Taking an RV trip to the Grand Canyon is a bucket list item for many people, and it’s easy to see why! Peering over the edge to see those indescribable red layers is something you’ll never forget. Whether you’re there for the spectacular views or hoping to do some hiking, it’s something you should do at least once in your life. When you’re ready to pack up your RV and head out, check out our tips for a smooth and fun trip!
The Benefits of Planning an RV Trip to the Grand Canyon
If you’ve been RVing for any time at all, you know how great it is to enjoy something as impressive as the Grand Canyon during the day and still sleep in your bed that night. Plus, when you bring the RV, you can cook your meals at home rather than eating at restaurants. Eating out gets pricey, especially in popular tourist areas such as the Grand Canyon.
Not only can you cook and prepare your meals, but heading back for a quick mid-afternoon nap can help you be well-rested for your adventures. Bringing your RV along with you gives you the comforts of home while still exploring the Grand Canyon, and what could get better than that?
North Rim vs. South Rim
Did you know that the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon are two different destinations? It’s a 5-hour, 220-mile drive between the South Rim Village and the North Rim Village. Visiting both in one day would be a challenge, and even visiting both on the same trip would take extra planning.
The South Rim sees 90% of the park’s visitors, while the North Rim only sees 10%. It’s easy to conclude that those wanting a less crowded option might want to visit the North Rim.
However, the South Rim is open year-round, easier to get to, and has more amenities. The North Rim is typically open May 15th-October 15th, but this can vary based on weather conditions. There are campgrounds on both the North and the South Rim.
What Is the Best Month to Visit the Grand Canyon?
The best time to go to the Grand Canyon is whenever your schedule allows. Don’t let the opportunity to visit this fantastic landscape pass you by simply because you think it isn’t the best time to go. With that said, there are better times than others to plan your RV trip to the Grand Canyon if you have freedom in your planning.
Many agree that the best time to visit the Grand Canyon is March-May and September-November. These months usually have lower crowds and better weather than the hot, crowded summer months. Keep in mind that March and November may still be cold and possibly snowy. March and April could have more visitors due to spring break.
Ideally, a trip planned for September has cooler weather without the risk of being too chilly. This month will also see fewer crowds as schools have gone back in session.
Is Planning an RV Trip to the Grand Canyon Worth It?
Planning an RV trip to the Grand Canyon is worth it. Even if you don’t plan on hiking, the area is still great to explore. The views are outstanding and worth the trip alone. The visitor centers are filled with exciting information and knowledgeable staff to answer any questions you might have. If you hope to do some hiking, there’s plenty of that as well.
It may be worth it to try to see both the North and South Rims. Each view is unique, but there are also different visitors to explore and restaurants to experience. Additionally, each Rim has its own Junior Ranger programs for the kids.
Where Can I Park My RV Near the Grand Canyon?
While the Grand Canyon can seem remote, there are great places to park your RV. You don’t have to “rough it” just because you’re headed to this amazing place in nature. The Grand Canyon has camping options for everyone. If you like dry camping, you’ll find plenty of options. Thankfully, those traveling in large RVs wanting full hookups will find that option as well.
Mather Campground is near the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. There are 327 campsites, each with a campfire ring and picnic table. There are no RV hookups at the sites, but there’s a free dump station at Camper Services and water available within the park. You’ll find flushable toilets throughout the campground as well.
At Camper Services, you can also tackle your mountain of dirty clothes with their laundry facilities. Generators are allowed except when camping in Pine Loop. The campground is within a mile of the Grand Canyon, and you can make reservations in advance.
Trailer Village is perfect for those planning an RV trip to the Grand Canyon. Those in larger rigs who want to be close to the action will be happy to have found this park. Trailer Village RV Park is the only RV park within the national park that has full hookups. Here, you can have all the comforts of home while visiting the Grand Canyon.
Trailer Village RV Park is open year-round and will accommodate RVs up to 50 feet long. There are paved and pull-through sites, making setting up even easier. You’ll even have access to cable TV. Laundry services are available at Camper Services nearby. It’s about a mile walk to the Grand Canyon from the RV park, making it an excellent base camp. Reservations are available online.
Desert View Campground
Desert View Campground is at the east entrance of the Grand Canyon, about 25 miles east of the Grand Canyon Village. It’s closed during the winter, and each year they post the opening date on the national park website.
There are no RV hookups at Desert View Campground. The 50 campsites are first-come, first-served. You’ll want to arrive early as most of the sites are claimed by noon each day. This campground can only accommodate smaller setups with a total combined length of 30 feet or less.
Though there are no RV hookups, there are bathrooms available as well as two fresh water faucets. There are no showers or laundry facilities at this campground. Each site comes with a fire ring.
Seeing the Grand Canyon is worth the planning and time to do it regardless of when you go. It’s not something you’ll ever forget.
Let us know: Are you planning an RV trip to the Grand Canyon anytime soon?