South Rim Recomendations - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-17-2015, 10:00 AM   #1
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South Rim Recomendations

Hi everyone,
Vicki and I are planning our summer trips and would like your recommendations and advice for visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We are targeting mid May and having 4- 5 days on site. Rustic sites (water available & pit toilets) is more our style of camping but don't mind the occasional upgrade.
Thoughts?
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Old 01-17-2015, 10:58 AM   #2
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Will you be making a reservation at one of the NP campgrounds inside the park? They're fairly rustic and I'd recommend going that route, as it puts you close to the rim and to public transportation within the park. I've never been in May, but traffic and parking can be stressful if you camp outside the park and drive in, even in the off-peak season.

Weather can be unpredictable in early May, but by mid-May warm, dry, and windy is typical. There may be campfire restrictions. Personally I like mid-late September best, but anytime other than June-August is preferable.

My wife and I honeymooned at the El Tovar hotel in March of 2002. It snowed a few inches the day we arrived (beautiful!), but 2 days later we were hiking the Hermit's Rest trail in shorts and t-shirts. Such is a high desert spring!
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:08 AM   #3
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I suggest getting on the Grand Canyon NP website today and find out the first day to make reservations for the time period you are interested in, it may have already passed. It is one of the most popular NP's in the country and sites disappear quickly. Even 30+ years ago we had to make reservations for trail permits 3 months in advance.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:22 AM   #4
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We were at the South Rim last summer in late June and the temps weren't bad. Didn't need AC at night and I'm guessing upper 70s during the day. It was our first time there so don't know if that's typical. We stayed in Trailer Village which is in Grand Canyon Village. It had full hookups and definitely not rustic, although we did see many elk grazing right in the campground. There is another campground within a mile or so named Mather Campground. No hookups there. Both are very close to the GC Rim and Bright Angel trails. We drove the short distance to Yavapai Point to access the rim trail. We chose that trail because of the great views and it allows dogs. Dogs can't go below the rim.
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:27 AM   #5
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Second Bob's advice!

We will miss out on Carlsbad Beach this June because I forgot the reservation window opens at 7 months, not 6. We got one of the few remaining spots at Pismo Beach instead. We enjoyed an overnight there in November. Gotta know the rules and act fast!

Tom, Mather CG is the one I was thinking of. I only camped one night there, and had forgotten the name, but I've backpacked many nights below the rim in my single days...

Hope it works out for you!
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Old 01-17-2015, 11:58 AM   #6
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From our stay in Trailer Village, sorry about the blur. That's our Casita in the background. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-17-2015, 01:29 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Tom Dunn View Post
We were at the South Rim last summer in late June and the temps weren't bad. Didn't need AC at night and I'm guessing upper 70s during the day. It was our first time there so don't know if that's typical. We stayed in Trailer Village which is in Grand Canyon Village. It had full hookups and definitely not rustic, although we did see many elk grazing right in the campground. There is another campground within a mile or so named Mather Campground. No hookups there. Both are very close to the GC Rim and Bright Angel trails. We drove the short distance to Yavapai Point to access the rim trail. We chose that trail because of the great views and it allows dogs. Dogs can't go below the rim.
On the other hand, I stayed at the Desert View campground (no hookups) in the park without reservations (it doesn't take reservations, and was almost empty) in mid May in 2011, and while the daytime temps were OK, there was an inch of snow on the ground, it snowed a couple more inches and was below freezing overnight.

While the campground is close to the rim, it is a fair drive to the popular parts of the south canyon (26 miles from Grand Canyon Village). Check that it is open since it opens in mid May. I preferred it to the more crowded Mather & Trailer Village campgrounds near the village.
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:00 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone!
We were thinking about Desert View as our primary objective based on Trip Advisors reviews of the campground and getting reservations at one of the other campgrounds as a backup.
We realize were little late for reservations but if things don't work out there's always Colorado or Bryce Canyon. Wherever we end up as long as we are camping it's a party! We will keep an eye on the weather though....
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:06 PM   #9
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By the way all the recommendations we got last year for our trip to the Adirondacks were spot on! Your experiences really added to our trip. From campgrounds and restaurants to must see sites we almost felt like we been there before through your eyes! Makes me wish we could pool our experiences into a fiberglass travel guide.
Thanks again
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Old 01-17-2015, 02:12 PM   #10
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By the way all the recommendations we got last year for our trip to the Adirondacks were spot on! Your experiences really added to our trip. From campgrounds and restaurants to must see sites we almost felt like we been there before through your eyes! Makes me wish we could pool our experiences into a fiberglass travel guide.
Thanks again
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Actually, there is a fiberglass trailer guide - it is this & the other fiberglass trailer forums. They are a wonderful resource for suggestions, and requesting information.

One question I have - I saw an article at Indian Country that the Navajo campground at Monument Valley is finally open. 30 RV sites & 30 "wilderness" sites. I have been told every year since 2011 that it would be open "next" year. If anyone stops by, I'd love a report. It looks like an interesting place to stop.
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Old 01-17-2015, 03:17 PM   #11
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Hi everyone,
Vicki and I are planning our summer trips and would like your recommendations and advice for visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Unless you love the companionship of thousands of other people and standing in line, my recommendation would be to visit the North Rim instead. Been there four times. You can walk the rims for hours and not see a handful of folks. The last time we were there the park was "closed" (after October 15th) and there were no other visitors. We literally had the entire park to ourselves. Kinda creepy though, sorta like "The Shining". I promise you wouldn't be disappointed.
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:21 PM   #12
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Thanks Steve
We have also visited the North Rim. I agree, when we were there crouds were not an issue and the rim walk was beautiful. To round out the experience we have always wanted to see the other side of the ditch.
We think we are mentally prepared. Time will tell....
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:30 PM   #13
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Actually, there is a fiberglass trailer guide - it is this & the other fiberglass trailer forums. They are a wonderful resource for suggestions, and requesting information.
And unlike print guides, never gets out of date because it is continually being refreshed and updated. Not as neatly organized, but electronically searchable, and fits in my pocket, occupying the same space as my camera, via the FiberglassRV app on my phone.

Sid, I don't so much mind the people (to a point; that's why I stay away in the summer). It's the car traffic I don't enjoy. That's why my preference would be a campground in GC Village so I can walk or use the park shuttle to explore.
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Old 01-17-2015, 08:11 PM   #14
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It's the car traffic I don't enjoy. That's why my preference would be a campground in GC Village so I can walk or use the park shuttle to explore.
Good point Jon. Thanks
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