DeMotte Campground and the Grand Canyon

On our way to a new camp . . . 

I hitch up and drive to the intersection of Forest Road 22 and Highway 67.  DeMotte Campground is just up the road a bit.  It’s only seven miles north of the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park.  No utilities, but there is a water spigot, trash receptacles, and restrooms.  A pretty campground built on a slope, it has good separation between gravel campsites with plenty of vegetation and tall pine trees.

Our campsite doesn’t look like it’s in a campground.

Being that it’s at an elevation of 8,800 feet, the weather in May is comfortable, night and day.  It’s first-come, first-served. (Motorhomes no longer than 22 feet)  Today’s a weekday, and there are plenty of empty sites to choose from out of a total of thirty-eight.  The fee is $8.50 with the senior discount ($17 without it).   So convenient and probably cheaper than the campground at the North Rim. 

I set up camp, including the crew’s exercise pen.

Bridget on her butt mat: “You’re not going to leave us in here, are you?”

I take the crew on a walk around the campground so they can get used to their new surroundings.  I notice two Casitas without their tow vehicles.  Hardly any people around.  Must be at the National Park.

After we have our lunch, I relax in my camp chair next to the crew in their pen, looking out over the trees, campsites, and grassy area below.

I need a little break.  I’m not going to rush off to see the Canyon until I feel like it, even if that’s not until tomorrow.

By two-thirty, I’m rested and in the mood to go see the Canyon!

There are overlooks along the path for viewing the Canyon.

The drive to the Canyon is lovely, lots of green meadows and trees.  Of course, entrance to the Park is free with the pass.  I find a shady parking space near the Grand Canyon Lodge.

The crew and I walk along the path and stop at the overlooks.  (I’m not going to try to describe the Grand Canyon!).

There are lots of people around, but not so many to be obnoxious.  People are strolling along, taking in the views on this sunny afternoon.  It’s very pleasant.

Spike and Bridget love this!

I can tell they enjoy a clearly defined path to walk on.  Spike always wants to socialize. People stop to say how cute they are or to ask their breed.  Bridget is very happy to get so much attention.

I ask a couple to take a photo of us.

They respond with a few words . . . Scandinavian?  Dutch?  The man smiles and I hand him my digital camera.  I scoop up Bridget and Spike and we strike a pose.  (The photo was very bad.  Believe it or not, this is the photoshopped version.)

Rvsue, Spike, and Bridget at the North Rim, Grand Canyon, May 2012  . . . . .   What a day!

Further along the path we approach a young couple holding a baby no more than a year old.

Another quick photo before Spike slips from my grasp!

I smile at them and, looking at the baby, I say, “Gee, I had to wait 63 years to see the Grand Canyon.”

They laugh and we go our opposite ways.

People are sitting on the porches of their little, rented cabins or on benches around the viewing area.   Some are listening to a Park Service employee explain the Canyon’s geology.  We continue strolling along the winding sidewalks.  Spike stops us several times to make the acquaintance of various canine tourists.

The Canyon views are outstanding, of course.  I start to take more photos and then I quit.  Why bother with that.  Just enjoy the afternoon.

Some of the viewpoints have signs, “No dogs.” 

That’s okay.  I’m happy with what I’ve seen.  If we go back to the PTV, I can get online, finish a blog entry, post it, look at emails, and share a snack and a drink with the crew.

This photo is proof that I was at the Grand Canyon and that I can’t take a decent photo to save my life!

Later I drive into the Grand Canyon campground looking for Geogypsy.

The deer is shedding its winter coat.

She works at the North Rim.  I soon learn she’s at the employees’ campground and I never do find her campsite.  I can’t get her on the phone.  She’s probably working.

The tourist campground is packed with tents and RVs of all sorts.  Two tame deer graze between campsites.

On the way back to DeMotte Campground, I pass signs for trails and roads going to overlooks.

Bridget and Spike are dozing off on the bench seat. What sweet little tourists they areThey don’t need any more walking todayI’ve seen enough for this afternoon to be a wonderful memory.

Millions of years of geologic process reduced to a lousy photo.

The next morning we get ready to leave Demotte to drive further north.

The cooler doubles as a seat.

Oh no, a slow leak!  The PTV’s right front tire is low. I grab the tire gauge . . 15 psi.  Not good.

I check all the other tires and they’re at 44 psi.  That’s really good.

I get out my little RoadPal air compressor, pump up the tire, finish breaking camp, and we hit the road.

DeMotte Campground

We meet a caravan of five Casitas going toward DeMotte and the Canyon. I give each of them a big wave.

