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Old 06-30-2022, 02:31 PM   #1
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Grand Canyon 2023

Hey all, we are discussing a trip to the Grand Canyon in our 19 in the spring of 2023. Can anyone share their experience with campgrounds? We plan to arrive in mid-May and would like to visit both South and North Rims.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:10 PM   #2
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I stayed at the North Rim campground for a few days in September 2017. It's pretty nice. There are no hookups and the sites are shady, so solar panels won't help much. I don't recall their rules about generators.

The road going to the North Rim closes for the winter and opens in mid-May, but the date of the opening can vary with the weather.
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:38 PM   #3
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We were at the north rim this spring. We stayed at Kaibab camper village. Full hook ups, level sites with tons of shade loved watching the Kaibab squirrels only found on the north rim. There were plenty of them in this park.
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Old 06-30-2022, 03:45 PM   #4
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South of the south entrance about 10 miles is the The Ten X campground on the Kaibab national forest. We Camped there when we went to Tucson in 2013. Lovely ponderosa pine forest, Some sites shady some not.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/kaib...11689&actid=29
That’s where I’d go again for looking the south rim area over.
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Old 06-30-2022, 04:00 PM   #5
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For the South Rim & in the park, I prefer Desert View campground. Dry camping but many sites have enough sun for solar. A 50' walk to the edge of the canyon from your trailer, but 26 miles from Grand Canyon Village. Reservations required...

You may get snow in mid May - Site 12, May 18, 2011:
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Old 06-30-2022, 06:12 PM   #6
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Plan your trip around the annual
Escape Rally in Osoyoos in May, a sight to see and meet others....
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Old 07-01-2022, 04:55 PM   #7
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We usually try to stay in national park campgrounds whenever we can. But the Mather campground at the South Rim is pretty heavily wooded, it gets cold at night and that means running the furnace a lot, and we weren't sure how well the solar would hold up for a longer stay. So when we go to the South Rim we usually stay at the Trailer Village RV Park, run by a concessionaire. It's nothing to write home about, and has no amenities other than full hookups...but LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION. If you are there for a while, being right in the heart of Grand Canyon Village is really nice. Great hiking/biking trails make it easy to get to the rim and visitors center, and they have a terrific bus system for getting all around the South Rim with a bus stop right at the campground. There's a surprisingly good grocery store right in the main village area. Staying outside the park means waiting in lines to get in and then parking at a remote lot or searching a while to try and find a parking spot in the main area.

The South Rim has a reputation for crowds and that is the case, but mostly between 10 and 3 when all the day tripper people come in for their quick look at the rim. If you are staying right in the park, it's wonderful to get up at dawn and walk out to the rim to see sunrise....same thing for sunsets, very peaceful and not so many people. We were there for 5 days last October and never used our truck once.

If you are hikers, I highly recommend hiking the South Kaibab trail down into the canyon a ways to get a feel for being down inside this amazing place. It has several scenic viewpoints that are not a huge hike and give you the opportunity to go as far as you feel comfortable doing - Ooh Ahh Point, Cedar Ridge (a nice rest stop with bathrooms), and Skeleton Point. This trail is far less crowded than the Bright Angel Trail and is actually more scenic with better views. There are no mule rides on the South Kaibab Trail, but you may encounter a mule pack train carrying supplies to and from Phantom Ranch at the bottom. Just remember that it will be all uphill on the way back! The signs warning about not trying to go all the way to the river and back in a day are there for a good reason.

Haven't been to the North Rim for 20 years, but stayed at the national park campground there and remember it as very nice and peaceful.
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Old 07-01-2022, 06:22 PM   #8
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On the North Rim we like Jacob Lake at 40 miles from the rim. We used to just show up without reservations but changes this year make reservations important. There are now only 11 first come first serve sites, in the past half the campsites were first come first serve. We paid $12/night with our senior pass. Generators are allowed, the sites range from partially shady to full sun.

