Grand Canyon National Park is bisected by the canyon, making two distinct destinations: the North and South rims. The north unit is less developed and closes entirely during the winter. The more-popular South Rim is packed with crowds nearly year-round and requires plenty of advance planning during high season.
At only a half-mile, the paved Bright Angel Point trail offers folks of all ability levels a chance to hike out to one of the prettiest views of the Grand Canyon’s North Rim. Come at sunset for spectacular photos.
Ooh Aah Point may be the most aptly named viewpoint in the National Park Service (NPS) system. It’s about a 2-mile, mostly easy hike from the South Kaibab trailhead to get to the viewpoint and back, but it’s entirely straight down, then up. The hike down from the Bright Angel trailhead to the 1.5-mile and 3-mile rest houses is a bit steeper and can get exceedingly crowded depending on the time of day. Enjoy the views on the way down, but remember to keep an eye on the trail as well (both for ankle-turning rocks and mule droppings).
If you want to hike 10 miles down to the bottom from the South Rim, it’s best to take 2 days, overnighting at Phantom Ranch. Be aware that you’ll likely need to enter a lottery to snag a permit.
How to Get There By RV
State Route 64 takes you through the South Rim entrance, while State Route 67 takes you to the North Rim. The North Rim route winds its way through mostly undeveloped national forest areas, so be sure you fuel up beforehand.
Where to Stay
The North Rim Campground is an ideal camping spot, but only if you plan to visit from May 15 through October 31 when it’s open. Dry camping only; no hookups.
Trailer Village on the South Rim has more than 80 sites with electric hookups, but they usually get reserved about a year in advance, especially in the high season. I stayed at the Mather Campground, where I was able to score a walk-up reservation for multiple nights with no problem. Between the bike trail and the shuttle stop next to the campground, I left my van parked for the majority of my stay. Make sure to keep an eye on the shower hours, as park staff closed the showers in the early afternoon.
Many campers rave about Long Jim Loop Dispersed Camping in the nearby Kaibab National Forest. It’s close to the South Rim entrance and surrounded by mature pine trees, with plenty of room for large RVs.