After a quick stop for gas and propane at Jacob Lake, we continue north on Highway 89A.  The steep descent off Kaibab Plateau presents a horizon of magnificent red cliffs.

I try not to be concerned about the leaking tire.

It was down 2 PSI at Jacob Lake and that’s after driving 25 miles.  Fredonia soon comes into view.  The wind is picking up considerably and the town is swirling dust.  I don’t stop except to jump out and take a quick look at the tire.  I want to reach Kanab.  Then I’ll decide what to do next.


P.S.  This day is so full of adventure; I’m breaking it into two entries, the second half later today.  Entries are long these days, there’s so much for me to record!  I’m sorry, but I want to preserve the memories.   I’m also writing with a time delay of four days and want to catch up to the present soon.


About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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41 Responses to DeMotte Campground and the Grand Canyon

  1. John says:

    Hi Sue, I am so glad you guy’s are having a blast. I was also 63 when my wife and I went full time, I remember like yesterday thinking so this is what life should be like, while parked in the redwoods in northern ca. Enjoy….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      “This is what life should be like.” Exactly! That thought comes to me almost every day. I try not to think of all the days that I wished would end soon, usually while at work. Now the days aren’t long enough and are too few for all I want to experience.

  2. ct says:

    No need to apologize for your photos, I really appreciate them! Quite a few years ago, I went to the Canyon in April for what I thought would be the camping trip of a lifetime. Well, I got caught in a freak blizzard that lasted 3 days. I nearly froze to death before getting out of there. The entire 3 days, the clouds were so low they were down into the canyon itself so it wasn’t possible to see any of the views. So even though I’ve been there, I’ve never actually seen the Grand Canyon!! That’s why I’m always glad to see Grand Canyon pics of any kind!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a shame! Sometimes you have to say . . . I guess it wasn’t meant to be. My next post will be about a situation where I was saying that to myself.

      I’m happy you appreciate the photos, no matter their condition.

  3. Pat says:

    GREAT PICS!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait.

  4. Sue, I hope you get to visit Best friends while around Kanab. Great place.
    I think there might be some boondocking very near to it as well but can not give you exact locations. Just seems like there is a lot of it around there.

  5. JerryC says:

    What’s the deal with no senior discount? Isn’t it still a NFS campground run by a concessionaire? I thought they had to accept the pass as part of the deal. We only paid half price at Demotte two years ago, and it was being run by the folks that had the lodge next door.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      Thanks so much! I made a mistake! I mixed up the price with the price of the next campground. (This delayed-writing is tough on my short term memory.) If you look at the post again, you’ll see I fixed it . . . $17 a night or $8.50 with a Senior Pass. I’m glad you took the time to write. I hate having wrong info in my blog.

  6. There is only one solution to the problem with the photos: full manual control of the exposure. That may sound intimidating, but it isn’t really. The best way to get it is with a DSLR, but that is going to be expensive. A much cheaper choice is a Point & Shoot that gives you full manual control. All the big camera makers have models with it and they start at about $200. I put my Sony in Manual Mode and never take it out.

    Its better to learn what is going on, but you don’t have to. Put it in Manual Mode and adjust the aperature or shutter speed until the screen looks how you like, then take the picture. Check to see if it worked, If not make a slight adjustment and take another shot. You can fine-tune the exposure to be exactly what you want. In the shot of the canyon with the Pine in the foreground, the Pine would be underexposed but the Canyon would be beautiful instead of Pine properly exposed and canyon washed out. YOU WOULD BE IN CONTROL! And what woman doesn’t want that!! Bob

  7. Elizabeth says:

    When Hubby was stationed on a sub and we lived in Hawaii, we went once to the island of Maui. Got up at something like 3:30 AM in order to SEE the canyon there…heh…we never saw it due to the low laying clouds…but we met a couple we sat and visited with at the visitor center, hoping for a view, for several hours. We still hear from her yearly!! Amazing…that was 38 years ago…who could ever know?

    I was 8 when we went to the Grand Canyon. Those photographs are the worst ones ever taken from my dad’s expensive German made camera. He had other simply gorgeous photos, but maybe with all that sunlight etc. it is maybe even harder to get a good photo there. I do remember it being so awfully hot, and in that day, no AC in the car either!! I was miserable in that heat which was extreme even for a California girl!! I was not very impressed with GC frankly, other than it was a huge hole. Many years later when hubby had a business trip in Phoenix and they flew over so much of the Canyon…THAT was an incredible sight!! My grandparents always had Arizona Highways magazine coming to them so we saw some gorgeous photos there anyway.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s quite remarkable that a chance meeting resulted in a 38-year-and-counting relationship.

