NP Campground Review – Trailer Village, Grand Canyon, AZ
A basic, but very peaceful & superbly-located full hookup National Park campground located only ~1 mile from Grand Canyon South Rim in N.Central AZ.
- Site Quality = 3.5/5
Pretty nice sites here with just a few dings. The sites are arranged in 12 alphabetized rows (A-L) with sites one-next-to-the-other (private park style) along the length of each rows. 84 sites, all paved pull-thoughs of which 80 offer full hookups (50amp/water/sewer) PLUS Direct TV cable (nice bonus) while the remaining 4 are dry-camping only. Sites are separated by gravel “sitting areas” containing picnic table and raised grill with splashes of tress and brush in-between. Main ding is somewhat mixed site separation and privacy. Some sites have nice wide separation and decent privacy while others are much closer together than we like, and there really doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason to the mixed separation. End sites are definitely “prime” and have large green areas next to them which makes for a much more spacious feel, so if you can nab an end go for it. Second (smaller) ding is that the entire campground has a slight lean across the length of the rows, so sites are not exactly flat and have some lean left to right. The lean was not excessive and it helped keep the campground water-free during big downpours, but it does mean the sites are not flat. Lastly some of the turns coming into the “rows” tend to be rather a tad tight (we just barely missed the trees coming into Row C), but sites themselves are all decently long.
Note/ Not all sites can take big rigs and the campground is divided into sites 28-ft and less (29 total sites), or sites 29-ft up to 50ft (55 total sites). Also Campground is reservable (reservations highly recommended!), but specific site numbers are not. You are assigned a particular site upon arrival.
- Facilities = 2/5
Basic flush toilets here kept nicely clean but NO on-site showers and NO dump station. Front check-in office has ice and there is a central laundry & shower facility just down the road in “camper services” by the Mather Campground. Also NO on-site WiFi.
- Location = 5/5
Location is what it’s all about here, and for visiting the South Rim it simply doesn’t get any better than this. Trailer Village is less than ~1 mile from the rim which is easily accessible along the lovely Greenway walking/biking path directly from camp. It is also just ~10 mins walk from the General Store/Market Plaza and within an easy drive to ANY of the major sights on the South Rim. There is even an on-site bus-stop allowing you to access the free Rim Shuttle directly from the campground entrance. Lastly despite being so close to the South Rim the campground is set nicely back from the main road and feels incredibly peaceful. No road noise and lots of on-site wildlife.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Great location for paws. There is not a huge amount of space around your site, but there is TONS of green space & forest around the campground. On-site Greenway walking path (accessible next to site #84) and ALL Rim trails are dog-friendly which means you can take pooch for a walk to the rim directly from camp everyday. Poo bags provided on-site too.
Overall Rating = 3.9
BONUS ALERT = Camp in a peaceful campground less than 1 mile from Grand Canyon South Rim!
Summary: For our trip to the Grand Canyon we wanted to be as close as possible to the South Rim and this campground (concessionaire-run) was the only option within the NP that accomodated our size. It’s not a “fancy” campground by any means, but it’s very peaceful and provides excellent value & full hookups only 1 mile from the South Rim. The sites are arranged “private park style” side-by-side along 12 alphabetized rows (A-L). They are all paved pull-throughs and 80 out of the 84 sites provide full hookups (50amp/water/sewer) with cable TV. Main ding is site separation and privacy which is somewhat of a mix throughout. Sites are separated by gravel “sitting areas” some of which are much wider than others and there doesn’t seem to be much rhyme or reason for the mix. End sites have large green/treed areas next to them and are definitely more private so if you can nab an end site, go for it. The other ding is somewhat tight “row” entrance and general camprgound lean (all sites lean left to right), but it was not excessive. Lastly there is NO on-site WiFi and the cellphone signal is somewhat unstable (see below Extra Info), but we were able to have stable Verizon access with our booster & Paddle Antenna. Apart from these minor issues the campground is fabulous. It’s set nicely back from the main road so it feels incredibly quiet and peaceful (we saw wildlife by our site almost daily including elk, deer and even coyotes), plus the location simply can’t be beat. The Greenway walking/biking trail can be accessed directly from camp (near site #84) which means you can walk or bike directly from your site to the rim everyday, plus ALL the rim trails are dog-friendly which means you can bring doggie along for the hike too. Also you are only ~10 mins walk from the General Store/Market Plaza, only ~15 mins walk to the Visitor Center and easy driving distance to everything on the South Rim. Plus there is an on-site bus-stop so you can access the free Rim Shuttle Bus system directly from the campground entrance too. We walked every morning to the rim with doggie, picked up a Mocha at the Bike Shop (which allows dogs inside, by the way) and did at least 3-5 miles of hiking overlooking the Canyon Rim. Glorious!! In the afternoons we went biking and when I wanted to photograph the sunset it took only 5 mins to drive to the sunset overlook. Since we were on-site the whole time we were able to avoid crowds and never had to deal with any parking or traffic issues. We absolutely loved the location and peaceful feel of this campground, and for the price we thought it was a total deal. An excellent spot to stay and we’d most definitely recommend it to others.
Note 1/ This campground is within Grand Canyon National Park so you will pass through the park entrance to get here and the Park Entrance fee is NOT included in the campground costs. Entrance costs are $30 or free with a National Parks Pass.
Note 2/ This campground was FULL every single day we were here. Reservations highly recommended.
Extra Info: Unstable cellphone signal -> 1-2 bars of Verizon LTE unboosted (it definitely needed a booster to stabilize). Horrible ATT (1-2 bars of flickering 3G -> we could only really use ATT for voice calls and only with a booster). 84 total sites, of which 80 offer full hookup (50amp/water/sewer plus cable TV). Costs $36/night (+tax), all sites reservable on-line (reservations ARE recommended). NO senior discounts and NO dump station.
Extra, Extra Info: OTHER CAMPING? BOONDOCKING? There are several other camping opportunities by the South Rim area, especially if you don’t need hookups and/or are smaller in size:
- Mather Campground -> This is another on-site campground within the National Park and is actually right next to Trailer Village, but it has NO hookups and 30-foot size limit. Only $18/night and walking distance to the rim. I walked thro’ this campground and found it to be very nice indeed with a lovely “dispersed” feeling, lots of trees, excellent site separation and great sitting areas. It’s a total recommend! Although a few sites look like they could potentially fit “the beast”, the NP is apparently super-strict on the size limits (so I’ve been told) so this spot would only be an option for smaller rigs. Click HERE.
- Desert View Campground -> This is another non-hookup campground within the National Park, but it’s located on the far East side of the South Rim. It is entirely first-come-first-serve, only 49 sites and also has 30-foot size limit. I didn’t see this campground so I have no more info to add. Click HERE.
- Forest Camping -> Just outside the National Park (South Entrance) there are more Camping possibilities within the Kaibab National Forest. Ten X Campground (only $10/night, no hookups) is a developed campground very close to the south entrance. There is also potential for boondocking/dispersed camping within the Kaibab National Forest itself. Contact the Forest Service for more info on this.
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