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Old 12-12-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
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Grand Canyon Camping Free Dry Camping

I camped last August free at the South Rim Grand Canyon. I did not want to stay at the tourist camping grounds inside the park. Thousands of people is not my idea of fun camping. The only private RV park I saw in Tusayan (the tiny town close to the park) was no big deal but they do have hook-ups if you need them and a pay dump station for the public.

It seems that most people do not know about the free dry camping located at the south end of Tusayan. The National Forest road is at the entrance to town and easy to find since it is posted. It is just north of the turn to the small airport that runs the tours of the canyon. The gravel road is decent with no mud or huge holes. After 1/4 mile the road sign reads that camping is allowable after this point. There are several pull off areas suitable for anyone from tent campers to larger rigs. I loved camping there, the shuttles to the Canyon were just across the road and are free. Free camping and free shuttles to one of the most beautiful places on earth? How good is that!

Be warned that the tourist helicopters fly over this area returning tourists from the canyon air tours. This starts about 8 or 9am and ends early afternoon. You will not care, you will be riding the free shuttle taking photos of the canyon. At night the only sounds you will probably hear is the coyote's at dark and the crackle of the camp fire. I can't wait to go back!
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Old 12-12-2010, 04:48 PM   #2
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Man do I like the words "free camping". A few minutes ago I just finished up a review of the campground in Myrtle Beach where we paid $74 a night. We stay at mostly state parks (80%) and even those are pushing the $30 level because of the state budgets of most mid-Atlantic states are under in the red. Out west I'm sure there are many low cost or free sites on BLM land. I hate crowds to....
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:35 PM   #3
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Man do I like the words "free camping". A few minutes ago I just finished up a review of the campground in Myrtle Beach where we paid $74 a night. We stay at mostly state parks (80%) and even those are pushing the $30 level because of the state budgets of most mid-Atlantic states are under in the red. Out west I'm sure there are many low cost or free sites on BLM land. I hate crowds to....
Free is good. Almost free is also good....New Mexico has a cheap yearly pass to every State Park they have. If I remember right it is $180 a year to non residents to camp at any of their state parks for 12 months. Think about it. You can live in your RV for $180 a year at a beautiful park with electric and water included?? And they have a lot of parks. You just have to move every 2 weeks (unless the ranger says you can stay) After 2 weeks I would be ready to see another park.
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Old 12-12-2010, 10:32 PM   #4
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... New Mexico has a cheap yearly pass to every State Park they have. If I remember right it is $180 a year to non residents to camp at any of their state parks for 12 months. Think about it. You can live in your RV for $180 a year at a beautiful park with electric and water included?? And they have a lot of parks. You just have to move every 2 weeks (unless the ranger says you can stay) After 2 weeks I would be ready to see another park.
That's not quite right. The annual camping permit for non-residents is $225 per year. Water hook ups (when available) is at no extra cost. To camp with electric OR sewer it will cost you $4 per night (save $10) AFTER you have purchased the annual camping permit. For electric & sewer it's $8 per night (save $10 per night). If you know that you will be camping in NM state parks for more than 23 nights (break even point) then it is a savings. We did a GA state park pass once and it worked out great for us. We spent several months (thru the winter.. off season) in the park at a discounted rate. Used a discounted rate for the one holiday weekend we couldn't be in the park (it was booked) at another nearby state park, discount at the park store plus had two adult tickets for the SAM shortline railroad. Many state parks have some sort of annual pass program. Some are better than others. I do like state parks.

NM Fees & Permits
Camping Annual Permit (valid 12 months from month of purchase)
Annual camping permits may be purchased at any state park or at the division's Santa Fe office.

New Mexico resident... $180
Senior New Mexico resident age 62 and over... $100
Disabled New Mexico resident... $100
Out-of-state resident... $225
---------------------
Overnight Camping (per vehicle, per night)

Primitive site... $8
Notes: Primitive campsites offer no special facilities except a cleared area for camping. Sites may include trash cans, chemical toilets or parking. Developed sites offer additional facilities such as electric and sewage hookups.

Developed site... $10
Developed site with electric hookup... $14
Developed site with sewage hookup... $14
Developed site with electric and sewage hookups... $18
Electric hookup with annual camping permit... $4
Sewage hookup with annual camping permit... $4
Electric and sewage hookup with annual camping permit... $8

