This is a walk up only campground, since we didn't want to be disappointed driving 4 hours we booked a site just outside GC. We checked it out the next morning and found a great spot. Running water, flush toilets (altho one back up and flooded the mens room), and walking distance to Desert View lookout. A (very expensive) store is close by. Using a National Parks senior pass and sites are half price (as they are at most national park campgrounds). Lots of stars, deer, elk and coyotes baying in the night. The campgrounds are small (less than 60 sites) but provided some degree of privacy. Drive thru sites are also available for RV camping. It's located very close to the east entrance to the Grand Canyon so you avoid all the lines getting in.
We were skeptical about this campground. It seemed a pretty big leap of faith to head to the Grand Canyon in a 30’ RV with no reservation, but we are optimists, so off we went. We got to Desert View around 9 am and had our pick of sites. We stayed in #42. Here’s what was wonderful: The price! Campfires! Solitude! Coyotes! Cool foreign neighbors! The temperature! Here’s what wasn’t wonderful: We dry camped. We were too tired from walking the Grand Canyon and drinking lots of beer to make a complex dinner. Marshmallows and steak in a stick had to do!
The campground opened for the season on April 14th. We arrived before noon on April 17th and there were plenty of spots available. As the sign says, pick your spot and then go pay. It was $12 a night. We had campsite 41 which had lots of sunshine. There is a fire pit and picnic table at each site. Within a short walking distance we found incredible views of the South Rim. There is a path between campsites 46 and 48. Bathrooms were nice. No showers but access to water to fill water bowls. Place to wash dishes by bathrooms.
Great campground with some good and quite large sites. As others mentioned it's a 'first come, first serve' campground, so make sure you arrive pretty early. Anytime before 10 AM should be fine. Easy self check-in, pretty clean flush toilets and very close to desert view tower (worth visiting at sunrise!). There's a gas station around the corner where you can also buy firewood and such (it's not cheap, though). It's a bit of a drive — with beautiful views — to Grand Canyon village but we actually enjoyed that. Spotted lots of moose on the way and took a gazillion photos ;) I've stayed at both campgrounds (also Mather campground in the village) and I actually think I prefer Desert View.
We were very pleased with our experience at this campground. Campground host very helpful. Beautiful sites with nothing but nature around you. 25 mile drive to a shower but what views along the way! Would stay there again, and again, and again!!