Tight quarters amongst other RVs but you can’t beat the proximity to the rim. A 5 minute bike ride and you can cruise along the south rim. The free shuttle bus is also a great way to hop along and see the various highlights. We’d stay here again!
Great location, no reservation needed, but you do need to get there pretty early for a spot. Camping spots are really spacious. A little noisy. Bathrooms were clean and stocked other than soap.
We loved camping here. If you don't like a lot of people then staying on the east side of the canyon is so much better. Terrific camp ground and the host is the best you'll find!
like the previous reviewers, you need to have reservations to stay at the ranch. i looked for a reservation, they were full, put my name on the lottery list, and got a spot the next day. Super lucky we were. Hike down not bad, about 4 hrs down, and hike up not too bad about 4 1/2 hours. Its was 123 when we arrived at the ranch before 10. we left south rim at 530. we soaked in the stream alongside the ranch which was a much needed cool down. food was good, the mess hall was filled with hikers from all over the world. dorm rooms were cooled by a swamp cooler. bunks were clean, showers were cold, and bunkmates were full of info and funny stories.
My grandchildren and I arrived in July of 2018 and spent two nights here in my 17ft Winnebago Micro Minni Winni Camper. The campground host “Bill” was awesome! I was new to parking my camper and Bill helped to get her in position.
We enjoyed this campground so much, I decided if there was ever an opening for a campground host, I would be the first to apply!
I did and yes, I got the job!!! Come on out and visit Miss Belle and Miss Roe at Desert View Campground!
The North Rim Campground is the only campground located on the North Rim, and although massive, you HAVE to reserve your campsite 6 months in advance or it is likely you will not get one. We had planned our road trip way in advance for this reason. There are some “prime view” sites but they go very quickly. We ended up with a tent-only site which was on its own loop off to the side, but you only had to walk a few yards to look out over the rim. The whole park is beautiful, so don’t stress on getting a particular view.
The tent-only sites had their own designated parking spot not far from the site itself. The sites were close together but staggered so that you were not right up next to your neighbor. They each came with a fire pit, picnic table, and a leveled tent space. There are many bathroom locations around the sites, I did however look at the map online beforehand to get a site close to one. We were next to not only the “original” vault toilets but also “real” toilets that had sinks and a small mirror, plus a dish washing station.
There were a few potable water stations throughout, but keep in mind, if the weather is below freezing it is likely going to freeze and not work. It was snowing while we were there (which is unusual for spring) and the water did not work, thankfully we had brought our own. There is also a camp store with all sorts of groceries and resupplying needs (food, plastic utensils, fuel, candy, beer…..you know the necessities.) They have coin showers and laundry located near the ranger hut as well.
From the campsite, there is a short 2 mile hike over to The Lodge, which has a couple restaurants, coffee hut and bar, and gift shop. This is also where you will find the paths out to a few viewing areas of the Grand Canyon. Be aware it is very crowded, but worth the hike or drive over.
Since we only had one full day to hike, we decided we would take that day to hike the North Kaibab which goes down into the canyon. On the drive in we noticed the trailhead parking lot was completely full and overflowing so we woke up around 5 AM, made breakfast and got to the trailhead around 5:45 AM so we could get a parking spot. We went a total of 12 miles, 6 down (easy peasy) and 6 up (not so easy peasy), but the views were unlike anything I have ever seen! Keep in mind when going down that Yes, you do have to go back up and that last 2 miles from the top is nothing but switchbacks and they WILL murder you.
We did not see much wildlife while we were there, but it was snowing most of the time. They warned against leaving food out because of the ravens, so we made sure to keep our food up in the car. Take some time to visit the North Rim, we only had 3 days and I wished we had much much more!
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I get to test products from time to time. At North Rim Campground, I tested the Primus Primetech 2.3 Liter Stove Set.
Now for the past few years I have been using my MSR Pocket Rocket for all my backpacking needs, but this trip was with my husband and was more like car camping than anything, so we opted to choose a little bigger stove. Primus has many variety of stoves, but we very much liked the sound of the new Primetech stove that has a nonstick pan and wind guard. It comes in a 1.3 Liter as well, but we eat a lot…
Never having used anything by Primus, I did not quite know what to expect. I ordered directly from the Primus website and received the product within the week. The stove and parts came all packed together in a nice carrying pouch that makes it very easy handle. It is bigger than the stove I am used to and probably not the best for backpacking with, but it is great if you have some extra room to spare and a few bodies to cook for!
At first, I will tell you, I got very frustrated. I could not for the life of me figure it out. I read the instructions over and over again, doing EXACTLY what they said to do. Well…that was the problem.