Water hookup (where available)... No charge


I was told this by FLA State Parks (upper management in an e-mail) and after talking to GA & TN state park rangers was led to believe that many state park systems will operate in a similar fashion. So here is how you can stay in a state park for up to 42 days in a 6 month period...
Quote:
"A maximum stay is 14 days. This may be repeated up to 3 times, for a total of 42 days within a 6 month period at any one Florida state Park. One could stay 14 days, but must leave the park campground for a 24 hour period, and then return for another 2 week stay. This can only be done by reserving a site prior to arrival through Reserve America, 1-800-326-3521 or www.reserveamerica.com"
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:21 AM   #5
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That's not quite right. The annual camping permit for non-residents is $225 per year. Water hook ups (when available) is at no extra cost. To camp with electric OR sewer it will cost you $4 per night (save $10) AFTER you have purchased the annual camping permit. For electric & sewer it's $8 per night (save $10 per night). If you know that you will be camping in NM state parks for more than 23 nights (break even point) then it is a savings. We did a GA state park pass once and it worked out great for us. We spent several months (thru the winter.. off season) in the park at a discounted rate. Used a discounted rate for the one holiday weekend we couldn't be in the park (it was booked) at another nearby state park, discount at the park store plus had two adult tickets for the SAM shortline railroad. Many state parks have some sort of annual pass program. Some are better than others. I do like state parks.

NM Fees & Permits
Camping Annual Permit (valid 12 months from month of purchase)
Annual camping permits may be purchased at any state park or at the division's Santa Fe office.

New Mexico resident... $180
Senior New Mexico resident age 62 and over... $100
Disabled New Mexico resident... $100
Out-of-state resident... $225
---------------------
Overnight Camping (per vehicle, per night)

Primitive site... $8
Notes: Primitive campsites offer no special facilities except a cleared area for camping. Sites may include trash cans, chemical toilets or parking. Developed sites offer additional facilities such as electric and sewage hookups.

Developed site... $10
Developed site with electric hookup... $14
Developed site with sewage hookup... $14
Developed site with electric and sewage hookups... $18
Electric hookup with annual camping permit... $4
Sewage hookup with annual camping permit... $4
Electric and sewage hookup with annual camping permit... $8

Water hookup (where available)... No charge


I was told this by FLA State Parks (upper management in an e-mail) and after talking to GA & TN state park rangers was led to believe that many state park systems will operate in a similar fashion. So here is how you can stay in a state park for up to 42 days in a 6 month period...
Thanks for reminding me on this. You are correct about the NM fees. Been almost 2 years since I researched this. I will check out the info you posted about Florida. I am selling my house and heading there soon as possible. Thanks again!
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Old 12-13-2010, 01:46 PM   #6
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Oh! Oh! It was your secret to keep

[QUOTE=Greg Lepage;751784]I camped last August free at the South Rim Grand Canyon. I did not want to stay at the tourist camping grounds inside the park. Thousands of people is not my idea of fun camping. The only private RV park I saw in Tusayan (the tiny town close to the park) was no big deal but they do have hook-ups if you need them and a pay dump station for the public.

It seems that most people do not know about the free dry camping located at the south end of Tusayan. The National Forest road is at the entrance to town and easy to find since it is posted. It is just north of the turn to the small airport that runs the tours of the canyon. The gravel road is decent with no mud or huge holes. After 1/4 mile the road sign reads that camping is allowable after this point. There are several pull off areas suitable for anyone from tent campers to larger rigs. I loved camping there, the shuttles to the Canyon were just across the road and are free. Free camping and free shuttles to one of the most beautiful places on earth? How good is that!

Be warned that the tourist helicopters fly over this area returning tourists from the canyon air tours. This starts about 8 or 9am and ends early afternoon. You will not care, you will be riding the free shuttle taking photos of the canyon. At night the only sounds you will probably hear is the coyote's at dark and the crackle of the camp fire. I can't wait to go back!


You might also call my post "THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD".


Remember you don't like thousands of people being around. You just gave out an invitation. Next time you go there might not be just the sound of coyotes you hear.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:54 PM   #7
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All that info is on the internet. Some folks like to stay in campgrounds. Others like to boondock. Do you think "dispersed" camping is a secret? I have found that particular spot listed on a couple of free camping sites. Like this one. For boondockers, it's finding the websites in the first place.

This had a lot of boondocking sites posted on it... Boondocking - Airstream Forums and it's just one of many.
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Old 12-14-2010, 10:46 AM   #8
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[QUOTE=WOODYDEL;752298]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Lepage View Post
I camped last August free at the South Rim Grand Canyon. I did not want to stay at the tourist camping grounds inside the park. Thousands of people is not my idea of fun camping. The only private RV park I saw in Tusayan (the tiny town close to the park) was no big deal but they do have hook-ups if you need them and a pay dump station for the public.

It seems that most people do not know about the free dry camping located at the south end of Tusayan. The National Forest road is at the entrance to town and easy to find since it is posted. It is just north of the turn to the small airport that runs the tours of the canyon. The gravel road is decent with no mud or huge holes. After 1/4 mile the road sign reads that camping is allowable after this point. There are several pull off areas suitable for anyone from tent campers to larger rigs. I loved camping there, the shuttles to the Canyon were just across the road and are free. Free camping and free shuttles to one of the most beautiful places on earth? How good is that!

