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Old 12-14-2017, 10:43 PM   #1
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Grand Canyon

Would like suggestions regarding visiting/camping the Grand Canyon!
I see the North Rim is closed in the winter.
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Old 12-14-2017, 11:13 PM   #2
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We were just there. A fantastic place to visit. There is a full service RV site in the park, run by a private company. Full service sites and on the Park bus route. However, no WIFI or TV service. Also, on site are limited sites with no services. This is run by the Park service. You should get reservations.
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:53 AM   #3
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Can't directly answer as I;ve not stayed on the south rim but I've found rvparkreviews a good source when trying to pick campgrounds.

Search results for "Grand Canyon National Park" - RV Park Reviews
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Old 12-15-2017, 05:02 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn L View Post
Would like suggestions regarding visiting/camping the Grand Canyon!
I see the North Rim is closed in the winter.
I usually suggest first time visitors do the South rim. There is more of the classic items to do although the North rim has less visitors and is a nice change of pace. We usually stay right in the Grand Canyon and not just outside it. The bus routes are useful and I would suggest using them especially during peak seasons. Note the weather is different than "average" AZ weather due to the elevation. The weather is also very different at the top vs. down in the canyon so be prepared. I have not been there in the winter, only spring to fall so I don't know what is different then. It is a beautiful area.

If you are adventurous and like water falls, consider visiting Supai and the Havesupai falls a few hours from the Grand Canyon. It was the highlight of our trip. Note that you can't drive in so it requires a long hike or mule ride or helicopter ride.
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Old 12-15-2017, 06:47 AM   #5
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I camped at south rim in February a couple years ago with my grands. We stayed at the KOA that's just a couple miles out of Williams on the road to the south rim. There's also a Koa just off the highway into Williams with a nice indoor pool and hot tub--I was there in October this year--but that location closes in winter.

There were,patches of snow on the ground and just below freezing overnight but that caused no issue--we were snug with my electric heater. And the views at the rim were spectacular due to the clear air--I'd say temps in the 50s--sweatshirts in the daytime. It would be possible, I think, to have more snow than we did, so up to the minute weather might be an issue. No crowds at all in the park.

On edit, a park employee told me that from spring break on through when school starts is high season--crowds, limited parking, etc. so if you can accommodate that with your plans you will have a much easier visit.
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:20 AM   #6
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What's considered spring break, mid March?
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:30 AM   #7
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In general I would think that avoiding anything starting the whole week before Easter would work. Schools vary--most take the week before or the week after. There'll be some variation particularly with colleges but the window I mentioned will likely be clear of 80% plus.
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:53 AM   #8
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A great tip for me (I was there in Jan 2017), is that there is RV parking in the far back at the south rim. It is shared by the tourist buses and such. So, if you are just visiting for the day, or need a place to park before you check into a RV park, this is how you avoid all the traffic.

As you drive in on Hwy 64, toward the south rim, well before you get to the crowded visitor area, turn left on center road. Look for signs to the "Backcountry office". Left on Village Loop Rd. The RV/Bus lot is past the Backcountry office. Once you have parked there, you can easily the shuttle bus system all over the south rim area.

Another tip is you can boondock/overnight anywhere in the town of Tusayan, about 1 mile before the park entrance gate. There is an RV lot behind the Imax Threatre, for example. But the whole town is "RV friendly". So, if you arrive late, after check in time, or whatever, you can always sleep there. The whole town is like a Walmart parking lot.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:45 AM   #9
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Wow, such helpful info much appreciated!
I suppose if you have a dog you leave them in the trailer?
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:17 AM   #10
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I have been to the north rim with our Escape. It was end of season as the campground and lodge were closing the day we left. We did not have a campground reservation and it was filled. We connected with a local ranger who suggested we park our trailer in a nearby location and check back with him when he came back on duty at 3:00. He had a site for us.

The drive into the park is several hours from the main highway, there are some forest service campgrounds along the way if you are turned away from the canyon campground. Reservations are very helpful or lots of flexibility.

It is a different vibe on the north rim. More laid back. More backcountry activities. A very nice meal in the lodge. Where someone could easily spend a week with activities on the south rim, not so on the north. You have to make your own entertainment as there are not the established “destinations”.
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:06 PM   #11
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Check out the Mather campground, south rim.

"...We arrived at Mather Campground, Grand Canyon, ..... Site 17 is a left side pull through, forces you to park with your trailer doors facing the paved road. No hookups, that’s fine with me...... Mather sites are nicely paved within a forest of trees....etc"

Here's a link to my post:

Mather Campground, GC-AZ
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Old 12-15-2017, 01:06 PM   #12
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In the winter months you'd definitely want to stay at the park in the Grand Canyon south rim. It is called Trailer Village and is reserved at https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/camping.htm
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Old 12-15-2017, 02:21 PM   #13
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We have camped there, on the south rim, in late spring and in winter. Both times we had reservations, and both times weather tried to intervene.
The late spring event was 40+ mph winds that came up the last full day we were there.
On the winter one, we actually arrived right after a snow storm hit. The high the next two days was 9°F. You're at 6800 ft± elevation.
We used a tour bus to get to the different viewing points, as we didn't have chains, and the buses are allowed to go were personal vehicles are not, in the winter. Absolutely beautiful colors, because the rain/snow had washed the dust off of all the rock, so it was brilliant in the sunshine.
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:01 PM   #14
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It doesn't need to be winter for snow at the Desert View Campground at the South Rim - May 18th:
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Old 12-15-2017, 04:49 PM   #15
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It snowed at the North Rim on September 27. I just happened to drive to Kanab, Utah on that day and missed it. By the time I returned it has mostly melted.
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Old 12-17-2017, 01:54 PM   #16
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I was at the Grand Canyon this past Jan 2017. It had snowed feet in the week or two prior to our arrival. Nighttime temps in the teens, but predicted to rise as the week went on. We hiked to the closed North rim. Rim to Rim to Rim took 5 days. Parked the rig in the RV lot near the backcountry office for 5 days no problem. But it was winter, off season.
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Old 12-17-2017, 02:39 PM   #17
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I was at the Grand Canyon this past Jan 2017. It had snowed feet in the week or two prior to our arrival. Nighttime temps in the teens, but predicted to rise as the week went on. We hiked to the closed North rim. Rim to Rim to Rim took 5 days. Parked the rig in the RV lot near the backcountry office for 5 days no problem. But it was winter, off season.
I bet that was a nice hike. We went from the south rim down to the river and back up in one day. That was not a nice hike, both of us messed our feet up a bit. I remember going back up when I figured we had to be close to the end and went over a rise and saw what looked like endless rises ahead of us.
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