Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Everything the RV Renter Needs to Know

The Grand Canyon is one of those places in North America that everyone should see at least once in their life. Grand Canyon National Park is the place to go to experience this amazing place, especially for anyone who has rented an RV in Arizona.

The park is made up of 277 miles of the Colorado River and the surrounding area. It offers the best views of the Grand Canyon out there and access to all of the activities and camping that you would want to do. Here’s your guide to visiting the Grand Canyon National Park in your rented RV.

Why Visit Grand Canyon National Park in Your Rented RV?

Often considered one of the natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon is a massive gorge surrounding the Colorado River. Visitors have come to the Grand Canyon for years to see the massive expanse and the amazon geological structures. Millions of people visit the park every year, so it’s important to be aware that there will likely be plenty of other folks there while you visit. However, it’s well worth it no matter how crowded the area becomes.

South Rim Village

The South Rim Village is a hotspot for visitors. This is because there’s a lot there. There’s the Visitor Center / Mather Point area, which is great for getting your first view of the Grand Canyon. There are four large parking areas available for you to park and gaze at this amazing natural wonder.

There’s also the Market Plaza, which is where several of the businesses and the post office can be found. Then there’s the Historic District. This is where the village started around 120 years ago. Now it features the Grand Canyon Railway Depot, the Verkamp’s Visitor Center, and several lodges and history centers.

Mule Rides

One of the best experiences you can do at the Grand Canyon is the mule rides down into the gorge or along the rim of it. These guided tours give you a look at the Grand Canyon unlike any other.

There are operations running mule trips at both the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and the North Rim. You can schedule a trip for the whole family, though your children will need to be over the age of seven years old for the North Rim and nine years old for the South Rim. No matter where you do the mule trip, you’ll be able to choose from a few different trip lengths.

Hiking Trails

Hiking is by far the most common activity at the Grand Canyon, and there are plenty of ways for you to do this. You can take a simple hike along the Rim Trail, which is fairly flat and provides you with fantastic views of the canyon.

 

Hiking at the grand canyon

Other options include Day Hikes down into the canyon that will give you an additional look at the sheer size of the canyon. You can also do some overnight Backcountry Hiking if you want to take your Gand Canyon exploring to the next level. This requires a permit, which you can acquire from park officials.

Yavapai Museum of Geology

Do you want to learn more about the geology of the Grand Canyon? The Yavapai Museum of Geology is the place to go. It will give you all that you need to know. The museum discusses the layering of the rock and how to interpret it.

There’s plenty of interesting exhibits and you can also get some fantastic views of the grand canyon. There’s also the historic Yavapai Observation Station, which was revamped in 2007. Overall, the Yavapai Museum is the best place to go to learn about how the Grand Canyon was formed and how it came to be what it is today.

North Rim

The North Rim is often called “the other side of the canyon.” This means it’s the less popular of the two areas. If you want to avoid the crowds, this is the place to do it. It is visited by only 10 percent of the park’s visitors, but it’s well worth the trip.

There’s a visitor center, lodge, hiking trails, mule trips, a scenic drive, and more. The North Rim isn’t quite as spectacular as the South Rim, but it’s still an amazing look at the Grand Canyon and the fact that you can easily get away from other people and just take the park in make it worth visiting.

White Water Rafting

One popular activity you should do if you get the chance is white water rafting on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. You can do smooth water trips if you want. These are shorter trips and provide you with some breathtaking views of the river and the canyon.

If you want to up the ante, we highly suggest taking a white water rafting trip. These trips can last from three to 21 days, and they will give you an unforgettable experience. Of course, these are a much longer time commitment and will also require reservations and plans well in advance.

Campgrounds and RV Parks for Grand Canyon National Park

With the great outdoors and being the main attraction at this amazing national park, you’ll find that camping is the best way for you to experience Grand Canyon National Park. There are several places to camp right in the national park, and if you can’t find something that works in the park, there are other options, too.

South Rim Campgrounds

There are three campgrounds located on the South Rim that you can camp at in your RV. These include the following campgrounds:

 

All are good camping spots for RVers, though the features and amenities of the campgrounds will vary. It’s highly recommended that you make reservations for Mather Campground and Trailer Village before your trip. These campgrounds do fill up quickly. Desert View Campground is first-come-first-serve and is without hookups for your RV.

 

Also, make sure to check the length of your RV. Mather and Desert View can only accommodate RVs that measure under 30 feet in length.

North Rim Campground

The North Rim Campground is a great option if you’re going to spend a few nights on the more wild North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is highly recommended. This campground usually takes reservations, but if it isn’t, then it will be first-come-first-serve.

This campground doesn’t have any hookups for RVs, but it does have water for you to fill up your fresh-water tanks and a dump station for RVers. You can get a single campsite for you and your family or the campground offers group campsites.

Ten-X Campground

If the campgrounds within the national park are full, which does happen, then the Ten-X Campground in the Kaibab National Forest is another option. This is located to the south of the South Rim, but not very far from the Grand Canyon National Park.

There are 70 single-family campsites. These campsites do not offer a hookup and the campground is fairly primitive with only pit toilets and cold water faucets. On the upside, this campground is very affordable, and if you’ve boondocks before, it can be a great option. Campsites are first-come-first-serve.

DeMotte Campground

Comparable to Ten-X is DeMotte Campground on the North Rim. If the North Rim campground is unavailable, then DeMotte Campground, which is operated by the U.S. Forest Service. Only half of the 38 campsites here can be reserved. The rest are all first-come-first-serve. There are no hookups at this campground either. So, you’ll need to be prepared to boondock if you want to camp here.

Grand Canyon Railway RV Park

If you need an option that can offer more amenities and features at the campground, then you should look to the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park. It’s blocks away from the town of Williams and Route 66. There are 124 extra-wide spaces with full hookups, cable TV, Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, showers, and more. One of the best things about this RV Park is you can stay here and then take the Grand Canyon Railway right into the national park to experience all that it has to offer.

Places to Eat Near Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Because there are so many people visiting the Grand Canyon these days, there are plenty of places to get a bite to eat. Below the best options are divided up between the North Rim and South Rim, so you’ll have some options no matter what side of the Grand Canyon you decide to stay on.

South Rim

When it comes to the South Rim, you have a large number of options to choose from. Here are the best choices.

Canyon Village Market

The Canyon Village Market is open daily and year-round. The options here include the General Store for groceries and other food. Inside the General Store is the Delicatessen at the Marketplace, which offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Yavapai Lodge

The Yavapai Lodge has three separate places for you to grab a bite to eat. There’s the Yavapai Lodge Restaurant, the Yavapai Coffee & Ice Cream, and the Yavapai Tavern. The restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The coffee shop is coffee, snacks, and ice cream. The Tavern offers lunch and dinner. 

Village Historic District

The Village Historic District has a long list of options for dining. Here is a list and a quick rundown of what’s offered.

There are a few other smaller options within the South Rim, too. In short, you won’t go hungry here.

North Rim

The North Rim isn’t as developed as the South Rim and that means there are fewer options for you to choose from. Here’s what’s available.

There’s also the General Store at the North Rim where you can buy groceries and snacks.

If you can’t find something to eat within the park, there are numerous small towns only a few miles away that will have other dining options for you.

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