Be warned that the tourist helicopters fly over this area returning tourists from the canyon air tours. This starts about 8 or 9am and ends early afternoon. You will not care, you will be riding the free shuttle taking photos of the canyon. At night the only sounds you will probably hear is the coyote's at dark and the crackle of the camp fire. I can't wait to go back!


You might also call my post "THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD".


Remember you don't like thousands of people being around. You just gave out an invitation. Next time you go there might not be just the sound of coyotes you hear.
I am not concerned about too many people camping here. The forest road goes for many miles. As Lorna said, these areas are mentioned on other sites and this area is little used. I was there a week and no more than 4 or 5 other campers were in the forest. Being a member of iRV2 Forums I felt my post was to help others plan trips with options. If I was selfish I would never post my sites for others so I could keep it "secret." I believe most RV people help each other I added what I thought was a helpful review of this resource for anyone searching "Grand Canyon" and I feel it will be appreciated. The name of this forum is Camping Locations & Information. It is not for keeping secrets.
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Old 12-14-2010, 12:44 PM   #9
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I personally appreciated Greg posting the info. I did note it down in my "Free & Cheap campgrounds" book. One day I plan on making it to the Grand Canyon. Although I want to stay in the huge Craftsman-style El Tovar Lodge just once (I love architecture... just not being "owned" by a house). But with a 13 month reservation wait and $400+ per night for a suite, that probably won't happen. But I can eat in the restaurant and look at the public areas.


El Tovar Hotel Grand Canyon
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:14 PM   #10
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What are you getting mad about

[QUOTE=Greg Lepage;752776]
Quote:
Originally Posted by WOODYDEL View Post

I am not concerned about too many people camping here. The forest road goes for many miles. As Lorna said, these areas are mentioned on other sites and this area is little used. I was there a week and no more than 4 or 5 other campers were in the forest. Being a member of iRV2 Forums I felt my post was to help others plan trips with options. If I was selfish I would never post my sites for others so I could keep it "secret." I believe most RV people help each other I added what I thought was a helpful review of this resource for anyone searching "Grand Canyon" and I feel it will be appreciated. The name of this forum is Camping Locations & Information. It is not for keeping secrets.

Since you were able to find it on your own and since this information is readily available for everyone else to find it, there is absolutly nothing wrong with keeping your treasure to yourself. What's wrong with them finding it on their own? You mentioned this, "Thousands of people is not my idea of fun camping". Sure sounds like you don't want them to follow you. What's wrong with what I said in my post? I wasn't picking on you. Your posting, which will be read by many, will prompt more to come and spoil what you enjoy. A "follow me to the best camping" sign on the back of the rig will help others find a really wonderful spot to camp.

Thanks for the tip, I'll pass it on.

Have a nice day.
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:29 PM   #11
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It is most amazeing to my when the word free pops up how peoples hearing just seems to get a lot better;;; Wallmart is an example; And when you look at the rigs parked there $250000.00 to $450000.+ rigs; Oh well thatis why they can afford that expancive rig they are to cheap to support a campground; I hope the campground associationGets togather and banns all muel Parking, of RV>s
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Old 12-14-2010, 02:47 PM   #12
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It is most amazeing to my when the word free pops up how peoples hearing just seems to get a lot better;;; Wallmart is an example; And when you look at the rigs parked there $250000.00 to $450000.+ rigs; Oh well thatis why they can afford that expancive rig they are to cheap to support a campground; I hope the campground associationGets togather and banns all muel Parking, of RV>s
Where the frikken h--l did THAT come from? This is a thread for a DISPERSED CAMPING AREA that is offered by most National Forests. This one happens to be in the Kaibab National Forest. They are often free or close to it (some NF's require an entrance fee). Where did you find WalMart even alluded to in any of the above posts? If you want to pay $74 a night to boondock in a National Forest without facilities then I am sure that the park will accept your donation. And please use spell check. I have no idea what "Muel Parking" is. except perhaps where you would park an ass mule.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:11 PM   #13
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It is most amazeing to my when the word free pops up how peoples hearing just seems to get a lot better;;; Wallmart is an example; And when you look at the rigs parked there $250000.00 to $450000.+ rigs; Oh well thatis why they can afford that expancive rig they are to cheap to support a campground; I hope the campground associationGets togather and banns all muel Parking, of RV>s
Yo Dude, what are you trying to say? Nobody with a $250000 motor home cares about free camping, they have MONEY. Only people like me are poor and need free camping. Dang dude, don't you know that? heheeee, your strange post really made my day.
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Old 01-05-2011, 06:14 PM   #14
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Let me spoil the Grand Canyon free camping info a bit more. After you park, if you "jump into your toad and continue up the road", you can enter the national park...for free!
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