The set up was nice and easy, but lighting it was the issue. The instructions say to turn the valve 2 whole turns, then use the Piezo Lighter to light. Well I can tell you, after much trial and error, it needed much more than 2 turns. I originally thought it was the lighter itself, so we tried a different lighter and failed again. Long story short, I found that that you need to turn the valve until you hear a light stream of gas then use the Piezo Lighter (could be upwards of 5 whole turns.)
Once I figured out how to light the thing, I fell in LOVE! The Primetech stove is Awesome!
Things I LOVE!! :
The whole thing packs up into itself and comes in a nice carrying case!
The gas valve makes it feel like you are cooking over your gas stove at home. You can decrease and increase the flame to you cooking needs without any effort at all!
The lid for the pot has an integrated strainer and the wind guard on the bottom works wonders!
The set comes with 2 pot, one of which has a non-stick coating that actually works! I have spent too many nights scrubbing the burned noodles out of a pot in freezing cold water as my fingers go numb….not anymore!! You can literally get a paper towel and wipe the excess food out of the pot.
This is one AMAZING stove set. We brought our old stove set on the trip just in case this one didn’t hold up to our liking, we didn’t even unpack the thing. I will be using the Primetech Primus stove for many years to come!
-Quick tip: Make sure to use a Primus fuel canister if you have one available. We originally attached a leftover MSR fuel canister we had and for some reason when connecting it the fuel leaked out a got all over my hand (it didn’t feel so good), when I attached the Primus canister later I didn’t have an issue!
If you win the lottery, this is the place to stay!
Let me clarify. This place is amazing, but the only way to get here it by winning a random lottery for a room (link is HERE). It's such a popular location (for incredibly good reason), that you have to enter a lottery, pick some dates, and cross your fingers. All 3 adults in our group entered, and one of us was picked. Hip hip hooray!
It's located on Bright Angel Creek, just a little bit from the Colorado River. In order to get to Phantom Ranch, you have to be insane enough to want to travel down inside the earth about a mile (most people call this the Grand Canyon), in the sun, covered in red dirt, with your backpack, and enough salty snacks and water to feed an elephant (or you can rent a ride on the mules) That said, if you have the drive and insanity and muscles to get you there, the reward is awesome lemonade, night time ranger talks, conversations with mules (because you might just be that tired at the end of the night), unbelievable experiences meeting other fellow hikers, and delicious comfort food.
Okay, now you can't possibly expect the Ritz when you get here. It's not about that. It's not even close, but it's 5 star in a totally different way. Keep in mind, that this Ranch has been here since the early 1920's. And supplies were either local to the area at the bottom, or brought by mule. So it's not fancy.
What to expect: There are a few ways to stay at Phantom Ranch. First are dorms. There are about 10 bunks per dorm, and it's women and men. Women in one, men in the other. Each dorm has a toilet with a door (modern plumbing) and a shower with hot water. There is also a sink. Each person claims a bunk and that's theirs for their stay. The other way is to rent a cabin. More expensive, but more private. If you rent the cabin, you and yours are the only ones sharing it. Because it's "out of the way", not all the modern conveniences work all the time. So expect it to be a little rustic, but it's all part of the experience. The cabins and dorms have air and heat, so it's a more comfortable experience than camping in a tent.
There is potable water scattered around, a few composting toilets if you are away from your cabin, picnic tables, two outdoor amphitheaters (normally a daytime ranger program at one, and a night program at the other). Inside the canteen you can purchase drinks (alcoholic and non), hiking essentials (toothbrush, sunscreen, salve, etc) and a selection of souvenirs. They even have a little library of books to read, and games that you can borrow and play.
There are some meals available, but you need to order them in advance (or check with them each day to see if they have enough for you to order it). The two evening meals are beef stew and steak. Not cheap, but so worth it! They come with fixings like cornbread, veggies and such, and always dessert. You can also order a veggie option. Breakfast is family style (as is dinner) and was pancakes, bacon, eggs etc when we were there. Coffee and juice too. There aren't many options, but think about it…all the groceries have to be delivered by mule. Make sense? Breakfast is offered at 2 different times (your choice) so you can get hiking early, if you want. Dinner is at different times, too, depending on what you order.
While you are there, you can buy a postcard and have it mailed from the Ranch, by mule! Cool little way to tell your loved ones "look what I did!".
So much to say about this "little piece of wonderful"! You really just have to see it for yourself!
NOTE: please read up on traveling to the bottom of the canyon before you go. Make wise choices about what time of year you want to travel. It was April when we went, and although it was about 50 degrees at the South Rim, it was close to 90 degrees at the bottom. In the summer, they said it can get to about 120 degrees in the shade. So please plan accordingly for snacks, water, travel, clothing choices and temperature
We didn't have the pleasure of staying at Bright Angel Campground, because we had bunks a Phantom Ranch, but what an amazing place to stay! At the bottom of the canyon, how many people get to say they've been there?
