Mather Campground at Grand Canyon

January 11, 2017


On the way back from Grand Canyon

When I was in girl scout, I used to go camping in wilderness without any convenient tents or bathrooms. We would just bring a bunch of bars, hooks and a big canvas and build a tent ourselves. Unlike my childhood experience, this trip was so much easier to camp! We booked the campground a few months before as we came to Grand Canyon in Labor day so it was all booked up!



You can reserve online at the official site in advance. The campground can be sold out, especially in the holidays so book as soon as you can. We booked the campground for Labor Day on July when there were still plenty of sites to choose. However, when we came there, all sites were all booked, even other campgrounds.

Besides the campground fee, you will also have to pay the entrance fee to the park for $30/vehicle. More fees at the official site.



Our tent at Mather campground

Each campground is equipped with a driveway, a fire pit, a table and a place to pitch your tent. Restrooms are in walking distance and very clean. Unlike some other campgrounds in the wilderness, restrooms here all have water and electricity.

In addition to nice restrooms, there are a few coin operated bathrooms along with some washing and drying machines. You will need several quarters to shower in each stall, and each time you will have around 8-10 minutes so don’t take a long shower!

Shopping Mall


A deer eating close to the bus stop at a shopping mall 5 minute away from Mather Campground

One more thing that I didn’t know about this campground is that it is super close to a shopping mall! There is a grocery market which is about 10 minutes of walking from the campground. As we didn’t know its existence, we packed a bunch of char coals for the fire pit and bought some steaks from Safeways along the way. If we knew there were some shopping mall, we would have left some rooms for the telescope!

Oh Deer


A deer roaming around Mather Campground

Yes, you heard it right. This campground is not on barren soil and it’s not dry as indicated in many Grand Canyon pictures. In fact, it is surrounded by woods so you will see lots of deer walking around the campground.

Don’t stay too close to deer as they can be dangerous and especially, don’t feed them!


This can be really cold at night. In early September, the heat will probably go away. Especially on this higher elevation, it is much colder than in the canyon.

We were lucky that there was no rain at all but we could not sleep well in our sleeping bag as it was too cold! As a Vietnamese, 30-40 degree F is over my tolerance!

Sometimes, there could be thunderstorm here so watch out for the weather before traveling!

Shuttles and Buses

One nice thing about this campground is that you don’t really need your car to go around Grand Canyon. The bus stop is right at the entrance or you can walk to the closest shopping mall to take some buses there to the visitor center for transit to other destinations like Hermit Rest.

A nicer thing is that all buses here are free so leave your car at the campground and save the environment here!

Beware of Rocks

There are some rocks at the campground so be very careful to walk at night. I’d recommend to always have some headlamp or flash light with you when walking to the restrooms in the dark. One of our members stripped over a big rock and needed some medical attention from our neighbor doctors as he got serious injury all over his body! So lesson learned: Always say ‘Hi!’ to your neighbors as you don’t know you may need them when you stumble over a big rock!

Don’t leave food on the table

We left some crumbs and soy sauce on the table while visiting the Canyon. When we came back, we saw some notes on the table that warned us about the wild animals around. If you love animals, and want to avoid starving, don’t leave food on the table. Put them into some closed containers instead.



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