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Campground Review: Mather Campground @ Grand Canyon National Park


At the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, there are two choices for camping – the beautifully wooded Mather Campground, or the crowded parking lot known as Trailer Village.

If you have a big RV that can’t live without its electrical umbilical, you will be paying $32/night to stay here:

Trailer Village - Grand Canyon National Park
Trailer Village: The unappealing alternative to Mather Campground…

On the other hand, if you can live a day or two without plugging in – stay at Mather. The entire campground is beautifully wooded, the spaces are widely separated, and even if the sign on the registration shack says “tents only” they can almost always accommodate small trailers.

Mather Campground - Grand Canyon National Park
Mather Campground has widely separated beautifully wooded sites.

We woke up our first morning to elk grazing just outside our window. In Trailer Village, I imagine there are better odds of waking up to the sounds of your neighbor’s satellite TV.


Mid-week in April we found Mather to be mostly empty, but during the peak season and on weekend reservations are HIGHLY recommended. The cost is just $18/night.

Both Trailer Village and Mather are just a short walk to the rim of the canyon, or you can skip the walk and catch the free shuttle bus service that takes you to multiple spots throughout the park.

Mather is a perfect place to stay while exploring the majesty of the Grand Canyon. And if you want to spend some time indoors getting some work done online, the EVDO signal is strong and relatively fast too!

Grand Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park
Some snapshots from one of the most beautiful spots on Earth…


Summary Details:

View: Elk grazing out our window!

Sites: Numerous sites, widely dispersed. Tents welcome. 30′ max RV size.

Facilities: Toilets, Pay Showers Nearby, Scattered Fresh Water Spigots

Hookups: None. Dump station available.

Cell & Data Coverage:

AT&T – Weak 1 bar EDGE (booster helps slightly)

Sprint – Strong EVDO. (394Kb/s, 183Kb/s, 230ms) (roaming)

Cost: $18/night


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  1. They do have great sites there! We stayed after getting to the canyon late in the afternoon. We wanted to see more of the canyon, and at least see the sunset there, so we grabbed one of those sites.

    It gets cold there at night, too! We stayed there in September. No snow, but it was warm during the day, and I woke up to about 41F in the morning. The desert doesn’t retain the heat at night. They are great little campsites. We had our trusty tent, but it was the only place we used it on our planless trip across the country from CA to FL when I moved.

  2. Hey guys, this is definately one of the spots we want to hit once we’re on the road, but we’re in the same boat as you… tethered to the interwebs with cell phones. We’re on AT&T and will probably remain so for quite some time. What kind of booster are you using and would you recommend it? Thanks!

    • We have a Mobile Command Center amplifier setup from Powerful Signal.com built into our trailer – though they also sell similar portable kits.

      We’ve been mostly pleased with it – it often helps us take a marginal in-and-out fringe signal and turn into something stable enough to be usable.

      Our AT&T devices are an EDGE and 3G iPhone, and we have a Sprint air card. Unlike many other amplifier setups, the Mobile Command Center amp can support all of these devices simultaneously – not just one at a time.


      – Chris

      PS: I love the offroading videos on your site! We’ve got a good one of our own we will be uploading soon…

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