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“Excellent location and experience” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Desert View Campground

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Desert View Campground
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25 Miles east of Grand Canyon Village, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023   |  
Hotel amenities
Solihull, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Excellent location and experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2011

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.

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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23 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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English first
Country Victoria, Australia
Top Contributor
156 reviews 156 reviews
89 hotel reviews
Reviews in 93 cities Reviews in 93 cities
186 helpful votes 186 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2010

If you don't mind being away from the main tourist location this campground is a great location. Quiet , treed, with spacious camping sites. Campsites are equipped with the usual table and fire pit, a good tasting tap water supply (why bother with plastic bottled water) , no showers on site however the cleanest, best maintained rest rooms we came across in three weeks of visiting US national parks. The large birds, ravens crows?.. are very inquisitive and will try to peck holes in anything which they think may contain food.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Loveland, CO
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2010

We were looking for a quieter spot to park our popup and this was the perfect spot along the canyon. Easy hike to the Desert View WatchTower and fantastic views of the Canyon. Plenty of bathrooms and water available. Short drive to all the other amenities in the park. Plenty of shade and space between campers.

There is a store, gas station and caferight outside of the campground in the park in case you forgot something or wanted to pick up souveniers.

This campground is NOT on the park bus service. For us this was a plus (less noise and less crowds.)

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
471 helpful votes 471 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2009

We had originally reserved 6 nites at Mather campground in "South Rim City." We spent one day there walking the south rim trail which was interesting but crowded. The best part was that we could see our entire route for hiking to Phantom Ranch and back the next two days. When we returned to Mather campground after our Phantom Ranch hike, we decided we had had enough of the traffic noise, crowds, and commotion, so we cancelled the last 3 nites at Mather and moved to Desert View. What a difference! Desert View was much quieter and also much closer to the rim. We had nice campsite with afternoon shade at the picnic table.

The watchtower and store are within walking distance of the campground. The store is smaller than the one in "South Rim City", but it has everything you need and it has a more laid-back and friendly atmosphere. The watchtower itself is really cool but tends to be crowded.

Now here is the scoop on how to see the south rim in the Desert View area without the crowds: Walk to the NE end of the camping area and pick up the trail to the ampitheater. Continue past the ampitheater and you will come to viewpoint after viewpoint of the Grand Canyon and no crowds. You can return to the campground by simply walking uphill to the west thru the PJ forest.

Another great viewpoint can be reached by going north from the campground down the gravel road that goes to the service area for the shops. On the right side of this road there is a hiking trail that leads downhill to a ridge that sticks out into the canyon with views on 3 sides. It's a great place to watch the sunrise or sunset. There is also a trail that leads directly from the campground to this viewpoint which is a little shorter. If I remember right, you can reach this trail by walking to the ampitheater and turning left.

See my "south rim" review for one more place to go near Desert View where you can see incredible scenery with no crowds.

Desert View campground is first-come first-serve, so just get there early for best site selection.

  • Stayed June 2008, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2008

This campground is really nice and secluded. The campsites are spacious and provide some privacy from your neighbors. There are only about 40 campsites so it isn't very crowded. The bathrooms were clean. There is water on site but no showers. The location to everything in the park was nice too. There is a store, gas station and cafe outside of the campground in the park. This was my first time camping in a long time and I highly enjoyed this campground.

  • Liked — Location
  • Stayed June 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
60 hotel reviews
Reviews in 81 cities Reviews in 81 cities
301 helpful votes 301 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2007

We planned a trip to GC on Labor Day weekend. We drove all day and night and arrived around midnight. My parents had come earlier to reserve a spot for us since we expected the park to be packed. Maybe the rest of the park was, but even at midnight we had our pick of spots at Desert View. Can't really say much about the campground since we ate breakfast, packed up and headed out. It was a typical forest CG and had all the important amenities (flush toilets).

However Desert View point is an absolutely fabulous first glimpse of the Canyon....Make sure to spend some time enjoying it.

Stayed September 2003
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Desert View Campground

Address: 25 Miles east of Grand Canyon Village, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023
Location: United States > Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 21 Specialty Lodging in Grand Canyon National Park
Number of rooms: 50
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

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