Camping In Grand Canyon

    October 8, 2012 | By | Reply More

    Mather Point

    The Grand Canyon in northern Arizona is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Its a massive canyon carved from millions of years of water erosion from the Colorado River.

    Quick facts

    • 277 miles (446 km) long
    • Up to 18 miles (29 km) wide
    • Depth of over a mile (6,000 feet / 1,800 metres)
    • 5 hour drive from Las Vegas

    Last weekend three CouchSurfers and I went on an overnight camping trip to the Grand Canyon south rim. It was our lucky day (actually, we got there at night) because when we arrived, we found out it was Public Lands Day (September 29th) which is a park holiday. We got in for free. Normally, the entrance fee is $25 per private vehicle which is valid for seven days on both the north and south rims.

    Mather Campground

    We made a reservation online to stay Mather Campground and we were pleased with our campsite. We paid $18 for a night for a site that accommodates up to six people.

    There is a fire pit, picnic table, and fully functioning washroom near by where we pitched our tent. There is also a shower on the campground, but we didn’t use it.

    We actually had to call the campground and leave a voicemail to inform them that we were going to be late since were arriving after 7 p.m. The following morning we checked-in so that we didn’t have to pay a $20 no show fee.

    Mather Campground is only a few minutes driving to Yavapai Point and Mather Point where you can catch your first breath taking canyon view.

    We were happy with our campground and highly recommend it.

    Market Plaza

    There is a plaza next to Mather Campground that has a bank, post office, and a grocery store. Free wifi is available in the Canyon Village Market. The Yavapai Lodge is also in the same parking lot which has a cafe.

    We had to buy a few things from market like firewood, crackers, chocolate, marshmallows, and sticks to make smores. You can find everything for your basic needs, but expect to pay premium prices.

    Here’s a sample of prices:

    • Firewood bundle $7 (our wood burned for about 2 hours)
    • Lighter fluid $5
    • Can of chicken soup $2
    • Package of bacon $8

    On our way to the canyon from Vegas, we made a pit stop at Safeway grocery store in Kingman Arizona off I-40. We had to shop at the Canyon Village Market because we found out that we were able to start a camp fire. Some parks have fire restrictions, but we were able to burn at Mather.

    Quick links

    Grand Canyon National Park
    Grand Canyon Camping
    Bright Angel Bicycles

    Travel tips

    • Save money by bringing in your own supplies.
    • The park will give you a newspaper at the entrance which has the sunrise and sunset times as well as full moon dates and rise times.
    • If you plan to watch the sunrise, wake up early when its still dark out. The closest points to watch the sunrise from Mather Campground are Yavapai Point and Mather point. The parking lot at Yavapai Point is closest to the rim than at Mather Point.
    • Bring a camping chair to the rim for a good seat if you want to be away from the crowds at dawn. There are park benches or ledges to sit on. I brought my MSR Reactor and made coffee.
    • Bring a bike to cover more territory or you can rent one from Bright Angel Bicycles. The staff told me that the best views of the canyon are along the red bus line between Hopi Point and Hermits Rest.

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    Category: Things to do

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