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Old 02-07-2016, 12:46 AM   #1
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Grand Canyon RV sites

We're considering a trip to the Grand Canyon the week of July 4th of this year with our 3 grandsons (12, 7, 3). I've checked online and found two possible rv sites. The one in Williams, AZ has a train you purchase tickets for and ride to the park. And the the other is located inside the park. I don't have a toad so we would be using Enterprise rental (we want to visit the surrounding areas). I like the idea of being inside the park, but the location in Williams has more amenities with its nearby hotel. Suggestions - Recommendations
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:08 AM   #2
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I highly recommend Williams as your basecamp. The Grand Canyon park entrance is 60 minutes straight up a very nice two lane road. If you like hiking I guess you could stay for days. Personally one full day was great. I'm not much for the I-Max, just taking the tram through the western rim, stopping at all the outposts makes a fun day. You can take the train from Williams to the GC, but that only gives you a couple of hours to visit the park. The train station RV park is very nice but not my favorite. We really enjoy basecamping at Circle of Pines KOA in Williams. Very large sites, KOA activities, indoor pool, a couple of large play/activity areas, and a great dog run. In Williams do not miss Bearazazone Wild Animal Park. Many hours of a great day driving through the park, they provide a car if needed or they have group tours in an open bus. The 3 and 7 year old will also enjoy the GC Deer Park, lots of animals to feed, touch, etc. The 12 year old might enjoy it also, but the younger ones for sure. A 15 minute drive to Flagstaff and you can visit the planetarium. A bit north of Flagstaff is Crater of the Sun Volcanic Park. Lots of hiking on a paved trail and a great ranger display. 30 minutes South to Sedona and Sliding Rock State Park. Pack swim suits and slide down the naturally polished rocks on the river. In Sedona take the Pink Jeep ride or the Pink Hummer ride up into the back country. The drivers are full of western stories and tales, along with local history.
Have a wonder time, and Happy Trails.
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:23 AM   #3
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We're considering a trip to the Grand Canyon the week of July 4th of this year with our 3 grandsons (12, 7, 3). I've checked online and found two possible rv sites. The one in Williams, AZ has a train you purchase tickets for and ride to the park. And the the other is located inside the park. I don't have a toad so we would be using Enterprise rental (we want to visit the surrounding areas). I like the idea of being inside the park, but the location in Williams has more amenities with its nearby hotel. Suggestions - Recommendations
We stayed at the Grand Canyon Train hotel in Williams this past summer with our two daughters (4&5 at the time). The breakfast at the buffet is good. The train ride was pleasant, and we felt the time allotted at the canyon was just enough for our girls. You only get a few hours at the Canyon, but with small kids that's really about all you need. They can only stare at a big hole in the ground for so long.

The hotel has a salt water pool, which I found nice, and the kids loved. There's a cowboy show before the train ride and "singing cowboys" on the train. Williams also has a Rt66 kitschy area of town right by the hotel. There is a cowboy shootout there in the afternoons. There are some art stores, some Rt 66 kitsch stores, a 50's esque diner, etc. there. It wasn't really enough to hold our kids attention for too long though.

The RV park is clean, paved, with large concrete pads that can accommodate a full size rig with trailer. Like most you're a few feet away from your neighbors.

I personally felt the Williams RV park/hotel was a pleasant stay. Of course we had been traveling across the country all summer so it was a chance to spend a couple of days relaxing. The downside of that location will be the duration of the trains stay at the Grand Canyon. The park is going to be packed and you'll have about 3 hours to travel around before it's time to get back on the train. As I said, it's plenty of time for young kids, but overall feels a bit short. We only had time to hike a bit of the Blue Angel trail before taking a bus to Powells Point. After that we had just enough time to grab some overpriced food at the quick serve place by the train station before heading back to the train.

We took the first class car on the way out and the view car on the way back. The kids enjoyed the view car but I wouldn't have wanted to take it both ways. It's nice, but a bit cramped compared to the first class seating.
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Old 02-07-2016, 08:18 AM   #4
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Here is all the info you need:
Grand Canyon Trip
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Old 02-07-2016, 01:25 PM   #5
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Unless you enjoy wasting 2 hours drive time, stay inside the park. If you really want to stay in Williams, take the train.