      You certainly have a lot of varied memories! You’re the second person to comment on how incredible the Canyon looks from a plane. You probably see it in fuller dimension that way. It tends to look like a flat photo when viewed from the edge (especially if you can’t stand to look down toward the floor of it!).

      • Elizabeth says:

        Well, once a year note is not a strong relationship, but a nice one nonetheless!!

        We have moved around some…I suppose that in itself accounts for a lot of memories…but some folks are not so chatty either! ha!

        I admit I am afraid of heights and do not enjoy a very long look from a tall place!! I have only gone to them because of who I was with…on my own, nope, never!! You would never guess I grew up with a pack of dare devil brothers!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m trying not to think of myself as being “afraid of heights.” Mainly because I know there will be many roads ahead of me with no guard rails, running along canyon walls or whatever. So I say I’m “uncomfortable” with heights.

  8. Emily says:

    Glad you got to see The Grand. The 5 Casitas you saw were probably some of the members from the So. Utah tour that Don puts on in late May each year – I think they are just finishing up with the Tour. Covers some really beautiful country.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Chuck told me he thinks they were a group from Texas. He’ll probably chime in once he reads our comments.

    • Chuck says:

      Don’s tour is at Zion NP and will leave Mon or Tues for North Rim. Saw Pete n Oscar yesterday for a little bit. The five you saw were probably the Texas group, one of who stayed here a few nights ago for a few days. Casita/Oliver/ fiberglassegg people are SO nice as are ex Casita/Oliver/fiberglassegg folk!!!!!! Chuck

  9. cathieok says:

    I am so glad that you were not put off with all the comments about the rim being too touristy. Even if it is, it is too important and beautiful a spot not to experience it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad I went. Our visit didn’t have the usual annoyances of being in a crowd of tourists. Everyone was being pleasant and respecting each other’s space. The weather was beautiful, no one was being loud or pushy, overall very enjoyable.

  10. Debra says:

    I’m so glad you got to see the Grand Canyon. I want to see it one day too and have learned a lot from your blog and the comments. Thanks everyone!

    Kanab is also on my list! In fact, when I get my RV and am finally mobile one day, Best Friends (dogtown +++) is on my list as possibly one of my first destinations – either to work or volunteer depending on my financial situation at the time. Can’t wait for your next post! 🙂

    Love and hugZ!

  11. kak says:

    I can’t believe that no one mentioned Bridget’s butt mat. My dogs also do a great job of verbally expressing themselves. My husband and I are their interpreters.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, kak. . . There’s an unspoken rule around here that we don’t talk too much about Bridget’s butt. She’s very sensitive about it. You understand.

  12. Debra says:

    Meant to say that I also love the pictures, especially of you and your furbabies. And I hope too that the fix for your tire is not too expensive or challenging. HugZ!

  13. Mark says:

    I’m glad you were able to enjoy some time at the Canyon. It’s very easy to get frustrated when there is too many people. Today’s post was good reading… half way through yesterday’s post I thought for sure there was going to be trouble at the BLT with Spike and some scary animal. I think my heart is still racing from yesterday… Tell Spike to be careful.

    Salina KS

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Mark, you gave me a great suggestion for a blog entry title: “Trouble at the BLT.” LOL I’ll have to use that the next time Spikey gets in a fix. You know that’s going to happen. I’d be wasting my breath telling that little devll dog to be careful.

      I’m glad you liked today’s entry.

  14. Emily says:

    Yahoo cowgirl, love your hat. Aren’t these the first pics of you with your new hat?

  15. Hotel California says:

    I am a dog whisperer. I can read Bridget’s mind. She says, “I know you got me an exercise pen. I know you got me an exercise mat. But guess what? I ain’t doing no f***ing exercise.”

  16. geogypsy2u says:

    Darn it, missed you again. But glad you came into the park. I was off work Th & Fr and home but my cell doesn’t really work there. Hope the tire has been repaired and now you’re probably around Zion.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Nope, the tire isn’t repaired. I don’t want to hurry on that. Might spoil my day. Ha! I’m lazing around at a pretty campsite around Zion.

  17. Kim says:

    Love the group photo. That’s the first pic I’ve seen where Bridget is smiling!

  18. Jim Melvin says:

    You sure have been on the go a lot during the last several days. I have only been to the South Rim but intend to get to the North Rim one of these days.

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