Camping at the Base of the Grand Canyon

Having read about camping in the Grand Canyon, I was eager to try it when I found myself in the area. Having read only information that dated back to 2015 while searching for information on descending into the canyon, I felt the need to add my voice to the clamor about this beautiful, secret, camping spot at the base of the Grand Canyon.

Diamond Creek Road begins in Peach Springs, AZ where you will need to go to pick up the permit necessary to access the road. The camping area is located on Hualapai Indian land so you will need to get a permit from the Hualapai Game and Fish department in order to use the road. (Formerly the permits were sold at the Hualapai Lodge but this had changed)

The Hualapai Game and Fish department is located in Peach Springs right next to the only working gas station in the small town. There are a few different types of permits you can get: sightseeing, camping, and fishing. The sightseeing permits are $15/day/person, whereas the camping permits are $20/day/person, I didn’t see the prices on the fishing permits. You’ll need to fill out an application with your information and the amount you paid. You will receive a copy of that as well as the “Permit to Trespass” (pictured below). There are rangers who check the area so it’s best to make sure you have both your permit and the copy of your application to show them.

The Hualapai Game and Fish department is open Sunday – Sunday, 9am-5pm during the week and 9am-3pmish on the weekends. We were lucky and they were around and willing to write us a permit just before 5:00pm on a Sunday, but I wouldn’t count on that.

Once you have your permit in hand it is an 18 mile drive down Diamond Creek Road one way, it took us about an hour to complete the drive down. While past blogs had spoken for the need for four wheel drive and high clearance, the Hualapai have obviously been working on renovating the road. The majority of the drive could easily be traversed by a two wheel drive vehicle with low clearance. The end of the drive does have a little bit of flooding from the river that you follow down the trail so it would be better to have high clearance for that area. Once you get to the bottom, there’s an excellent picnic area and a few camp sites with fire rings. There are also portapotties for folks to use. Though you can’t see it in the picture below, the campsites are all located right next to the beach.

Fair warning: because of the altitude descent, the beach is approximately 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than Peach Springs. This doesn’t affect the water, it stays closer to 50 degrees Fahrenheit all year which makes for a very cold swim.

The drive down into the Grand Canyon
Our campsite at the base of the Grand Canyon, located near the Colorado River.

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