Saturday, October 12 Through Saturday, October 19, 2019
An information sign just outside of Tusayan, the last town before the Grand Canyon, warned drivers to expect ½ hour wait to get into the park.
They weren’t kidding about the wait. It was right around noon. Five lanes were open and we crawled along. Large vehicles like buses, trucks towing trailers and truck campers should stay to the right as the clearance on the two left most lanes aren’t all that tall.
Spending time in line provides the opportunity to look around. See which lines move the fastest. Line number 5 was the winner. Buses and large vehicles take up more space but the time talking to the Park Ranger stays the same. The time difference between lines 1 and 2 compared to line 5 was significant.
On the way into the park, just before the official entrance manned by park rangers, there is an exit to a parking lot for the official Grand Canyon National Park entrance sign. A restroom is also on site. The exit didn’t have relevant signage so we missed it on first time into the park. The picture was taken Sunday.
Finding the campground turned out to be more troublesome than expected. Signage was abundant but not necessarily relevant to the destination. It really felt like we were going around in circles.
Most RV parks have a reasonable well marked place for RV’s to park while they register at the park office. Because the park office is in the middle of a bus turnaround, parking is not allowed near the office. The NO PARKING signs did not deter us from doing the usual thing. We parked on the right side of the road just behind the NO PARKING sign.
Almost immediately, the clerk runs out of the office and starts shouting “YOU CAN’T PARK THERE. MOVE YOUR TRUCK.” Putting on the best old and confused look possible, “Where?” I shouted back. She just pointed. I pulled forward a few truck lengths.
I talked to the clerk a day later. We needed to know where to get propane. She was nice, helpful and patient about everything except people parking in the bus turnaround area. That is definitely a pain point for the concessionaire running Trailer Village RV Park.
This campground has bathrooms with running water. There are no showers. The heat wasn’t turned on in the bathrooms. It did get cold enough that heat would have been appropriate. In October, things were shutting down. The bathrooms weren’t cleaned for five days straight. They must have been cutting staff.
The campsite was more spacious than the ones around it. Trees provided shade in our extended fenced in area. Since the site wasn’t level front to back, we turned the truck around in the spot with the rear tires on the uphill side. This keeps the truck more stable when using leveling blocks. We used one layer of leveling blocks under the front tires. We really needed two layers. Side to side, the site was level.
Not all of the campsites in this campground are full hookup sites. This particular one was. It also had cable TV with more channels than most RV parks. Something that was not mentioned on the concessionaire website. Nice little bonus service.
Propane is not available in the park. We had to drive outside the park back to Tusayan. Grand Canyon Camper Village, affiliated with Trailer Village RV Park, carried propane. We went out there Saturday afternoon and got our propane tank filled.
The Grand Canyon Pocket Map South Rim Services Guide, provided by Park Rangers at the park entrance, includes South Rim maps. According to the map, it is possible to walk (or ride a bike) from Trailer Village RV Park to Grand Canyon National Park Visitor Center. However, the map is misleading.
The yellow highlight over the trail, red lines and the white lettering are mine. The map shows the bike/hike path meeting up with the bus stop. The same bus stop at the turnaround where the Trailer Village RV Park office is located. This is not the case. Red lines represent actual trails. Not sure where they ultimately go.
It took a few days of exploring the campground to find the trailhead. It was a distance from the bus stop.
The bus stop is on the lower left. The trailhead is on the right in the middle. To get to the trailhead, continue from the campground entrance on Trailer Village Road. This road cuts through the middle of the park.
On P Street, turn right.
The trail starts at P Street’s end.
Mather Campground, run by the National Park Service, is nearby. We drove through it. Nice campground. For dry campers, this is a good campground. Lots of trees. Feels like a campground ought to feel. Potable water and a dump station is available in the campground.
Camper Services in Mather Campground has showers, laundromat and phones. Rangers staff the windows and can take campsite payments, among other things.
While we prefer full hookups, we would stay in either one of the campgrounds – the concessionaire campground and the National Park Service campground. Both are good. Being in Grand Canyon National Park is great.
Hope to see you on the road ahead!