand Canyon National Park south entrance, the more you give up privacy and a wild experience. But, conversely, the trade-off is convenience. 

Popular dispersed camping Grand Canyon near the South Rim includes Forest Roads 302, 306, 328 and 688, the Coconino Rim Road and Long Jim Loop Road. 

Forest Service Roads 302 and Long Jim are the most convenient in terms of amenities, and they can accommodate anything from tents to larger rigs. Both offer easy access to shuttles entering the park. 

Forest Service Road 688 and Coconino Rim Road can also accommodate most campers, but what distinguishes Coconino Rim Road from the others is that you must access the park to get there. When you arrive, it is the closest dispersed camping to the park, however one of the furthest from amenities. 

Finally, 328 Road, even though it is only 1.3 miles / 2.1 km from the South Rim entrance, is best left to tent campers as parking is difficult for larger rigs. 

Download maps of all of these roads at the Kaibab National Forest website.  

For the rules and regulations for dispersed camping Grand Canyon, see the following section:

black and white map of forest service roads that lead to dispersed camping Grand Canyon South Rim
Tusayan District of Kaibab National Forest road map | courtesy of Kaibab National Forest

Free Camping Grand Canyon South Rim Area: Guidelines and Restrictions

For free camping Grand Canyon South Rim area, check out Kaibab National Forest’s guidelines and restrictions on dispersed camping.

Or print the downloadable Dispersed Camping Guide

2. Campgrounds North Rim Grand Canyon

view from inside tent or camper looking out over sleeping bags to the dawn during Grand Canyon North Rim camping
Dispersed camping on the North Rim | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo

The North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is typically open from May 15 – October 15.

For a complete guide to camping at and near the North Rim, go to Campgrounds North Rim Grand Canyon

Because finding your perfect camping spot at the North Rim is tricky, Scott Talboom created a guide devoted explicitly to North Rim campers like you!

Your Ultimate Guide to Campgrounds North Rim Grand Canyon

3. Camping near Grand Canyon East Entrance

4-story stone tower sits on edge of canyon with views of layered red rocks below the spot which is one of the Grand Canyon South Rim best views
Desert View at sunset on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon | Bill Ferris photo

The seasonal Desert View Campground is the best camping near Grand Canyon East Entrance. Since Desert View Campground is 23 miles / 37 km east of Grand Canyon Village, it is one of the best options for getting away from the crowds on the South Rim. Open April 15 through October 15.

 

With only 50 campsites and few amenities, the campground offers a more remote experience. Desert View Campground is undoubtedly the best campground Grand Canyon for stargazers. As one of the darkest parts of the south rim, Desert View makes for incredible night sky views. 

 

It is a short walk to the Desert Watchtower, designed by famed architect Mary Colton and a short drive to Lipan Point. Lipan Point is renowned for its extraordinary view of the Colorado River, making Desert View Campground the best Campground Grand Canyon to experience sunsets. 

 

As remote as the campground without hookups may be, Desert View Market and Deli are nearby for all your favorite snacks and provisions, including ice cream and an excellent selection of craft beer and wine. 

 

One of the best ways to access Desert View Campground is via the East Entrance of Grand Canyon National Park on the border of the Navajo Reservation. Visitors traveling through the Navajo Nation on US 89 turn west at Cameron, Arizona, onto State Route 64, then drive 25 miles / 40 km to the park’s east entrance.

 

No hookups | Open April 15 through October 15

4. Best campground Grand Canyon West Rim

Route 66 mural is one of many in Seligman, Arizona, near Grand Canyon West | UNSTOPPABLE Stacey photo

For the best campground Grand Canyon near the West Rim, check out the KOA Campground in Seligman, Arizona.

Seligman was once a bustling Route 66 stop and railroad town, but now it is known for its quirkiness and Route 66 nostalgia. The town straddles the longest remaining stretch of Historic Route 66. One of the highlights is visiting the celebrated Delgadillo’s Snow Cap for its 50s motif and famous malts.

The busy KOA offers RV amenities and spaces, cabins and tent sites for car campers. Its location is perfect for Route 66 enthusiasts and to visit Grand Canyon’s remote West Rim, featuring attractions like the Sky Walk and Grand Canyon Caverns.

manmade metal structure with walkway and handrail sticks out over the west rim of the Grand Canyon while sun set behind
Grand Canyon Skywalk at Grand Canyon West | Courtesy of the Arizona Office of Tourism

If you found this information about finding the best campground Grand Canyon helpful, then please share it with your friends.

Ask questions or leave a comment for camping expert Scott Talboom below.

For more information on Grand Canyon National Park Campgrounds, visit

https://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/233242

Scott Talboom is a long-time Flagstaff resident who loves the Arizona mountain town. Scott’s career in advertising, public relations and fundraising spanned four decades. In October of 2019, he reinvented himself: trading ties and sport coats for blue jeans, khaki shorts, casual shirts and hiking boots. He is currently pursuing his many passions, which include freelance writing, consulting, fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. He truly enjoys sharing his love for Flagstaff and northern Arizona. Scott can be reached at taladvert928@gmail.com

UNSTOPPABLE Stacey was NOT provided with accommodations, meals or other compensation for the purpose of this guide. The Arizona travel writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.

In addition, this blog, UNSTOPPABLE Stacey Travel, contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, Stacey earns a commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help reduce the costs of keeping this travel blog active. 

Further, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Thanks for reading.

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Pinterest graphic of view of best campsite Grand Canyon from the sleeping bags of a tent of RV - sun comes up over camp chair and firepit

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