It's hard to get there, since you have to hike over a mile down into the earth to find it, but if you've reserved your spot in advance, it's an amazing opportunity! You MUST have a permit to stay at this campground, and it takes months to get one, so please plan in advance.
You can not hike down and get a spot at the campground. You have to have a permit.
Cost: $10 for the permit and $8 per person with 30 sites for small groups (1 to 2 tents) and 2 spots for larger groups (up to 7 tents, I think)
Once you have a permit, and arrive at the campground, it is first come first serve to pick a spot.
The sites aren't terribly private, but they are incredibly unique. Each features a spot on the water, or just across the trail from the water, and it's on the Bright Angel Creek, just a half mile from the Little Colorado River. Each site also had a lock box (like a cooler with latches) for food to keep it from the ravenous, and none to shy, squirrels, as well as a metal "T" post for hanging your packs and shoes. NOTE: Keep your packs UNZIPPED so that the squirrels don't chew holes into them, if they manage to pull circus stunts and find them on the poles. The cool part? Those poles are part of the old telephone line/system in the canyon! Great little piece of history being repurposed!
I assume that everyone at the bottom has the stamina and gumption to get there, so they respect everyone else that did too. And those that were crazy enough to try, without athletic ability, have a newfound insane appreciation for what it takes to do it at all, and respects everyone even more, so privacy at the campsites isn't an issue. It's a privilege to be there at all.
There are bathrooms, potable water, emergency phone, boat beach for soaking tired feet in icy water, ranger station and lots of good company. I highly recommend it, if you are just crazy enough to try. You won't regret the memories!
This is a great campground in the Grand Canyon National Park it is close to the village, you can bike and hike fom this location. There is also a bus stop at the entrance to this campground that will take you all around the canyon to see all of the sites. All of the spots are pull through and have water electricity sewer and cable. The cell service is ok depending on where you are at. There are a lot of people from other countries that stay at this campground so you meet a lot of nice people. The campground is very close to the rim and many amenities. There is also elk that will come through and graze. We stayed for seven days in August during the rainy season very pleasant.
This is a great place to camp on the south rim! Walk to Navajo point snack bar/camp store and watchtower! Tent camp sites have shade and a picnic table. Go catch sunset at the tower! But get there before 6! Very quiet campground off tourist path just far enough out of high traffic areas. Highly recommend!
My wife and I took a week long road trip through Arizona, we made no plans and no reservations. Little did we know after reaching the North Rim Campground, we would find that the camp sights are books 6+ months ahead of time. The park ranger told us about the dispersed camping many mile away, as we were getting ready to leave line, a couple walks up and explained they had reserved a corner spot which contained 2 spots, because it was the only one available that weekend. they offered the unused sight to us!!!!!
We took the offer and were Blown away by the beauty that surrounded our site, we were far from others even quite far from our helpful hosts, the hiking is stunning and the lodge there makes some great food as well as a great place to buy some souvenirs.
Fire-ring, BBQ, Water nearby, AMAZING SPACE, plenty of tree coverage from the sun, close to hiking, and within a short drive to the best sunsets Arizona has to offer
We HIGHLY recommend catching the sunset at Angel Peak!!!! but watch out for the altitude change, its quite high at 8297 feet. Our hometown is at 2800 and the hiking got the best of me…
it’s not close to much, but there is some running water you can cool off in and refill water. just make sure you filter it. when we were there they didn’t have running water to just fill up from. very hot on the way to this camp site as there is not much cover on the trail.
It takes some work to get here (aka hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon) but it is worth it! Nice campground, sites are a little small but they have a picnic table, food box and a place to hang your pack/boots. It also had running water and a bathroom with full plumbing.
Great place to stay and well worth the effort to get there!
Very beautiful campground on the north rim. Plenty of shops and trails to hit while you're here. Great views of the canyon. I believe they are only open during the spring to summer months. Only 10 percent of the annual Grand canyon visitors go to the north rim. Beautiful visitor center with very helpful park rangers. They're are quite a few trails that take you to different view points of the canyon which I will attach. If you choose to camp here ensure you reserve a spot a few months out as they usually fill up quickly. I made a reservation about 7 months in advance.
We stayed here after a day of hiking down from the rim. Be sure to have your permit! We can in February because that was the easiest month to get a permit.
The sites are close together, but each one has a rack to hang your packs from, ammo cases to store your food away from ground squirrels, and a picnic table. The squirrels are serious business here. There was a crew cutting back trees the in the morning and we watched a squirrel chow down on one of the worker's breakfast.
The campsites have bathrooms WITH FLUSH TOILETS AND RUNNING WATER! I was floored to be at a "back country" site with those amenities. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised though, Phantom Ranch is just a few feet away and has running water and even vends beer and wine. Of course we had to go and try a Bright Angel IPA since we were hiking its namesake.
