There is your life before visiting the Grand Canyon and there is your life after! When the magnificent 10-mile wide gap in the Earth first reveals itself to you, prepare for a mix of emotions as you absorb the vivid colors, dramatic landscapes, and ancient rock layers that hold secrets dating back almost 2 billion years. The Grand Canyon National Park is not only a hiker’s Mecca, but also offers gorgeous drives, easily accessible viewpoints, and wild adventures such as climbing, rafting, and canyoneering. Consider this your Grand Canyon camping guide, providing you with helpful do’s and don’ts, essentials for your Grand Canyon packing list, and a 7-day itinerary for an amazing Grand Canyon camping adventure.
Are you ready to visit one of the seven wonders of the natural world? As your official Grand Canyon guide, we want you to know all about the North and South Rims and the different seasons. Summer will always be a busy time at the park but the perks are that you can visit both rims and experience the sweltering heat that makes the location so famous. Meanwhile, winter feels as though you have the park all to yourself and you can enjoy the unique sight of snow blanketing the colorful rocks. To get the full experience, camp at the Grand Canyon in one of our roadsurfer RV camper vans and give yourself a few days to truly appreciate its beauty. Reserve your roadsurfer today and start planning your road trip!
A 7-day Grand Canyon camping trip is the perfect amount of time to enjoy the entirety of the park and get in some good hiking as well. Consider yourself lucky if you get to explore both sides of the canyon, as most people never make it to the North Rim. While the North Rim (closed from mid-October to mid-May) rewards it’s visitors with reduced crowds and stays pleasantly cool in the summertime, the South Rim is more popular and has better views of the canyon’s sheer magnitude. Enjoy some pitstops along the way and refreshing dips at Lake Havasu and Lake Mead. Have fun!
Day 1: L.A. – Lake Havasu (5 hour drive)
Rent a boat, kayak, or water bike for the day and explore the cliffs and coves of Havasu’s lake.
Pack games and a picnic, and head to the beach at Lake Havasu State Park.
Visit the famous London Bridge, transported all the way from the river Thames in 1971.
Campground: Lake Havasu State Park
Day 2 + 3: Grand Canyon South Rim (3.5 hour drive)
Explore the South Rim by visiting the Grand Canyon’s Historic Village, Desert View Watch Tower, and Mather Point.
Beginner: Trail of Time (3-mile, flat hike, informational placards along the way), Rim Trail (varying distances, paved, along the rim)
Intermediate: Bright Angel Trail (varying distances, steep, some shade) South Kaibab Trail (6- mile round trip, steep, access with shuttle bus)
“Carry as little as possible, but choose that little with care,” said a wise outdoorsman. We have put together a Grand Canyon Packing List that will allow you to hike safely, comfortably, and be well-prepared. Avoid any reason that could cause you to end your trip early, like something as simple as blister-inducing socks or a lack of water. Our packing list includes everything you may need or want, now you just have to pack it!
Pack plenty of water. Keep in mind, the second half of the hike is more strenuous.
CamelBaks carry a lot of water and you’ll never have to fumble with your pack or pesky water bottles.
Wear moisture-wicking clothing and pack layers for weather changes.
Keep your feet dry with anti-blister socks.
Use hiking poles to maintain your balance and good posture.
Protect yourself with a sun and UV shielding hat.
Pack nutritional snack bars and replenish with electrolyte gel
A ventilation mesh backpack will prevent a sweaty back and keep you cool.
You’ll want crampons and warm fleece clothing when hiking in wintertime.
Accidents do happen, so have an emergency kit with you that’s appropriate for the season.
Do’s and Don’ts
Visiting the Grand Canyon is on a lot of people’s bucket lists and that means millions of visitors every year. Sometimes that can result in long lines, busy trails, and tourists with a wide range of outdoor experiences. Don’t get yourself caught in a sticky situation: know the rules, practice caution, and adhere to these tips from fellow campers.
Check the NPS website daily for alerts, closures, and important information.
Take the free shuttle bus provided by the park, don’t hassle with parking.
Enjoy the park during sunset and sunrise hours. These hours provide an alternative perspective that can be even more beautiful and peaceful as the crowds are gone.
Know your hiking ability.
Prepare for weather changes and seasonal climates.
Pack extra water, whether your hiking, walking, or driving your car.
Don’t forget the hike out is harder than the hike in. Opposite to most hikes, you will start your hike going downhill and spend the second half going back up.
Don’t go hiking with new shoes or ones that are not hiking appropriate.
Try not to hike alone. Make friends with other walkers, or at least let someone know what trail you are taking and when you expect to check back in.
Don’t overpack your bag, pick your supplies wisely and don’t overload.
Don’t litter or feed animals in the park. It’s just an obvious no-no.
Don’t underestimate the heat, no matter how good of shape you are in!
Arizona, here we come! Don’t miss out on your opportunity to visit a natural wonder of the world. Equipped with your compact roadsurfer RV camper van and this Grand Canyon camping guide, you are more than prepared for a great vacation. So check off your packing list, purchase your National Park pass, and rent your roadsurfer today!