I gave this park a 9, because it is "as advertised." Yes it is dry camping, and there are low hanging branches. But we knew that going in. It is a beautiful national park with minimal amenities. I would definitely stay again. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
We stayed here for 3 nights, and used 2 different camp sites for our stay. This is your typical bare bones, boon docking camping. There are no hook-ups of any sort. The bigger problem with this campground is that there is no uniformity to the sites, and the sites are all very small and laid out pretty poorly. We were in a 30 ft motorhome with our Jeep in tow. We could barely fit down the roads in the park with trees and branches scraping the sides of our coach as we drove down the small, windy roads. We managed to get a ticket from the Gestapo (park ranger) for not having all of our wheels on the pavement. When we tried to explain that the site was too small to properly fit the motorhome & Jeep all on the pavement, we were given the answer that was not their problem. Ended up unhooking tow and moving Jeep wheels over 2 ft so that all 4 wheels were touching the pavement. This park also has some really bad generator rules; on one stretch of sites, you can not use your generator period (pine loop). On the other sites that you can use your generator, the hours are 8am-10am and then 6pm-8pm. This may seem reasonable, save for the entire park is up and going by 7am and everyone has left by 9am at the latest. You will hear everyone moving at 6am; no biggie for us, as we were up, but not able to fire up generator and make coffee till 8am, no thanks. After the second day, we ended up firing up the generator up at 7am. I spoke to all my neighbors and they were all good with it. They say this campground is for tent camping and such. However, over 60% of the people in the campground were in motorhomes with another 20% in travel trailers. They probably need to just update this park, move all the tent campers to the generator free area, and leave the motorhome & travel trailers free to do their thing. Don't think we would ever stay here again; it's just too crowed, missing all the basic services, and roads are too narrow with funky turns. There are other RV camping options just down the road in Tusayan that would have made our trip to the Grand Canyon a little more enjoyable. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Nice National Park. Unserviced. Sites close together, and ours was quite small. It was tricky to maneuver a truck camper. However, the sites were well laid out, so they felt private. Free shuttle bus nearby allowed you to get anywhere you needed to go in the Canyon. Also close to groceries, cafeteria, bank, and Post Office. Showers shared with Trailer Village, and we were close to them, but many sites would have been quite far. We camped here in a Truck Camper.
I called the 800 number for reservations at Mather campground for 1 week, starting March 20. When I arrived on March 20, the campground told me my reservations were for April 20. They were full and still found me a space for 1 week. They were great. Very friendly staff. The campground is a typical National Park with no hookups. The rangers and park police drove the campground on regular basis. Showers clean and only $2. Laundry clean and plenty of machines. Everyone at the park was friendly and helpful. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a National Park operated campground and has no hookups. It is a beautiful park with paved sites and about half are pull-through. All sites have a combo BBQ-fire ring and picnic table. If you can boondock, consider staying here. Generator hours are from 8-10 am and 6-8pm. There is a laundry, $1.75 wash and $1 for dry (8am-4pm), and showers (8am-6pm). Obviously these hours are for the benefit of the government employees who supervise these facilities and are not intended to meet the needs of campers), dump station and potable water. At the nearby Market Plaza, there is a bank, and a grocery store with a surprisingly good selection food including fresh vegetables, fruit, and meats. Diesel is available at Tusayan and Desert View at inflated prices. There is a convenient free shuttles that operates throughout most of the park, however, not to the far east end of the park. Full recycling is available. The $18 campsite fee does not include the $10 reservation fee. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This goes down as one of our very favorite campgrounds. Pull-through site with a large woodsy area that included a picnic table and fire pit (plenty of trees). Much space between sites. Beautiful, peaceful setting within walking distance of shuttle bus stop and market. We originally booked Trailer Village but changed after reading the reviews. While Mather is in a much more beautiful setting, Trailer Village was definitely better than a "parking lot" as others have described. If we wanted hook-ups and never saw Mather, we would have been pleased. Having said this, we were thrilled to have changed to Mather. