There are several options when it comes to car camping at the Grand Canyon. Sites like Mather, the Canyons most popular campground, have water and toilets, as well as access to showers, laundry, and a store within walking distance. There is a fairly hefty fee to camp there, but it is close to everything, including the South Rim shuttle system. On the other end of the spectrum sites like Timp Point on the North Rim have no facilities and take several hours of driving unpaved roads to access. For those with the time and a 4X4 vehicle its well worth the scenic drive for a free campsite on the Rim of the Grand Canyon!
Mather Campground is the only place for tent campers to stay in the Grand Canyon village. This large campground also has space for small RV's, but hook-ups are not available. The South Rim shuttle system comes right to the campground, and Market Plaza as well as laundry and shower facilities are within walking distance. This is also a very busy campground so advanced reservations are advised. Pets are allowed, but must be leashed at all times, and may not be left unattended. Wood and charcoal fires are only permitted in provided campsite grills. No gathering of down wood - wood may be purchased at the general store.
Reservations may be made through the National Recreation Reservation Service by calling 1-877-444-6777 or online at the http://www.recreation.gov/ Reservations are strongly recommended from March 1 through mid-November. Golden Age or Access passport holders pay only price year round (passport number is needed when making reservation and passport holder must be camping at the site). Fees are $18 per site per night. A maximum of two vehicles, six people, three tents are allowed per site. (A vehicle that is towing a trailer, pop-up, tent trailer, fifth wheel, or a motor home pulling a vehicle is considered two vehicles.) Group sites are also available, $50/night, maximum of 50 people and 3 vehicles per group site.
Pets are NOT allowed below the canyon rim at any time. Pets are NOT permitted on the shuttle buses. Kennels are available in the South Rim Village. During the winter, from mid-November through February 28 reservations are not available at Mather Campground and family campsites are $15 per site per night, and group campsites are $30. This is on a first-come first-served basis. There is a self-pay machine at the campground office.
This campground is right outside of Tusayan, AZ a few miles from Grand Canyon entrance station. It is run by Kaibab National Forest and almost never fills up. Small RVs can fit at some of the sites, but there are no hook-ups, and composting toilets and potable water are the only services available. This is a very nice little campground with a lot more solitude than Mather is you don't mind a short drive to get into the Park. Pets are allowed, but must be leashed at all times, and may not be left unattended. Wood and charcoal fires are only permitted in provided campsite grills.
The U.S. Forest Service operates Ten-X Campground 2 miles/3 km south of Tusayan, early May through September. No hook-ups or showers; pit toilets and cold water faucets are located throughout the campground. The campground operates on a first-come, first-served basis and rarely fills. A group site is available for groups of up to 100 people, reservations required. Call (928) 638-2443.
Desert View is a seasonal first come first serve campground near the Parks East Entrance. Space is limited and no hook-ups are available. This is a very nice little campground that is close to the Rim, and there are a few services including a gas station and small general store close by. Pets are allowed, but must be leashed at all times, and may not be left unattended. Wood and charcoal fires are only permitted in provided campsite grills. No gathering of down wood - wood may be purchased at the general store.
The Desert View Campground opened for the 2009 summer season on Friday May 8th, 2009 at 9:00am and closed mid-October 2009. The following information for the Desert View Campground is effective for the entire 2009 summer season, and will be updated for 2010 during the spring of 2010.
Camping Fees: Campsites at the Desert View Campground are $12.00 for each space for each night. The Interagency Senior Pass, Interagency Access Pass, Golden Age Passport, and Golden Access Passport entitle the pass owner to a 50% discount on camping fees. No discounts on camping for any other Federal Pass holders. We accept either exact cash or credit card for payment of campsites with our automated fee machine located by the campground restrooms.
Kaibab National Forest
Bordering Grand Canyon National Parks South Rim is Kaibab National Forest. Visitors are allowed to camp at large in the Forest for up to two weeks. There are only a few rules including; having a permit for fires, and not camping until you are at least one mile from the pavement. No facilities are available, but some of the main forest service roads even have enough space for a large RV, and best of all its free.
SE1, SE2 & SE3
These campsites are the only sites where you can drive out and camp along the South Rim. You will need high clearance, and 4wd is recommend especially if there is weather. If you check out a map for the National Park, or the South Kaibab Ranger district you will find a campsite marked SE2. This is an awesome place to have a wilderness experience along the Rim, and a good base camp for a day hike on the South Bass trail. SE3 is actually at the South Bass trailhead and is not the best choice unless you are heading down South Bass for a backpack the next day. SE1 is by the rim, but the view is a little obstructed. All of these sites require a permit from the Grand Canyon Backcountry office, but they're easy to come by and worth the small fee. Fires are not permitted within the Park, and water is not available at these sites.
*On your way to these campsites you'll pass through Hualapai Tribal land near Pasture Wash. Sometimes there are tribal members at a rickety camp that will charge you a $20 fee. You do have to pay this fee, so be sure to have some cash with you so you don run into a problem.
