Mather Campground (Grand Canyon)
Desert camping was high on our list of things to do while on our big adventure. We camped in the mountains and along the ocean numerous times, in forests and wide open grasslands with few trees in sight, so adding the desert to the list of experiences was a necessity.
Of course, we had more desert camping planned in Joshua Tree National Park, but we decided that relaxing in San Diego for a little longer was a better idea, so we didn’t make it there. It gives us something to do later in life.
Mather Campground is one of two campgrounds on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Desert View is the other South Rim campground and the third NPS campground is North Rim Campground at the North Rim. As far as external amenities, the Grand Canyon as a whole is in the middle of nowhere. Flagstaff is the closest city of any size and that’s a 1.5-hour drive.
Let’s get real though, you don’t come to the Grand Canyon to spend time in a city. You come to see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. And Mather Campground is perfect for that. From the campground, you’re a 5-minute drive to the Grand Canyon Village and the Bright Angel trail head. This campground really positions you well for anything you could want to do in and around the Grand Canyon.
There are no hookups in any of the Grand Canyon NPS campgrounds. The only place nearby that we saw online with hookups is 7 miles outside of the gates. Potable community water spigots are available within about 50 meters of any campsite.
The bathrooms are bathrooms. Nothing exciting, but they get the job done without being dirty. Unfortunately, you must supply your own soap since the bathrooms within Mather Campground only provide the toilets, sinks, and hand dryers. Showers are available for a fee of $2.00 per 8 minutes at the front of the campground.
Laundry & Wi-Fi
Laundry facilities are available at the shower house at the front of the campground. We didn’t use the laundry facilities though, so we don’t know the price. There is no wi-fi.
We were also lucky that the campground wasn’t very full, making for quite a bit of privacy and quiet desert solitude.
Before taxes, the price for our tent site was $18. Considering this is one of the 10 most visited parks in the National Park System and that it’s about the going rate for anywhere in the nation, you can’t complain.