On the South Rim we always stay at Desert View. All sites require reservations, but when we have been there last minute cancellations yield a spot or two. It is a short walk to the Watchtower and it's dramatic views. Figure 3-4 hours drive between the 2 campgrounds. Generators are absolutely not allowed. We paid $9/night with our senior pass.

Another option to consider, and perhaps a future rally site is the Jacob Lake Group Site. It is across Hwy 89 from Jacob Lake perched on a hilltop. It has 2 halves that appear to have space for at least 20 campers at each half, with multiple pit privies, fairly open for solar to work well. Cost is $150/night. We met a motorcycle camping group that had the Group Site reserved for a week, the rangers offered to open the other half of the campground to them for no additional cost. They even invited us to join them as they had so much room for their 30+ campers. Almost 9000 ft in elevation, it is as cool as Arizona can be in the summer.
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Old 07-01-2022, 11:05 PM   #9
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Things pick up in terms of visitors as soon as spring break happens, but if you plan before school gets out, you shouldn't have a lot of trouble. I've stayed at the campground at the south rim; it's fine. Also have stayed at the koa that's on the highway heading up to south rim, but it's a bit of a drive back and forth.
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:22 PM   #10
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Great meal, very thankful. We lucked out on Thanksgiving Day a few years ago, got this site at the Mather Campground. No hookups needed. Took a chance -bigger risk was finding a parking spot near the main building. We walked right in and got a table in the main dining room.
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Old 07-13-2022, 10:34 AM   #11
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Williams AZ KOA

We stayed at the Williams', AZ KOA last year. The campground set up the outdoor movie screen and played movies loudly until 10PM. There were 2 kids watching the movies. When my wife asked if the movie volume could be turned down the KOA employee was very rude and told my wife to turn down the volume herself. We left the campground the next morning and demanded a refund (which we were given).

We moved to the Canyon Gateway RV Park. Despite being near a truck stop we were not bothered by any noise at night.
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Old 07-13-2022, 01:07 PM   #12
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We prefer the North Rim Campground, tends to be less busy than the South Rim and a beautfiul drive from Jacob Lake up to the campground (many buffalo and deer spotted). No services at sites but water and restrooms in campground....solar keeps all our devices charged. The Lodge is nice and close and some great trails near the lodge.....you also have the rim trail from the campground to the lodge. Beware though you need to get your reservations in early (like 6 months) to snag a spot at this campground. Point Imperial is great place for sunrise....truly spectacular.
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Old 07-14-2022, 08:37 AM   #13
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Desert View campground says trailers limited to 20' length. See Accessibility Information in link:

https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvis...campground.htm

The Escape 21 trailers have a big 21 on the front. I assume that this must not be a problem?
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Old 07-14-2022, 08:48 AM   #14
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It states 30' total length, so your tow vehicle and trailer total, length, get out the measuring tape!
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Old 07-14-2022, 09:06 AM   #15
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It pretty clearly says RV maximum is 30' and trailer maximum is 20'. I also think that the bumper to bumper measurement of 30' is not very clear but it does state that it is for the vehicle and it does clearly distinguish between vehicle and trailer or 5th wheeler.

I guess this got my attention because campground filters I have encountered sometimes have a break points for trailers at 20', 25'/30', etc. I am always tempted to enter the 20' length to open up more spaces.
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Old 07-14-2022, 09:52 AM   #16
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The Mather Campground in Grand Canyon Village also has prominent signs stating that the maximum combined length is 30 feet. Although there are certainly some sites in there that we could fit in, I never wanted to push it and get turned away by an overzealous ranger so we stay in the Trailer Village rv campground right next door. When we are hitched up to our 5.0 our combined truck/trailer length is 36 feet.
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Old 07-14-2022, 06:31 PM   #17
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The website is very specific that combined length is 30 ft or less. The back in sites at Desert View are rather short, the pull through sites will easily accommodate our E19 and a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The camp host does NOT wander around with a tape measure. If you fit and are not in the road it is no problem.
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