Before arriving at the campground we stopped off at the Grand Canyon Village Store to rent a 2-man tent, sleeping bags and ground mats. We then drove 25 miles East along the rim to the Desert View campground.
We arrived at the campground mid-afternoon. It was reasonably empty so we had a good selection of pitches to choose from. Once our pitch was selected we had to pay at a 'pay and display' type machine ($12 per night) which took credit cards aswell as cash. The machine produced a paper ticket that we had to clip to a small post next to our pitch.
We selected pitch #32 (I think) which backed onto open land. This was nice and secluded as we didn't have anyone walking passed our tent to visit the toilet, bins or water taps.
All the pitches have fire pits and picnic tables. You are only permitted to burn wood bought with you or from the Grand Canyon general stores. We bought a couple of packs from the Desert View store which cost about $7 per pack. It was great to have a campfire as there is no other light. The sky and stars were amazing, plus all the strange animal noises during the night!?
The toilets on site were clean and adequate. We knew there were no showers, so we took baby wipes with us! You are able to use showers at Mather Campground, but this is 25 miles away back at the Grand Canyon Village, so we didn't bother with this as we were only camping for 2 nights.
It is well worth waking early and taking the short walk to the rim to see the sun rise. We found a perfect spot to the right of the Desert View Watchtower which was very isolated.
I would definitely recommend this campground ahead of Mather campground. We took a drive around Mather and thought it was too large and busy. We wanted to experience the Canyon for what it was, so other than actually hiking down into the Canyon to camp I think the Desert View campground is the perfect choice. It is very close to the rim and really quite quiet. If you want somewhere busier with showers, easy access to food then perhaps Mather is the better choice.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Offers 50 campsites with bathroom facilities. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Desert View Campground Hotel Grand Canyon National Park