Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona – April 2015
The forecast was looking rather cool at the south rim of the Grand Canyon so I delayed my arrival so that it coincided with a couple days of good weather. In April good was 60s and sunny. I hated to go back to these cooler temps after enjoying the 80s and 90s for several weeks but I wasn’t about to miss the Grand Canyon. I did however decide to visit for a few days instead of the week I had originally planned.
This was my first destination that promised a true wild camping experience, a location where anyone could just pull off the road into the forest and camp with absolutely no fees for days. I am hoping to do a lot of this type of camping but so far had not found any sites suitable in the places I wanted to stay. I admit I am a little particular. A site has to have good access with no low hanging branches on a decent road. There is no point in saving $20 a night on camping only to fork over hundreds of dollars to repair my RV or pay for a tow. A quarter mile up Forest Road 302, which turns right off Hwy 64 in the town of Tusayan, offered many suitable sites. I was surprised to have my pick of spots when I got here. And I only saw a few other campers during my stay. Here is the google satellite of my campsite represented by the blue dot:
As you can see it is barely outside of town and it is only 2 ½ miles from the park’s entrance gate. It was in the flight path of the canyon helicopter tours. They often flew very low overhead during the days. But the nights were quiet except for the coyotes.
The canyon was stunning! You can walk along the rim for miles, much of it paved. And that is exactly what I did for three wonderful days.
The park has a great shuttle system. You can ride to a viewpoint, then get out and walk to the next viewpoint, then hop back on the next bus and ride a while longer. It gives you a lot of options in how far you want walk on any particular day.
The last day I drove out to the east entrance of the park for a better view of the Colorado River:
And stopping traffic near the entrance:
I could have been very happy here for several more days but when I woke up to 15 degree temps and frozen pipes on the 4th day I hooked up my rig and boogied down off that mountain.