Nearby Points Of Interest
The Grand Canyon is an adventure in itself. But if youre visiting for more than a few days, it might be worth taking a day trip to one of these famous destinations nearby:
- Grand Canyon North Rim: 4 hour drive north of the South Rim
- Horseshoe Bend Overlook: 2.25 hour drive from the South Rim
- Antelope Canyon: 2.5 hour drive from the South Rim in the same direction
If youre excited to visit the Grand Canyon or want to learn more, these are some great resources to help plan your trip:
Clark Peak Corrals Coronado National Forest
Clark Peak Corrals, with just two campsites, has pit toilets and picnic tables for the fortunate few who get them during the cooler summer months. Clark Peak remains inaccessible throughout the winter months but provides relief from the scorching Arizona sun in the height of summer at 9,000 feet above sea level.
Clark Peak Corrals is located at the end of HWY 366, which means its far from everything and has a true get away from it all vibe.
- Closest town : Safford, AZ
- Map coordinates : P2C8+H3 Fort Grant, Arizona, United States
Bald Eagle State Forest
Named after the famous Native American chief, Bald Eagle, Bald Eagle State Forest covers 193,424 acres of high, sharp ridges and tracts of old-growth forest with miles of refreshing mountain streams. Due to its location within the ridge and valley section of Pennsylvania, Bald Eagle State Forest has breath-taking sights you cant find anywhere else in the state.
From the Allegheny Mountains in the northwest to the limestone-rich Susquehanna Valley in the southeast, the Bald Eagle forest district spotlights a series of striking sandstone ridges. Some of Bald Eagle State Forests peaks reach heights of up to 2,300 feet above sea level.
Each year, visitors flock to Bald Eagle State Forest for its numerous trails and natural areas. From the Mid State Trail to the old-growth forests, vistas and countless other multiple areas, Bald Eagle State Forest has something to offer every nature enthusiast. The Poe Paddy area is a particularly popular spot among visitors because of its scenic canyons and rugged ridges.
And with 45 designated motorized camping sites, there is no shortage of space for overnight guests. These motorized campsites each come with off-road parking, a fire ring and a picnic table. Despite the many campsites available, it is still recommended that campers call ahead to reserve a spot and request a permit for no charge.
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What If Fr 688 Is Full
Here are some other Grand Canyon BLM camping options that we havent used ourselves, but are very popular.
Coconino Rim Road
Coconino Rim Road is very close to the Visitor Center and the canyon itself. This might mean that you get more traffic passing by, but you also have a shorter drive and easier access to all of the activities the Grand Canyon has to offer. Not to mention that being close to the Visitor Center means being close to a source of water boondocking gold!
Forest Road 302
Forest Road 302 is also accessible to larger RVs. Some reviewers do mention rutted side roads, so watch out for those, especially if theres snow or mud present. It also sounds like some people had trouble with AT& T service in this area, so keep an eye on your cell reception if thats important to you during your stay.
Forest Road 306
Forest Road 306 is another option thats close to FR 688. Reviews of this area mention plenty of large spots and fresh water access close by. As with other free camping near the Ground Canyon South Rim, be wary of mud, and scout ahead with a toad or tow vehicle if youre unsure.
Free Camping At The Grand Canyon For Amazing Views
Visiting Grand Canyon National Park should be on everyones bucket list, and free camping can help make it easier on your budget while providing amazing views.
Check out these free campsites when planning your trip, then get excited to hit the road. Be sure to give yourself enough time to take advantage of all the amazing hiking too. Youll be happy you did!
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Where To Camp For Free In Central Pennsylvania
Whats the perfect activity for having fun while complying with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines? Camping, of course! As an outdoor activity, camping is a great way to get away from crowded spaces and enjoy nature with your family.
Regardless of social distancing, camping is always a fun weekend activity full of fresh air, connecting with nature and kicking back with some friends and smores. And as a bonus, camping can be free if you know the right places to go. This guide to free camping in Central Pennsylvania will give you the top 10 spots to camp without paying an expensive campsite reservation fee.
Free Camping At Little Grand Canyon Utah
By: Author Kyle & Olivia Brady
Home » Free Camping at Little Grand Canyon, Utah
As we worked our way from Strawberry Reservoir to Moab, Olivia found an epic stop-over site. Wedge Overlook at Little Grand Canyon is a beautiful, free campsite located about 35 miles south of Price City.
After 20 miles of dirt road we were amazed by the stunning views and total privacy. We wouldnt recommend it for Class As or huge 5th Wheels, but most rigs 25 feet and smaller should be able to find a spot.
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When To Dispersed Camp Near Grand Canyon National Park
You can camp year-round at the Grand Canyon provided you come prepared for the weather conditions.
