RV camping at Mather Campground inside the Grand Canyon is an experience we can’t recommend enough. This was our first time camping inside a National Park. We drove into the park on Saturday from the Desert View entrance and immediately spotted the “Campgrounds FULL” sign. The Park Ranger informed us the first come first served campground was full by 11am. We drove through the campground anyway to check it out for reference. After the first turn we understood why the campgrounds have a 30′ limit. The tight turns, low hanging tree branches were challenging in our 29′ motorhome. We did spot a 40′ RV, can’t imagine how they got in or how they planned to get out.
RV Camping at Mather Campground
After Desert View we made our way to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center to check out Mather Campground. This time we parked at the visitor center in a designated RV parking spot. It was a mad house with many RV spots taken up by cars, some tried to park 3 cars in a spot blocking in the middle car. A nice family was pulling out in their RV and gave us their spot.
Even though the “Campground FULL” sign was up at Mather Campground, we were able to get a two night reservation in two different sites. Don’t let the sign stop you from getting a campsite. Apparently people can cancel up to 6pm the day of their reservation. The campground books six months in advance and reservations are highly recommended.
We camped in site 188 the first night, 185 the second night. Both pull thru sites were about the same size and had more than enough room for our motorhome and tow vehicle. Handicap Accessible sites are available throughout the park. Generator hours were from 7am-9am and 6pm-8pm daily. We did run our generator the full four hours on our second day due to heavy clouds. The portable solar unit we have is great when there is full sun, but not on cloudy days.
Each site comes with a picnic table and fire ring.
We took advantage of the beautiful weather our first day by cooking outside.
Enjoy loved the wildlife roaming throughout the campground. We saw many deer and elk grazing and relaxing around campsites.
Bathrooms with running water are scattered throughout the campground. Each one has an outdoor sink in the back for washing dishes.
At the entrance to the campground is a free dump station for campers. Showers, laundry and wifi are available inside the main building. When the Park Ranger made a comment about how short an eight minute shower is, we chuckled. Now that we take two minute shower, an eight minute one sounds really long!
The General Store is walking distance from the campground. The prices are quite high so stock up before arriving at the park. The stores in Tusayan have similar prices, $16.99 for a pound of choice ribeye steak (not the organic, grass fed, antibiotic free kind). The fresh produce selection is also very limited.
Overall, we enjoyed our camping experience at Mather Campground and look forward to going back the next time we visit the Grand Canyon. There was no AT&T cell coverage during our stay and we enjoyed being unplugged. If we needed to make a phone call we could walk over to the General Store. Besides light road noise where we were camped, the campground was very quiet and peaceful. We did learn a very important lesson from this trip: never arrive at a popular destination on a Saturday during high season without a reservation.
$18 dry camping
Max RV limit is 30′
Generator hours enforced
Pull thru and back in sites
Dump facility on site
Restrooms, showers and laundry
No AT&T cell service
Looking for hookups? Check out the review Wheelingit wrote of Trailer Village, the RV park inside the Grand Canyon. Looking for free camping outside the Grand Canyon? Check out dispersed camping on Forest Road 688, just south of the park.