Where To Camp At The Grand Canyon (South Rim)

South Rim is the most popular Park in the Grand Canyon. Tourists and locals flock to camp at the Grand Canyon’s South Rim parks to experience extraordinary camping adventures, go hiking, and delight in the picturesque views.

If you have been planning to grace the ground of the Grand Canyon, you must consider that the Grand Canyon is huge and you can get lost if you’re not sure where to go.

There are several campgrounds in the Grand Canyon but the main ones are the Grand Canyon West campground, the North Rim campground, the Grand Canyon West campground, and the most popular of all the South Rim campground.

The experience does not end inside the parks. If you’re someone who prefers escapades outside parks, there are several campgrounds outside the parks too.

We have researched places in the famous South Rim of the Grand Canyon to help you decide where to camp on your next trip.

So, here are the campsites in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon where you can find good camping spots:

Inside the Grand Canyon National Park Camping at South Rim

If you prefer to experience camping at the Grand Canyon inside the South Rim park, here are the places where you can spend your trip:

Mather Campground

Mather Campground

Mather Campground is operated by the National Park Service, has around 327 sites, and is located in the Grand Canyon Village. This popular campground boasts a lovely ponderosa pine forest.

Campsites in the Mather Campground can accommodate not just families but also large groups camping and RVs with a horse camp to boot. But please take note that there are no available RV hookups in the Mather campground but has a free dump station.

Shower and laundry services are also available at the Mather campground entrance.

If you’re into cycling, paved bike trails pass by the Mather Campground. There are also free Grand Canyon shuttles that stop by Mather Campground.

Mather Campground provides easy access to the busy Grand Canyon Village market, shops, visitor center, s restaurants, south entrance station, and other attractions.

Camping at the Mather Campground at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park requires campsite reservations for most months.

There are no walk-up or first-come-first-served basis from March 1 up until the end of November. You can make reservations six months in advance and is recommended to do so because the campgrounds fill up fast.

The first-come-first-served basis for campers on Mather Campground is only available during the winter, from December 1 to the end of February. Walk-up campers need to pay through a self-pay kiosk at the entrance of the campground.

Pets are allowed but must be kept on at least a 6-foot leash and not left unattended.

Mather Campground is available all year-round with the following general camping fees:

  • Family Site (for up to six people, three tents, and two vehicles) – $18.00
  • Group Site (for 7-50 people and tents plus three vehicles ) – $50.00
  • Horse Camp (for up to six people, six horses/mules, and two vehicles) – $25.00

Trailer Village RV Park

Trailer Village RV Park

Trailer Village RV Park at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park is one of the best RV parks and the only campground that offers full hookups. This campground is operated by Delaware North.

This campground is also located near the Mather campground with around 84 sites or RV spaces and can even accommodate vehicles up to 50 feet in length.

Each parking space of all the 84 RV sites has a 30 and 50 amp electrical service hook-up, sewage hook-up, picnic table, and a barbeque grill. There are also dumpsters provided for your trash and a dump station.

Campfires are prohibited in the Trailer Village RV Park but you can have charcoal fires. Pets are also allowed but should be leashed.

For laundry and hot showers services, you have to go to the Mather Park entrance that offers the services. Concessionaire services on this campground are provided by Delaware North.

Reservations for Trailer Village RV Park can be made 13 months in advance and if you plan to visit during the busy season from May to October, 1-year advanced reservation is recommended.

The general Trailer Village RV Park campsite fees are as follows:

  • Paved RV Site (can accommodate 28 feet to 50 feet total vehicle length) – $71
  • Classic RV Site (can accommodate 28 feet to 50 feet total vehicle length) – $61

Desert View Campground

Desert View Campground Grand Canyon

Desert View Campground is one of the South Rim campgrounds operated by the National Park Service offers one of the best views with an arid landscape and a national forest decorated with juniper trees and pinyon pines.

This campground is located twenty-six miles east of Grand Canyon Village and has an established visitor center.

There are a total of around 49 campsites at Desert View Campground.

This campground at the South Rim is open all year-round and can accommodate tents and trailers up to 30 feet in length but no hookups.

Each site also has a picnic table and a fire ring or cooking grill.

The setting of the Desert View Campground is also in a secluded area so for those who prefer a peaceful camping experience within a national forest this is the best place to go

Please note that there are no available showers in the area for Desert View Grand Canyon camping but have two water faucets, with sinks and flush toilets.

Grand Canyon’s South Rim Desert View Campground is only open from mid-April to mid-October through reservations. You can make reservations up to 6 months in advance so as not to lose a spot, especially in peak season.

Desert View Campground has the following fee:

  • Campsite (up to six people, two tents, and two vehicles or one trailer up to 30 feet) – $18

Indian Garden Backcountry Campground

Indian Garden Backcountry Campground within the South Rim, AZ

Another breathtaking place in the Inner Canyon of Grand Canyon National Park that offers a backcountry camping experience for backpackers is the Indian Garden Campground.