However, the best time to camp at the Grand Canyon tends to be during the Spring and Fall shoulder seasons. Youll avoid the crowds and hot temperatures of the summer months, but will still get to enjoy some beautiful, warm days.
Winter camping at the Grand Canyon is popular with those hoping to avoid crowds and find the canyon at its most serene. Come prepared for snow, cold, and difficult road conditions if you plan to camp here in the winter. It is also important to note that the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is only open from May 15th October 15th each year.
For the summer months, you can expect hot days and more crowds. However, the beauty of planning a dispersed camping trip is that youll avoid some of the crowded designated campgrounds and have an overall quieter experience.
Campground : Indian Garden
In the Grand Canyon, many of the backcountry campgrounds like Indian Garden are only accessible by hikers or mule train riders.
You would think that this would make finding a campsite easier, however most of these campgrounds still require reservations. That being said, the views and privacy make them well worth the effort.
Places like Toroweap Overlook offer spectacular panoramic experiences which are only available to those willing to drive or hike the distance.
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Still Cant Find A Site
Forest Service or BLM Websites
The best resource when looking for a good place to camp is often the National Forest or BLM website itself. For the Grand Canyon South Rim, you want the website for the Kaibab National Forest.
They have maps and tips available online, and you can always call a ranger or speak to one when you reach the national forest. Weve found them to be very friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.
Pay to Camp at Mather Campground
There are three established campgrounds inside the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. We camped at Mather Campground after leaving FR 688 and really enjoyed our time there.
Camping Websites and Apps
We wrote in our post on dispersed camping about sites and apps you can use to find great free campsites on public land. For some quick inspiration, heres a list of our favorites:
All of these sites allow access to user reviews on the accessibility of a campsite, so be sure to do some research before heading out. Many will also tell you about the quality of the cell signal in case you need to work or just want to stay connected.
Fr 237 Camping Area Coconino National Forest
FR 237, also known as the Pumphouse Wash is the place to go if you enjoy wildflowers, pines, and free camping in Arizona. Campers will have access to toilets, spacious campsites, and hiking routes near FR 237 to make for a complete and stress-free camping experience.
There are two lakes in the area, Willow Springs Lake and Woods Canyon Lake, which may be fished, swum, or paddled about on a SUP or kayak. FR 237 offers a peaceful break for city dwellers and those seeking a vacation from their routine.
- Closest town : Flagstaff, AZ
- Map coordinates :373F+PC Mountainaire, Arizona, USA
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Bright Angel Campground Via Bright Angel Trail
9.9 mile hike one way
Bright Angel Campground in the Grand Canyon.
One of the most beautiful backcountry sites in the Southwest, the Bright Angel Campground is a destination that you must work very hard to reach. Following the striking Bright Angel trail, this epic hike, especially with backcountry gear in your pack, is 9.9 miles, so be sure you have packed all the essentials, including water, food and your backcountry permit from the Backcountry Information Center at the Grand Canyon, before you start down Bright Angel trail at the top of the rim.
When you arrive at the campground, check out all the available sites because there are varying degrees of shade, privacy, access to year-round water and proximity to the flush-toilet restrooms.
If its really hot, spend time in Bright Angel Creek, which flows through the campground. You also can walk a half-mile to the Canteen at Phantom Ranch. Part of the Phantom Ranch lodge, the only accommodations below the rim, the Canteen has limited hours open to the public. It serves what may be the best lemonade you ever have, as well as tea, beer, wine and some snacks. Relish the air conditioning in this oasis.
The Canteens public hours from April 1 through Oct. 31 are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. From Nov. 1 to March 31, it is open to the public 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Camping At Phantom Ranch
Phantom Ranch is the only established lodging at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. You can only get there by hiking on foot, traveling by mule, or rafting the Colorado river.
- From the South Rim: Phantom Ranch is 7.5 miles down the South Kaibab Trail or 10 miles down the Bright Angel Trail.
- From the North Rim: Phantom Ranch is 13.6 miles down the North Kaibab Trail
At Phantom Ranch, you can choose to either rent a cabin, or stay in the dorm. There is no tent camping there. Dorm prices start at $53 per person.
While you can pack your own food, one of the cool things about Phantom Ranch is you can order Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner to be cooked and served when you make your reservations. Theres also a duffle service available where the park will deliver your bags to your room at the base of the canyon. That makes for a much simpler hike!
Phantom Ranch is one of the most sought-after accommodations in the Grand Canyon. While its open year-round, there is a lottery process to go through to win your spot. Youll have to enter the lottery 1 month in advance prior to your stay. Entry forms become available on the 15th of every month.
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Peralta Trail Campground In The Superstition Mountains
If youre in the Phoenix or Tucson area during fall or winter , the Peralta Canyon campground off of the Peralta trail is a great place to spend an overnight. A true backpacking trip, it features a 5+ mile out-and-back trip into the Superstition Mountains.
