6 Primitive Private Camp Spots Near the Grand Canyon for Your Outdoor Adventure


If you’re wanting to get away from Phoenix for the weekend, you might be thinking now is the perfect time to go camping. You’d be right, of course - the weather is perfect, the views are amazing, and who doesn’t love a trip to northern Arizona?

Photo by Edmundo Mendez, Jr. on Unsplash

Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned, though. For instance, if you’re looking for a place to camp, but you aren’t too keen on staying on BLM land. Perhaps you’re looking for a rustic getaway, but all of the campsites in the National Park are full or closed.

Luckily for you, there are actually plenty of privately owned camp spots waiting for you near the Grand Canyon. There are landowners throughout the country who rent out their acres to campers, RV’ers, and backpackers looking for a rustic getaway in a spectacular place.

Most of these places truly are just spots to pitch a tent or boondock your RV for the evening. If you’re looking for luxury, 5-star hotels, this is not the place for you my friend. However, if you’re wanting a bit of wilderness after a long day of hiking, you’ve found the right spot!

Staying at one of these spots means you get a truly local experience, away from often-crowded campsites elsewhere. That’s something definitely worth celebrating. I’m sure anyone who has ever stayed at a noisy campground can attest to it: it can get really annoying to listen to other people’s screaming children while you’re trying to cook your breakfast, and sometimes you simply don’t want to hear another RVs generator going all night long.

Enter these privately owned campsites! Of course, it should go without saying that you should make sure that if you’re looking to stay at one of these places you are gracious and courteous to your hosts. These people don’t have to let you stay on their land - the fact that they are doing so is a privilege, not a right!

Have fun camping, folks, and enjoy your trip to the Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, or Flagstaff area!

This Primitive South Rim Spot

You’re going to need an SUV or another hearty vehicle to make it to this spot, but it’s worth the trip! Only 20 minutes from the South Rim, this little camp spot is perfect for 5 people. There is a large firepit, and plenty of room to stretch your legs. The views here are simply gorgeous!

This EcoCamp Spot Near Kaibab NF

This tent-camp-only spot (no RVs allowed) is perfect if you’re into gorgeous sunsets, starry night skies, and a campsite with an outdoor shower and composting toilet. Who isn’t into that? The host will even offer guided hiking, breakfast, and guided meditation if that’s your thing. If you don’t have your own tent, there are Eco-Yurts available for rent here as well.

This Rustic Petrified Forest NP Site

If you aren’t looking for luxury, but you’re wanting an affordable place to lay your tent while you visit the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest NP, this is the spot for you! The hosts are kind, although space is near a highway and a rail line. However, this spot will give you great views of the sky at night and is incredibly close to an often-overlooked National Park.

This High Desert Area Near Grand Canyon-Parashant NM

If you are willing to make the drive into the high desert, this little camp spot is close to Lake Mead, Valley of Fire SP, and Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument. Great for bird watching, relaxing away from other humans, watering hole fun, and mountain climbing.

This Dark Sky Spot Near Alamo Lake SP

You’ll need to hike in two to four miles to get to this spot. If you’re wanting a night full of stargazing you’ve found your place, though. This spot is right between Vegas and Phoenix, and only for people who truly want something off the grid. You’ll be totally isolated, in one of the darkest Dark Sky Areas in the entire nation. Wow!

This Friendly Spot Near Montezuma Castle NM

If you want to get away, but not like, too far, this friendly little spot is close to Montezuma Castle National Monument, Agua Fria National Monument, and the Prescott National Forest. You’ll be close to Phoenix while still being able to enjoy being in the Sonoran high desert.

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I am a travel writer and sustainable lifestyle blogger. As a world traveler, I love giving others tips on budget travel, new cultures, and how to see the planet in a sustainable, ethical way. I also write on being a digital nomad, hiking and outdoor activities, as well as living an adventurous lifestyle.

Santa Fe, NM

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