This campground wasn't too crowded, but even if it had been full I think it would have been ok since the camp sites are further apart than the other main corridor campgrounds. There are a few trees for shade. Running water is only available seasonally, but Bright Angel Creek is nearby if you do need to filter. There are composting toilets. This is a great little campground for such a busy trail.
Campsites came with picnic tables, fire pit, water nearby, and toilets. Shower and laundry near the camp store/ restaurant. Trail from my site to the north rim where I saw the most amazing sunset and views of the canyon. There is a second area to the North rim with cabins and a lodge where they put on star parties at night with folks from NASA giving fascinating talks on Mars and land rovers followed by dozens of telescope on the deck to view the cosmos.
Great site near the Grand Canyon. Not too far from a lot of the popular sites. Also has its own general store.
Campground was nice and well maintained, there are actually some space between campsites too so people aren’t right on top of each other which is nice.
There are so many inspiring view points at the Grand Canyon and many hikes you can choose to take on, but not many are brave enough to really hike down into the gorge of one of the most infamous landmarks in the world.
I stayed up top two different times, it is just way more convenient than going to the bottom with all my gear. And while it does have its benefits, you can't even compare the feeling of hiking into your site and finding something so amazing. It is like apples and oranges.
But this camping experience takes some planning, you have to have a permit to make it. While you can go down the trail itself for a ways and it is just fine, taking on the trail all the way to the bottom does require this permit for stay. Don't think of it as an issue, think of it as a safety precaution which helps them know who is making this long travel.
it is a completely different world at the bottom than the top. No longer are you looking at the Colorado River from what appears to be a million miles away, instead you see it in all its majesty. It no longer looks like a blue/green marble instead it is a force of nature to be seen with massive rapids.
What is great about getting to the bottom is once you arrive you have amenities again like water and warm restrooms. Picnic tables and fire rings are scattered just like the campgrounds up top. And if you are one of those people who choose to move forward even further they do have even more hiking you can do through the valley.
It is pretty spectacular.
There are a few things I noticed about the site that weren't ideal. It is first come first serve so if you start your hike a bit later in the morning you might not have a space available. I didn't see that anyone had that issue but I can only imagine during busy months it could become a problem.
Also, since you have to pack in all your things I would suggest packing a bed pad of some sort, a lot of jagged feeling rocks and in areas that are more clear it is very hard packed so can be a little tough.
Everyone here seemed very cool, I mean they all had basically the same mission in mind so can't beat that!!
Stayed for a single night in late June. There were severe fire restrictions on at the time so no campfires allowed. Sites were generously sized and spaced out. Lots of sites; large campground. VERY close to the Transept Canyon, a side canyon that feeds into the Grand Canyon. We will definitely visit this campground again.
VERY cool campground that is spread out through old growth pines and is within walking distance of The North Rim, which is by far the best side of the Gran Canyon! If you are lucky enough to be there during a thunderstorm, you'll get to listen to thunder roll through The Grand Canyon. :)
Wr really enjoyed our stay here with family. Great location close to beautiful views!
Hiked from Bright Angel Trailhead to Phantom Ranch in one day. After Indian Gardens Campground trail has a couple of areas that are less obvious of direction but overall is easy to follow to campground. Campground requires a permit from NPS, and typically needs to be reserved about 6 months in advance. There are fees required for permit. A permit can be difficult to obtain. There are many camp sites with some close to the river and some away. Campsites are overall smooth and free of rocks, and maintained. All campsites have 2 ammo boxes to hold food, a picnic table, a small concrete square for cookstove, and a stand to hold packs off the ground.The squirrels are bold and will go after ANY food left out. It is necessary to remove all food and plastic bags from packs and put in ammo boxes. Most sites have trees for shade. There are bathrooms with toilets, sinks, and running water. A sink to lightly wash dishes, and water to fill up water bladders and bottles. There is a Cantina a short walk across the bridge with pricey food that requires reservations, drinks for purchase, some necessities, souvenirs, and books and boardgames to use at the Cantina. Staff is helpful and friendly. There is a special Junior Ranger program specific to Phantom Ranch. Mules can be ridden down from the top, and there are cabins and dormitories that you can stay in with a reservation. There are two rivers nearby the campsites and a few small hikes nearby.
The Grand Canyon is one of my favorite places, and the North Rim has the view with less crowds than the South Rim. It is a longer drive, and more remote, and closes in the winter, but the peace and beauty is worth it. There are many rim view sites, and the campground is clean and neat. Flush toilets, pay showers, and a general store provide what you need. There are several small places to eat at the lodge, which is less than a mile hike or drive. The camp hosts are friendly, and the sites are wonderfully quiet at night. We have visited every year for 10 years, and plan to continue our tradition.