While the hike is very challenging, the views are worth it. From the Peralta campground, youre a short hike from Weavers Needle and miles and miles of desert flowers and giant saguaro cacti. In the Phoenix area, the Peralta Canyon campground is by far our favorite free camping spot.
There Is No Other Free Camping Inside Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park offers no free camping inside Park boundaries. There are several free camping opportunities just outside Park boundaries, skip to the next section below.
The cheapest camping inside Park boundaries, with an RV, van, pickup truck, or car, is at Desert View Campground, located along South Rim, at the Parks east entrance. Its a first-come, first-served campground, with no RV hookups, and will cost $12.00 per night, paid at a pay-station at the campground. Its a very busy campground and is very difficult to get a site. Moreover, the sites are small, capable of accommodating a vehicle no longer than 30 feet.
There is an RV Park inside the Park boundaries, close to Mather Campground, called, Grand Canyon Lodge Trailer Village.
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The Case For Campgrounds
I personally prefer wild camping for free over campgrounds because it gives me a chance to completely unplug and connect with nature. However, theres some good to be said of paying for campgrounds.
If you are new to camping, its really helpful to have running water, a bathroom and trash cans instead of figuring out how to filter water, dig a cathole or pack out your trash .
As a parent, I also like that there are usually other families at campgrounds. My daughter gets to play with their kids, and I get to finally socialize with people who get it. By contrast, we rarely meet anyone especially anyone with kids when free camping.
Hard To Stop Along The Way
One of the major downsides to having an RV, or any camper that you trailer, is making stops along the way. Most places aside from big box store parking lots and truck stops have space for a large trailer to pull into. Maneuvering around areas of interest like cities can be almost impossible.
If you are trailering your camper or bringing a smaller vehicle along on your trip, you at least have the option of venturing out after you have parked at the camping area. But you may end up missing interesting places and local treasures that your tent camping friends will get to see.
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What Is The Best Campground In The Grand Canyon
Trailer Village is the main RV park near Grand Canyon. It’s right in the park proper, the layout resembles the typical sardine can setup found in private parks, you get full hookups, and it’s as close to the rim as you can get on the southern end of Grand Canyon National Park.
You’ll pay the premium that comes with this type of convenience–both in actual dollars and the dedication you have to have to get a spot at what may be one of the most popular campgrounds in the entire country.
Didn’t make that reservation in time? Just want a more spread out, tree-covered experience? Nearby Mather Campground may be your characteristically woodsy ticket to staying in the park, though you’ll sacrifice hookups for it.
Note that very few people have ever gone to the Grand Canyon in search of excellent cell phone reception.
Just under twenty minutes outside of the park, Forest Road 302 is likely the closest spot to camp that delivers natural pine smell and comes free of charge. It boasts a smidgeon of cell service should that be a requirement for your particular journey.
Grand Canyon Campgrounds Can Make Or Break You
Whatever reason leads you to scouting back country campsite, be sure to carefully read the National Park Service recommendations. Roads in these areas often require high clearance 4×4 vehicles and cell service is extremely spotty. Many different areas throughout the park offer dispersed camping, but also require a lottery-based backcountry permit.
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National Forest Camping On The South Rim Of The Grand Canyon
The Kaibab National Forest grows like a big hug around the national park itself and offers a plethora of camping–typically free–for everyone from the fifthest of wheels to the cocooniest tent campers. While Forest Road 302, mentioned above, is the closest to the park’s entrance, three more places to camp hang out just down Arizona Route 64.
Ten X, one of the few national forest sites in Kaibab that isn’t just named for a forest road, comes with a small fee and promises a vault toilet in exchange, but otherwise expect unadulterated boondocking at the low, low cost of absolutely nothing but the breath it takes you to enjoy the views.
For the worker types out there who rely on an Internet connection to keep their travels going, you may have to hunt for even mediocre reception without a booster.
Best Free Camping Near Kanab
Utah Campsite #3: N 37°3.200, W 112°15.581
Kanab is home to some of the most slot canyons in the world. Miles of winding slot trails, amazing wave rock formations, and the beginnings of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument can all be found in the heart of Kanab.
But also lying in the heart of Kanab are some of the most alluring, quiet campsites in the world and some of the best free campsites in Utah!
Spanning from Lake Powell to Hurricane and beyond, Highway 89 is home to hundreds of dispersed Utah campsites that are totally free for campers to enjoy.
If youre looking to hike the Peekaboo Slots, or grabbing that infamous Instagram picture at The Wave , Seamens Canyon Road off Highway 89 is the perfect middle ground for your southern Utah adventure.
Located 32 miles west of The Peekaboo Slot Canyon trailhead, Seamens Canyon Road offers multiple pullouts underneath the cliffs of Grand Staircase-Escalante.
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