The majesty of the Grand Canyon calls out to the explorer in all of us. It is one of the great natural wonders of the world, and I truly believe that everyone should go see it at least once in a lifetime. Even better: go on a camping trip at the Grand Canyon National Park.
If that is your dream, be sure to understand that you can’t simply travel to the Grand Canyon and camp there at will. Such an endeavor requires preparation. You may need to make a reservation if you are planning to stay at one of the developed campgrounds. Reservations are required to camp at the North Rim Campground or at Mather Campground on the South Rim.
The Desert View Campground, located at the South Rim, does not use a reservation system. Instead, visitors are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Desert View boasts 50 camping sites, and in the summertime, these rapidly achieve full occupancy by early afternoon.
The South Rim is the more accessible side of the Grand Canyon. During the summer months, the South Rim can get quite busy with tourists. That’s something to consider when you’re trying to decide when to go on your trip and where you are going to camp. You might decide to go camping at the North Rim, which is less accessible and less bustling. If so, I suggest that you at least make a stop along the South Rim. The views from the South Rim are extraordinary, and have been featured in several iconic photographs of the Grand Canyon.
You also have the option to pitch your tent someplace outside the developed campgrounds. You will need to obtain a Backcountry Permit before you can do this. A permit request requires you to provide the name and contact information of the trip leader, the number of people in your group, and an itinerary detailing where you will spend each night of your camping trip.