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We were pleasantly surprised by this park. Our experience with camping in the US, as we have stated in previous posts, is that you either get a parking lot with hookups or "rustic" sites with no hookups- there is usually no middle ground. Although the same applied here (no hookups), the environment was very nice. Although not terribly private, the site we had in Aspen loop was clean, level and generally very nice. As stated in other posts, we had several elk wander through and even lie down in the woods around the sites- very cool. The biggest downside to it was that after paying $25 to enter the park, they dinged you for every other little thing such as the use of a computer terminal in the laundry area and $2 for every shower. This is a pain in the neck as you constantly have to carry or get change. Our suggestion is to bump the entrance rate a bit and don't nickle and dime everyone- similar to other national parks (ie. Mesa Verde). I would agree that the pull through sites are tight and in fact we had to back out of ours to get out- there was no way to negotiate the corner. We actually had to relocate to another site on the last night. We took a "tent" site in Pine loop and backed into the site- it was much more private than our original one. We would recommend this campground and would stay here again without question. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Adequate space between campsites and the abundance of trees gave us a sense of privacy. I enjoyed the smell of pine trees throughout our stay, and there were two elk lying around the campground during the day. Our site, 45, had a rather large open area which was close, but not too close, to the RR's and dish washing sink. Not a lot of traffic through the campground since people walk to the bus stop to tour GCNP. Beware of the pull-through sites as they really vary as far as the ability to get an RV or a trailer in and out; we were tight with our 21' travel trailer. The arrangement of the commercial-size trash containers was interesting; they are dispersed throughout the campground and are located next to the campsites, so you may end up camping next to a set - I wonder whether you could see these on Google Earth to avoid them? We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
We tent camped here on the Pine Loop. This is a beautiful campground of Pinon-Juniper forest. Short walk to the free shuttle bus to visit sites around the park. Close to the market plaza where there is a general store and restaurant. Great location for seeing the sites at GC. We would camp here again. We camped here in a Tent.
Great big campground within walking distance of the free shuttle bus system. We camped in a large pull through site up near the top of the campground. The sites are large and very quiet. Be aware, though, the campground is hilly, and we were quite tired walking uphill from the shuttle stop. Next time, we'll try to get a site closer to the entrance. Beautiful location. Can't wait to go back! We camped here in a Motorhome.
To be honest, we were disappointed. But after being here, I understand the situation. This Grand Canyon National Park has hundreds of visitors and campers. We were lucky to have reserved a pull-through on the Juniper Loop. Although our site was microscopic and a real challenge to manuver into (and out of), it was larger than others. If you're in a Class A, it will be snug. There are no hookups in this CG; Trailer Village should have some hookups and can handle larger RVs. We used the Shuttle System to get around the park. That worked well, however we needed to unhook the Toad to drive to the nearest shuttle parking lot. We left at 5:00am and thought we'd be waking up everyone. However, many others were up at that time too, everyone going to the Rim to view the canyon at sunrise. Strong recommendation: see the canyon right at sunrise and right at sunset, those were our most memorable moments. When we were here (mid-June) every campsite was taken, every parking place taken around the visitor center, mobs of people everywhere. Just be prepared for that. (Probably more people from France, Germany, and Japan than from the US). We had several enjoyable conversations with many of them. We camped here in a Motorhome.
There are plenty of sites for big rigs, but they limit the size to 30 feet due to the fact of maneuvering through the trees to get in and out of the park loops. We found this not a problem but could see this might be intimidating if at night or very crowded. So there you have it, dry camping at its best but you are limited with size of rig. We stayed here three days with our large DP and had a great time. The limited generator time was no problem. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Good location in the Grand Canyon area. The sites are wooded and not too close together. The showers are at the entrance to the campground and are $2 for 8 minutes, but that is plenty of time. There is a laundry at the same facility and both are very clean. There is an attendant available at all times, so quarters can be obtained on site. There are limited sites for larger rigs but ours was a large pull through. We would stay again. We camped here in a Fifth Wheel.