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Old 02-07-2016, 02:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by PapaBobby View Post
We're considering a trip to the Grand Canyon the week of July 4th of this year with our 3 grandsons (12, 7, 3). I've checked online and found two possible rv sites. The one in Williams, AZ has a train you purchase tickets for and ride to the park. And the the other is located inside the park. I don't have a toad so we would be using Enterprise rental (we want to visit the surrounding areas). I like the idea of being inside the park, but the location in Williams has more amenities with its nearby hotel. Suggestions - Recommendations
I was there this fall and I was wondering what surrounding areas you want to see? As far as I was concerned you need to drive at least a one hour one way just to see anything from the south rim. Not sure about the north rim of the Grand Canyon since we did not visit that side.

I believe there is a daily fee to enter the park $30.00 unless you have a Senior Pass or something similar. So I would advise against leaving the park and driving back in as this could get expensive.

There is enough to do and see at the South Rim for three or four days; plus there is a shuttle bus service that is free so you do not need to move. There are several hotels and restaurants where you can either stay or eat in plus if you want to visit Williams AZ. you can take a train down to Williams and then back up to the Grand Canyon. You can also spend one day hiking down to the Colorado River and another day hiking up. The Sites at Trailer Village are full hook-up plus cable TV, so the kids will have their TV I needed. We paid around $38 a night which I thought was a fair price for full hook-ups and cable TV.

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Old 02-07-2016, 06:06 PM   #7
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I'd highly advise staying IN the park itself, at Trailer Village - full hookups. The ranger programs are awesome and kids are always enthralled by getting individual attention from a ranger. In Trailer Village you will most likely have elk walking through. You'll be able to attend the campfire program. Right outside the campground you can pick up the free shuttle which makes many stops along the Rim. You can get on and off wherever, walk the easy Rim Trail for a short distance and hop back on. If you want to stay in the near vicinity you don't have to rent a car, the free shuttle runs from early morning to evening. You are close to the General Store and restaurants. I'd also highly recommend that you take a short walk down the Bright Angel Trail to get an altogether different perspective on the canyon from below. 1/8 mile would do it.

As far as staying in Williams and taking the train, you would only be at the canyon a couple hours before having to board again - definitely not enough time to experience the canyon. The train runs through open grassland and is not scenic.

I guess my thought is....do you want the kids to experience the Canyon or do you want the typical RV park experience of a swimming pool, etc?

You could always spend time at both, too. Break up the stay.

http://www.nps.gov/grca/learn/kidsyouth/index.htm
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Old 02-07-2016, 07:59 PM   #8
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Aside from trailer village in the park there is another one in Tusayan. Which is just south of the park boundary. Full hookups thought it was decent. The park shuttle service does pickup and drop off in Tusayan Your entrance fee to the park should be good for 7 days
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Old 02-07-2016, 10:15 PM   #9
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If you decide to stay inside the park or at Tuscayan, make your reservations ASAP. That is their busiest time of year, well, anytime school is out for the summer is quite busy.
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Old 02-07-2016, 11:10 PM   #10
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Our first choice was Mather inside the park. Our 2nd choice was Ten-X just outside the park. We will be in Mather. Cost was $18 per night and with our senior pass it was only $9. No hook-ups, but if you have an RV, boondocking for 3-4 days should not be a problem.

Advantage - walk across the street to the visitor center and tram. Why drive or ride for an hour - kick back and relax in camp. But reserve as soon as you can for a spot.
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Old 02-08-2016, 07:29 AM   #11
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If your goal is to see the park, then definitely look at staying inside the park. In terms of amenities, there are a surprisingly large number at Grand Canyon Village. I've stayed at Trailer Village, and its walkable to the rim, but the tram system is really very good and there's a stop at Trailer Village. However, for July 4th I strongly recommend getting a reservation in at Trailer Village ASAP if that becomes your plan.
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Old 02-15-2016, 01:29 PM   #12
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Although I LOVE the Grand Canyon, July 4'th is probably the absolute worst time to be there. Besides the crowds, the temperatures will be "challenging". Bring lots of water-carrying backpacks, sunscreen. North rim is considerably cooler, and less crowded.
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