Was able to secure a reservation about two weeks in advance for a Saturday night stay in July. If you weren't able to get a reservation in advance, check back a week or two prior to your desired dates for cancellations.
The check in was easy, only took a few seconds to find our reservation and give us directions to the site.
The site was mostly level, clean, and fairly large considering the size of the campground. There was a good mix of shade to put the tent and chairs, and open sky to view the stars. Looking around, we probably had one of the least shaded sites, but it wasn't too bad. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring with a grill.
The site was fairly close to a restroom and there was some noise from the air dryers and the door opening and closing throughout the night. They were clean though, and there's a sink around back for dishwashing. I would not pick a site right next to a bathroom: there was a site maybe 15 feet away and that's too close.
All of our neighbors were nice and quiet, but we could hear a couple loud groups coming from the far parts of the campground. The hosts are very strict about the generator curfew (love it!) and not stringing stuff from trees. Hammocks are fine, but you need to take it down when you're not actually in it. This is to protect the animals who will wander through your site.
Watch for lots of pedestrians walking down the road to and from the showers. We didn't use those facilities.
There are lots of elk and deer that are waaay too comfortable around humans, so make sure you keep all food put away, watch your pets, and take your trash to the dumpsters. It was interesting seeing the elk, but sad at the same time. One of our neighbors left a trash bag out overnight and the elk (and later the crows) destroyed it.
The campground is about a 20 minute walk from Mather Point and the visitors center via a paved walking path that starts just past the Juniper Loop. There's a whole network of paths, mostly paved, some dirt, around the Village that connects most everything, plus the shuttle bus. The general store is about 1/4 mile from the campground entrance.
Near zero cell service with Sprint. Just enough to get an occasional push notification.
Spent the night close to home as my dog had never been camping and I wanted to see if he liked it (he does!).
Booked online about two weeks prior for a Monday night stay and most of the campground was available. When I arrived about 75-80% was full, so good idea to book ahead.
Some of the sites are super close together, especially on the newer loops (sites 75-104 and 106-134). They'd be ok with a trailer, but I'd feel cramped in with my tent. The main part of the campground where I was is a bit more spread out, with vegetation between most of the sites.
My site had a big pad for the tent that was raked, a picnic table, a fire ring/grill, easy access to the hiking trails, and a great view of the mountains.
Beware during the winter as the wind can come up during the night and morning hours, so stake your tent down well. It got up to maybe 15 mph, so not super strong, but typical for the edges of the valley.
Staff was friendly, and the bathroom was clean. I didn't use the shower.
One specific note about my site 36: don't book it if you'll be taking a 5th wheel or really any trailer. The access road is narrow and the parking spot is at a 90° angle so it'd be very difficult to back into. Better to pick one of the pull thru spots. If you have a campervan or are tent camping then it's a great spot.
I'm glad I came here. Can't wait to come back! This would be an epic place during a full moon, or really anytime it's clear to see the stars. Too bad it was cloudy my entire stay.
I was surprised at how forested the campground was. Most of this area is junipers, but this campground is in a nice shady stand of pinon pines. I'd stay here again when going to the Grand Canyon.
I stayed Sunday-Tuesday in early August. I arrived Sunday around 5pm and the place was about 70% full. It was less than half full Monday night. I was in one of the spots furthest from the highway and there was very little highway noise.
-While there's little highway noise, the campground is less than a mile from the airport. Expect near constant air tour airplanes overhead from 6am to sunset. There's hardly any airplane traffic at night though, so once the sun goes down it's not an issue.
-DO NOT pick a site next to a bathroom. They're kept as clean as possible considering they're pit toilets, but OMG that smell….
-I wish the host was a little more proactive in enforcing the night time curfew. Generators are loud.
-Bring tough tent stakes. The ground is very hard below the first two inches (common in northern AZ). I destroyed two of my stakes.
I saw there's a few questions about a confusing check in, so here you go: Drive in and go find a vacant spot. Occupied spots will either have a sign saying that it's reserved, or a yellow slip of paper in a little green box in front of the campsite. Once you find a spot, park, note your site number, and walk back to the pay station to fill out the pay envelope and pay. Detach the flap of the envelope and put it in the green box at your site.