This is a nice forest camping experience. Yes there are other campsites near by but not too close. The sites are on the small side not because they are side by side, but because they were cleared with as little damage to the native vegetation as possible. I have never driven a 40’ MH or pulled a long 5th wheel, but I think it would be a challenge on some of the interior roads. Many trees along the interior roads show scars from encounters with RVs. Guess who always wins. There are some sites that look big-rig friendly. The ranger who checks you in will know if your rig will fit. There are no hook ups. If you want to shower, use the one you brought with you or there are a pay showers near the entrance. Bring lots of quarters and rinse off fast. There are rest rooms in the camping areas. Take advantage of as many Ranger walks and talks as you can. These folks are very knowledgeable on the Parks geology, vegetation, and history. You will come away with knew knowledge and a much enhanced canyon experience. This is a great place to bike. The roads are bike friendly, there are bike paths, and you can bike to any vantage point depending on your own endurance. Bikes are not allowed on the rim trail. At first thought this was a bummer. However, the rim trail was meant for walking, looking, and contemplation. I realized that doing the latter two on a bike could place you at the bottom of the canyon much faster than a hike. There is a large supermarket within walking distance. The Nat. Park provides a shuttle service to many areas that you will want to visit. Only service dogs are allowed on the shuttle. For those who can’t bear the thought of not having full hook ups, there is another campground in the park a short distance from Mather, Grand Canyon Trailer Village which has those full hook ups. It is not run by the National Park Service. I didn’t bike through it this trip, but a couple of years ago I did. It isn’t some place I’d want to stay with Mather so close by. How can I put this, you have seen parks like this many times. If you have children with you, or you are on a romantic getaway, Mather Campground’s environment will provide a more memorable experience for both situations, even though a romantic getaway with children must be an oxymoron. I will visit the Grand Canyon in the future. I will always enjoy staying at Mather. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
As noted by other reviewers, this is a great campground. We have a 27 ft motorhome and found the road and sites tight but very doable. The shuttle is very convenient. Reservations are definitely a good idea, particularly during high season. We drove through the full-hookup campground and definitely would not want to stay there. Very close and trashy. To correct a prior post, generator hours are from 8 until 10 a.m. and 6 until 8 p.m. That is a bit restrictive since we wanted to be out hiking earlier and often wanted to be out to dinner during the evening hours. But, we made it work. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Nice place but very dry camping. There is a spigot to fill up your tanks. South exposure for Sat setup if you want to watch during generator hours 8-10pm, 6-8am. Very close to Yavapai Lodge where you can get free Wi-Fi at the Canyon Cafe there almost all day and very late at night. Very important for those of you that need internet. Nice shower building $2.00 for 8 min. Great place to see South Rim. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is a wonderful setting. Our campsite was quite spacious with plenty of trees and shade. The sites were well spaced from each other. We often felt like we were camping by ourselves in the woods. We had regular visits from elk. There were no hookups of course but water was easily accessible and there were central showers (fee) a short drive down the hill to the check-in area. The campground is only a short distance from the Canyon and the tourists but felt isolated from the crowds. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
This is a really nice place to stay. Short walk to the Grand Canyon or pick up a free shuttle at the entrance. Nice spots with trees for shade and privacy. We had to move three times because individual spots can be reserved months ahead of time. The pull throughs can be tight to get into because of trees and narrow driveways. Much nicer than Trailer Village. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
Dry camping at its best. We have a 25-ft class A and could get around the narrow road OK, but bigger rigs might find it tight. (Another campground with hookups is close by.) Very large, treed site. Walking distance to big grocery store/gift shop as well as the shuttle stops. Large laundry, very clean and convenient. Couldn't get cell service at the site, but could at the more populated areas, like Grand Canyon Village. Rate was half-price; senior rate. We camped here in a Motorhome.
