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The Grand Canyon is likely included on just about every American’s bucket list. This iconic national landmark is recognized all around the world, and Grand Canyon National Park attracts millions of visitors each year.
Found in northwestern Arizona, approximately an hour and a half north of Flagstaff, the park’s number-one attraction will have you spellbound with its sheer size and magnificence. But there’s a whole lot more to this national park than just the views of the canyon itself, so it’s well worth your while to rent a camper near Grand Canyon National Park and spend a few days exploring.
First things first: if you’re visiting Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll no doubt want to visit the best viewpoints and snap more than a few photos. The Grand Canyon Visitors’ Center is found on the South Rim and is the spot where most visitors catch their first glimpse of this iconic geological attraction. As you’d expect, it can get quite busy here during peak periods, but it’s the best spot to easily access the edge of the canyon and appreciate just how immense it really is.
But there’s much more to do in the park than simply gawp at the canyon with scores of other tourists. So why not explore a little further afield and hike along the Rim Trail? This mostly level trail lets you escape the tourist traps and take in views of the canyon from a variety of angles.
There are also several other hiking trails that are well worth exploring. The Grandview Trail is steep in parts and allows you to admire attractions like Coconino Saddle and Horseshoe Mesa. For a real challenge, the North Kaibab Trail leaves from the North Rim and takes you to Roaring Springs, more than 3,000 feet below the rim. This is a very strenuous hike and takes seven to eight hours to complete.
Another great way to check out the spectacular scenery is to take a tour along Desert View Drive. Stretching for 25 miles east from Grand Canyon Village to Desert View, this scenic route includes several viewpoints with lovely views of the Colorado River. You can drive it in your RV rental if you wish, or book in for a bus or jeep tour.
Want to go camping with an RV in Grand Canyon National Park? The good news is that there are several campgrounds to choose from. However, please note that during the summer months, the campgrounds on the South Rim are very popular and fill up quickly.
Mather Campground is a South Rim campground located in Grand Canyon Village. Open all year round, it doesn’t offer any hookups, and there’s a maximum vehicle length of 30 feet. Standard amenities, including flush restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities, are available. Leashed pets are also allowed.
Trailer Village is also found in Grand Canyon Village and is the place to stay if you’re looking for a site with full hookups. Paved pull-through sites are available for vehicles up to 50 feet long, and leashed pets are also allowed. Trailer Village is open year-round.
Desert View Campground is found 26 miles east of Grand Canyon Village. It offers 50 sites which are only designed to accommodate tents and small RVs, with a maximum vehicle length of 30 feet permitted. Leashed pets are welcome, and sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Amenities include restrooms with flushing toilets and running water. No showers, dump station, or hookups are provided.
The fourth and final option is North Rim Campground, which is open from May through October. It has a dump station, water refill station, and coin-operated laundry and showers, but hookups aren’t available. Leashed pets are also welcome in this campground.
If you rent a camper near Grand Canyon National Park and plan on staying a few days, you’ll find plenty of ways to fill your time. As well as the attractions already mentioned, you might like to climb the stone watchtower at Desert View Point, take a mule trip along the South or North Rim, or take a guided bicycle tour along the South Rim.
While you’re in the area, consider exploring some other nearby attractions. Take a 250-mile drive west and you’ll find yourself in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. Head a little further and you’ll hit the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas. Alternatively, head north to explore the spectacular surrounds of the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument, or head south past Flagstaff to Coconino National Forest.
There’s no shortage of unique and intriguing attractions to explore, so hit the road and choose your own adventure.