Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Arizona RV Camping at Grand Canyon National Park



Grand Canyon National ParkThe Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most popular parks to visit. Nearly 5 million people visit the 1 mile deep, 277 mile long canyon each year. The Grand Canyon was first established as the Grand Canyon Game Preserve in 1906. Neighboring national forest lands were added to the canyon and both were upgraded to a National Monument in 1908. It was blocked from becoming a national park for 11 more years by opponents, such as land and mining claim holders, but in 1919 it was designated the Grand Canyon National Park. The park was carved out over millions of years by the Colorado River, revealing 2 billion years worth of geological history in the rocks. This combined with the natural beauty surrounding it plus the wildlife, makes the Grand Canyon National Park an excellent Arizona RV camping destination.

To find a Woodall's rated campground near the park, visit Arizona campgrounds.

The Grand Canyon National Park varies in elevation from 2000' to 8000', meaning there is a variance in temperature and climate depending on elevation. In general the summer months are pleasant. Highs on the South Rim reach up into the 80's, while not usually getting over the 70's in the higher elevated North Rim. Temperatures can reach over 100 degrees down in the canyon. Summer thunderstorms are frequent in July, August and early September. Lightning, rain, flash floods and even tornados and hail can occur. Fall temperatures remain pleasant, although cooler than summer months. Fall is also drier, although late summer rains or early winter snow storms are known to occur, making weather a little unpredictable. Be prepared for sunshine, rain, snow and wind. The winter months can be extreme, with snowstorms, icy roads and trails, and possible road closures. November through January sees anywhere between 50 and 100 inches of snow and snowfall persists into April in the higher elevations. Since the area receives so much sunlight, temperatures tend to average in the 40's, although temps can drop below freezing. Spring comes with warmer weather, although it may snow into May. The entrance fee for the park is $25, which is good for seven days and for both the North and South Rim.

The South Rim is the more accessible part of the park, with many opportunities to see the Canyon from the comfort of your car. 90% of visitors only visit the South Rim. Along the Rim there is the Grand Canyon Village which is the center of activity and the transportation hub of the South Rim. It is the only spot where the railroad reaches the Canyon. Grand Canyon Village also has a historic district which was primarily built by Santa Fe railroad workers in the first half of the 20th century. All along the Grand Canyon Village, there are museums, areas to view the Canyon, and a free shuttle service. The business district even has a bank and post office. The Desert View Drive heads along the east rim of the canyon for 26 miles, ending at the East entrance of the park and at the Desert View Tower. The tower was constructed in 1932 and is a replica of an Indian tower. The view from the top is magnificent with the Grand Canyon in front, the Painted Desert to the East and the San Francisco Peaks to the South. The 70’ tower is the highest point on the South Rim. The North Rim is harder to access, and weather often makes it inaccessible during the winter months. Since only 10% of visitors go to the North Rim, it is a bit more private and much less crowded. The elevation is also higher, meaning cooler temperatures.

There are many wonderful viewing points off the road, such as Bright Angel Point, Point Imperial and Cape Royal. For those that enjoy hiking, the hike from the South Rim to the North Rim is 21 miles and tends to require spending a night in the Canyon. An exciting and unique way to see the canyon, top to bottom, is on the back of a mule! There are trips on both the South Rim and the North, and they fill up quickly. Reservations should be made well in advance, even up to 13 months ahead of time. There are shorter trips along the canyon edge and night trips that go down to Phantom Ranch near the Colorado River. Either way, it is a wonderful way to see the canyon. Regardless of how you see the park, there is plenty to see and do for people of all ages and activity levels.

For Woodall's approved Arizona RV camping spots near the Canyon, visit Arizona campgrounds.

Back to Top National Parks to Visit in the United States