This is a great family park. We pulled in with our 33' MH with super slide and had no problems. We had site # 183 the first night, pulled in backwards, which faced the table and fire ring. It also had the local water bib for folks to wash dishes, etc. Us pulling in backwards allowed our slide to cover the mud hole created by the water bib run-off. Site was plenty long for our rig. Second night we moved to site # 258 (across the street) due to late reservations on our part. Good site, a bit shorter, but all OK!. Peaceful and great smelling! An easy walk down to the bus or store. We camped here in a Motorhome.
Mather campground, Grand Canyon National Park. Dark and quiet, despite being very big. (Of course, it is off-season and pretty cold at night.) Convenient via 15 minute walking trail or shuttle to Market Plaza with large grocery store, deli and post office, and to the canyon, but you still feel like you're deep in the woods. Bathrooms clean, with flush toilets, but the showers are pay, and a hike. They have nice-looking dish washing stations, but were closed for the season. The campground is very pretty, with well-spaced sites and sites and lots of big trees. Vehicle traffic is limited to rigs of 30' or less, which makes sense; I wouldn't want to try it with anything bigger. Sites are level, with paved parking or pull-through pads, and the rest grass & dirt. There is so much to do here, walks and hikes and lectures – it would be easy to spend the better part of a week and still not do everything. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
I stayed here one night to visit the Grand Canyon on my way home. The staff was quite friendly and the park was very nice. I was at a site that had a threaded water spigot so I was able to easily re-fill my tank up. It was very quite in the Oak loop and very serene. Some elk wandered through the campground in the morning. The dump station was well designed but the water lines (potable/non-potable) were on the wrong side requiring two 25 foot hoses to reach my rig. We camped here in a Travel Trailer.
No hook-ups available, but a very great experience. The campsite really gives you the real camping experience. Free buses near the entrance to see all of the South Rim. Campsite was very clean and really BIG! We camped here in a Motorhome.
Primitive site, with power and maybe water. Beautifully situated in trees, nice private spaces, mostly gravel or dirt and small, our 30’ was ‘ok’ but really geared to small rigs, campers and pop ups or tents. Loved it there. Specific generator times and quiet times. Rest rooms, showers and laundry all very well maintained. Staff were all very friendly and helpful. Would stay again. We camped here in a Motorhome.
If it wasn't for the bathrooms, which should be better maintained, I'd give it a 10. HUGE, beautiful sites. Great location. The camper services building adjacent to the campground was convenient for laundry and showers. It was clean and in good shape. We camped here in a Tent Trailer.
OK: this is camping unplugged, but the setting was gorgeous and hardly anyone in the park in October. Lots of trees. We used our coach for showers, dump and water available at the entry to the campgrounds. We loved it. Did not like the "getto" feel of the trailer campground up the street with hookups. HUGE difference in ambiance. A light hike to the store and rim. We camped here in a Motorhome.
For such a premier national park (the canyon, rim facilities, and transit system are super), one would think the campground would be just as great. Not so. Showers and laundry are located at the campground gate area and are clean ($1 for a 5 minute shower: hey, it IS a desert). If you are sited at the back end of the campground like we were, you will probably want to drive down the hill for your shower (remember, at 7,000 feet, it's a hike back and you'll be all sweaty and hot again). And if you did not go early in the morning, there was a line waiting for you to stand in. The RESTROOMS, however, are another story when it comes to cleanliness. They were filthy morning, noon and night. I saw a cleaning individual one time, and I do not believe they did a thing except for checking on the toilet paper supply. A hose and a scrub-down were needed. In our area (Juniper Loop), one of the doors to the two men's stalls would not stay shut, and that left it to one stall for about 100 men in the area. Sites had ground fire grills concreted in the center of the dusty campsites, leaving little room for a tent without bumping into bedrock, pinyon roots, or trees. Cut branches were sharp and a hazard to the head or even the eyes. If it were not for the fact this campground were at Grand Canyon National Park, I believe it would go out of business based upon the filthy bath houses. Management needs to invest in a cleaning crew and campsite consultant. We camped here in a camper.