This place is located halfway between the Colorado River and 4.8 miles below the South Rim via the Bright Angel Trail surrounded by magnificent cottonwood trees.

There’s also an oasis within the campground and the marvelous rust-colored rock layers views will make all the hike effort worthwhile.

Indian Garden only has 16 camping sites with an available ranger station, campsite tables, toilets, and drinking water. There’s also a metal food storage can where you can store your food and toiletries.

The average hike to and from this lovely campground usually takes about 4-5 hours.

Staying overnight at the Indian Garden requires a backcountry permit. For information on backcountry permits, check out this link.

Bright Angel Campground

Bright Angel Campground with hiking trail

Bright Angel Campground offers a unique camping experience and is located near all the major attractions at Bright Angel Lodge with 33 campsites available.

Either of the two trails will help you reach the campground: The Bright Angel Trail or the South Kaibab Trail.

The Bright Angel Trail is a 9.9 miles hike sp be prepared to pack all the essentials, especially water and backcountry gear that you need. It is also recommended to break the difficult downhill hike by spending a night at the Indian Garden Campground.

The South Kaibab Trail is a shorter route to the Bright Angel Campground but has less shade and no water sources. This trail offers magnificent picturesque views of the Kaibab National Forest.

Camping at the Bright Angel Campground requires a backcountry permit. For information on backcountry permits, you may go to this link for the backcountry information center found here.

Outside the Grand Canyon National Park Camping at South Rim

In your quest to experience camping at one of the best national parks, Grand Canyon National Park also allows camping outside parks. Here are the following camping areas outside the established campgrounds for your Grand Canyon camping trip:

Grand Canyon Camper Village

Grand Canyon Camper Village outside the South Rim

The Grand Canyon Camper Village is located at Tusayan approximately just one mile south of the Grand Canyon National Park entrance and offers tent sites and RV sites. This is a privately owned campsite that also offers Grand Canyon Tours with coin-operated laundry and restroom/shower facilities.

Long Jim Loop Dispersed Camping

Long Jim Loop Campsite

Long Jim Loop is located between Tusayan and the South Entrance. This serviced forest land offers free dispersed camping off a gravel fire road. There are RV sites but no hookups. Because this is an area that has no charge, please be responsible in managing your trash and practice the Leave No Trace principle.

Ten-X Campground

Ten-X Campground Arizona, Grand Canyon

Ten-X Campground is a Kaibab National Forest service campground and is located two miles south of Tusayan. This low-cost campsite has 70 camping sites that can accommodate up to 8 people. The 5-13 sites are for walk-ins on a first-come-first-served basis. There are free picnic tables and grills on each site.

This lovely campground is surrounded by ponderosa pines and Gambel oaks. There’s even a half-a-mile pathway to the campsite where you will be impressed by the towering trees.

Reservation is also recommended during peak season (May to September). To reserve, you may click this link: Ten-X Campground

Grand Canyon Railway and RV Park

Grand Canyon Railway and RV Park

The Grand Canyon Railway and RV park located at 601 W Franklin Ave, Williams Arizona offers convenience with daily historic trips to the Grand Canyon National Park. It cost around $60 to stay at this RV Park.

You can book in advance for your Grand Canyon Railway and RV Park stay at this link: Grand Canyon Railway and RV Park

NavajoLand Tuba City RV Park

NavajoLand Tuba City RV Park

NavajoLand Tuba City RV Park is located in the Historic Western Navajo Nation and is about an hour’s ride to the Grand Canyon National Park. This RV Park has a total of 20 full hook-up sites with 20, 30, and 50 amp capabilities. They also have showers and laundry facilities.

The NavajoLand Tuba City RV Park also has Wi-Fi available to guests. Currently, they don’t have a website where you can book in advance.

Bonito Campground

Bonito Campground Grand Canyon

Bonito Campground is located in Flagstaff, Arizona, and is about 1n hour and 11 minutes drive to the Grand Canyon. There are 44 sites and all are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Each campsite has tables, grills, and fire rings. There are no hookups available on this campground but there are toilets and drinking water.

Camping cost around $26 per night and the open season is only from Spring to October 11.

South Rim Camping FAQs

Is Backcountry Camping allowed outside the South Rim park?

Yes, backcountry camping is allowed but you need to secure a backcountry permit which includes Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground

Can you use your car for camping in the Grand Canyon?

Yes, you can but you need to still book a campsite as sleeping in the parking lot is not allowed.

Are reservations required when camping inside the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park?

Yes, no walk-ins are allowed for campsites inside the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.

When is the best time to camp at South Rim?

May to October are the most recommended months as the weather is warmer during these months.

Is there a free campsite inside the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park?

No, but there are free campsites outside the park.

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Article by Kyle

Digital nomad since 2010. I spend my time traveling around the world learning about new cultures and languages. I've lived in 4 continents and still have a lot left to explore!