North Rim Campground
The North Rim campground is a tent campsite located in the North Rim village. This is your only option for a drive-in campground in the North Rim village area. Sites can be booked via an advanced reservation system, and for those don't make a reservation you will usually find all the sites full. Pets are allowed, but must be leashed at all times, and may not be left unattended. Wood and charcoal fires are only permitted in provided campsite grills. No gathering of down wood - wood may be purchased at the general store. Coin operated laundry and showers are located at the entrance to the campground. Accessible campsites and restrooms are available.
Reservations may be made through the National Recreation Reservation Service by calling 1-877-444-6777 or online at http://www.recreation.gov/ It is possible to check at the campground for the slight chance of an availability. Campsites are $18-$25. Golden Age or Access passport holders pay only price year round (passport number is needed when making reservation and passport holder must be camping at the site). A maximum of two vehicles, six people, three tents are allowed per site. (A vehicle, which is towing a trailer, pop-up, tent trailer, fifth wheel, or a motor home pulling a vehicle, is considered two vehicles.)
After mid-October, weather permitting, a limited number of campsites at the North Rim Campground with limited services (portable toilets) will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until snow closes Highway 67. Hikers and cross-country skiers will be permitted to use the parks group campsites throughout the winter months if they have obtained a permit through the parks Backcountry Information Center.
Aptly named Point Sublime is one of the best views in Grand Canyon National Park. A small number of visitors make this off-road excursion, but very few spend the night. The drive takes a couple hours from the North Rim village and 4wd is highly recommended. There are 2 campsites available here, one right at the point and one a little further back. These sites require a permit from the Grand Canyon Backcountry office, but they're easy to come by and worth the small fee. You can get this permit in advance from the main backcountry office at the South Rim, or pick it at the North Rim BIC. The only facilities are pit toilets and picnic tables, and water is not available. Fires are not allowed within Grand Canyon National Park.
Operated by the U.S. Forest Service. 16 miles/ 28km north of North Rim Village. No hookups or reservations. Potable water and Pit toilets are available. Pets are allowed, but must be leashed at all times, and may not be left unattended. Wood and charcoal fires are only permitted in provided campsite grills.
Operational Hours: Check out time is 2pm.
Fees:$17.00 for the first vehicle, $8.00 for the second per site (towed vehicles excluded). Up to 6 people per site. America the Beautiful, Senior, and Access passes are honored. Reservations are not taken for this campground. Firewood is available at $6 per bundle.
15 May-1 October
Open season varies depending on weather, snowfall and road access.
Dispersed Camping outside the Park (USFS Roads)
There are several Forest Service roads with many sites to set up camp. Pets are allowed, but must be leashed at all times, and may not be left unattended. Wood and charcoal fires are only permitted with a permit from the National Forest when there are no fire restrictions in place. Inquire at North Rim Visitor Center inside park, or at Kaibab Plateau Visitor Center at Jacob Lake (928) 643-7298. In winter contact the North Kaibab Ranger District, Kaibab National Forest at (928) 643-7395.
Dispersed Camping outside the Park (Along the North Rim)
A large section of the North Rim is part of North Kaibab Ranger District within Kaibab National Forest. There are both designated and non-designated sites along the rim. There are no fees or permits, and the sites fill on a first come first serve basis. Pets are allowed, but must be leashed at all times, and may not be left unattended. Wood and charcoal fires are only permitted with a permit from the National Forest when there are no fire restrictions in place. Dead and down wood can be collected. There are no facilities or water available at these sites, and 4wd is highly recommended. These campsites are off the main tourist tract, so a North Kaibab Ranger District Map is recommended.
Marble Canyon is part of Grand Canyon National Park that is usually passed up by Park visitors. Marble Canyon is bordered by Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, and has some awesome campsites right along the Rim of Marble Canyon with an awesome vertical drop. You'll have to do a little exploring to get to these sites, but it will be worth it, and you'll probably be the only one there. You can also camp at the trailheads to Several Marble Canyon hikes including, Soap, Ryder, and South Canyon. Most of this is BLM land and no permits or special regulations apply. This is not the best choice in the Summer time when it camp be down right toasty, but the rest of the year is great. There are no facilities or water at these sites, and 4wd is necessary for most of these roads.
The campground at Lees Ferry is a great base camp to explore Marble Canyon, or a good layover between the North and South Rim. Its right by the Colorado River and doest typically get a ton of use. This site is also a good campsite for river runners the night before they launch a trip through the Grand Canyon. The campground is run by Glen Canyon NRA and contains 54 designated sites. Grills provided, but there are no open fires. Quiet time is 10pm-6am. Modern bathroom/comfort station, potable water available, launch ramp 2 miles. Gas and supply store at Marble Canyon, about 5 miles away. No reservations. $12 per site/per night.
Located in the far reaches of the western Grand Canyon off the North Rim is Toroweap/Tuweap Campground. There are nine sites available for 1-6 people and up to 2 vehicles on a first-come first-served basis. These sites typically don't fill, but may in the spring or fall season. Picnic tables, fire grates, and composting toilets are provided, but no electricity or water is available, and you must bring your own wood. The overlook area is for day use only, and there are no sites at the actual overlook. Free registration is required in the campground register. Camping is only allowed in the campground within the Toroweap/Tuweep vicinity. One group site for up to 11 people and 4 vehicles is available via reservation only up until noon the day it is needed. The group site may be reserved - for no fee - up to four months in advance by emailing The Backcountry Information Center.