Every year an estimated 5.9 million people visit the Grand Canyon, Northern Arizona for sightseeing, hiking, camping, and visiting the three Canyon Rims (South, North, and West). To get to the second most visited national park in the U.S, visitors usually stop and refresh at one of the many scenic towns along the way like Williams, Arizona. Smart visitors find that camping in Williams is the best hub-and-spoke setup because of the easy proximity that Williams has to the Grand Canyon and so many other great things to do for the whole family.
Williams, Arizona is one such town near the Grand Canyon that should be on your list if you are traveling to see this iconic landmark. It is about an hour’s drive away from the South Rim, Grand Canyon and from here you can take a train to the Canyon itself.
There are many things worth seeing in Williams itself: from restaurants offering locally grown produce at their doorsteps, to the fast-food options available near the Grand Canyon Blvd and right down through eclectic shopping districts to full-fledged campgrounds where people come seeking peace amidst nature.
Williams is your one-stop for everything fun before you actually venture into the Grand Canyon; it has lots of activities on the famous Route 66 and nearby lakes and camping grounds offer one the finest camping experiences.
RV Parks in Williams
For RV travelers seeking RV Park camping facilities (and tent sites), there are a number of full-service (full hookup) RV parks in Williams with a number of other facilities (laundry room, hot tubs) – with space available for big rigs.
Another notable experience to be had in Williams, Az is traveling on the Grand Canyon Railway, the historic train, and the scenic train ride from Williams to the South Rim, Grand Canyon.
Camping In The Kaibab National Forest
The Kaibab National Forest lies 18 miles north of Williams and boasts a number of lakes, fishing opportunities, clean mountain air, hiking trails, and camping sites.
Here are the three notable lakes and facilities:
Kaibab Lake, Arizona is a popular camping spot for people looking to enjoy nature and the outdoors and has the Kaibab National Forest Campground near it.
It sits on more than a million and a half acres of land and the lake itself provides fantastic views of the Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir trees that can be found in this popular camping spot.
It’s also a great place for fishing and boating. But its most famous feature, by far, is the spectacular views of the surrounding mountains that you can see from its shores.
For camping especially, the Kaibab Lake administration offers the following campground and related facilities/amenities:
- Single, double, and group campsites
- Picnic tables
- Fire Pits (firewood can be purchased on-site)
- RVs/Motorhomes and trailers up to 40 feet can be parked comfortably. Motorbikes are also allowed in the camping grounds.
- Campers can also bring their own tents.
- Drinking water
- Group picnic area
The campsites at Kaibab Lake are first-come, first-serve, and are popular with campers who come to either make a day trip or an overnight excursion out of their visit.
Note: People coming in RVs will not be able to fill up motor tanks because of the limited water supply. There are also no utility hook-ups for RVs.
Cataract Lake is another popular camping spot in the Kaibab National Forest just south of Williams. The lake itself sits at an elevation of about 8000 feet above sea level.
You’ll find fishing opportunities here which are popular with the local campers who come to stay for the weekend. Trails around the lake range in difficulty levels, so you can choose how much of a workout you’d like on your trip up here to Cataract Lake.
For camping/picnics, Cataract Lake has the following facilities:
- Picnic Tables
- Trash Cans
- Clean restrooms
Note: No hookups for RVs/Motorhomes. No overnight camping, day use only.
Located 7.7 miles from Williams (with a 3.5 mile stretch of unpaved road) Dogtown Lake is one of the popular recreation spots in the Kaibab National Forest. Visitors flock here to take advantage of the fishing opportunities as well as the trails around this beautiful lake.
Fishing enthusiasts will find abundant rainbow trout as well as a few other varieties of trout and bass in Dogtown Lake. But the lake also provides a sanctuary for various wildlife so you should keep your eyes peeled while you’re out on fishing trips.
Picnics at this spot are very popular and there are a number of trails here that allow access to parts of the Kaibab National Forest that cannot be reached elsewhere in the area.
Facilities available are:
- 55 Campsites (50 Individual sites, 4 double sites, and one group site).
- RV parking available (pull-through and back-in options)
- Vault Toilets
- Drinking Water available
- Picnic Tables and Picnic Area
- Grills and Fire Ring
Note: No hookups for RVs/Motorhomes.
White Horse Lake
White Horse Lake is another camping spot you’ll find in the Kaibab National Forest. The natural lake is stocked with trout for fishing enthusiasts, and you’ll find several trails around the area that are open to hikers of all levels.
There are 90+ single campsites available, some of which are booked through reservation and some are first-come, first served.
Camping facilities include:
- Picnic tables and picnic area
- Fire Pits
- Water faucets
- Trash Bins
- One group site is capable of accommodating 60 people.
- 90 individual campsites, a number of double sites, and tent-only sites.
Note: No hookups for RVs/Motorhomes.
Campsites In Williams, Arizona
For those wishing to make full use of their vacation time by camping in Williams and connecting with nature, the area offers some fantastic campsites with full facilities so you can camp and enjoy your trip in this unique town.
Williams/Circle Pines KOA Campsite
The Circle Pines is located at 1000 Circle Pines Road and offers numerous fun-filled activities for people who’ve come to camp.
The campground hosts daily activities that include hayrides, family movie nights, and a lighting of an outdoor Christmas tree during the holiday season. Bike rentals are also offered at the Adventure Center, as well as guided trips into Grand Canyon National Park.
The sites are tent and RV friendly with full hook-ups. Fire rings are in each pull-through site with picnic tables and lantern poles provided. There are also a number of cabins available for rent.
- Bathrooms and showers,
- Fire rings,
- Bike Rentals,
- Picnic tables,
- Picnic area,
- Cable TV,
- Swimming pool,
- Playground facilities/activities,
- Bear Trax Cafe,
- Kamp K9 for your pets
Note: Open March 15 – November 1
Grand Canyon KOA Campsite
The Grand Canyon KOA campsite in Williams, Arizona is the closest KOA campsite to grand canyon village. The site offers full service or tent/RV sites for camping. There are also large rental cabins available on the KOA campground.
The beautiful location is a big draw for families who want to spend a week at the Grand Canyon KOA and have access to all that it provides. It’s also a great place for individuals who just want a quiet spot to camp in seclusion away from major roads, and it also has the Kamp K9 for a comfortable stay for your pet.
The Grand Canyon KOA campsite has a laundry facility and shower rooms on-site, and there is also a full-service store on-site with some limited grocery items available for sale.
It also offers bike rentals and guided tours through the park. There are several activities on-site at this popular camping spot, including an outdoor movie theater, a hayride to the Grand Canyon, and also a small playground for children.
Sites range from full service to drive-thru for tents and RVs. The campground (Grand Canyon KOA) has its own pool and laundry facility on-site, which can be very convenient after a day of hiking or sightseeing.
The campground hosts activities every day, including games for the kids, bike rentals, nightly movies in the amphitheater, and daily planned events at their Adventure Center.
The Adventure Center also offers things like guided trips to Havasupai Falls or a mule tour of Grand Canyon Village. In addition, they have a recreational vehicle service center on-site.
The Grand Canyon KOA is located just five minutes from the south entrance to Grand Canyon National Park. It’s a great place for South Rim visitors to make a home base, and explore all that the park has to offer during their stay.
- 24/7 wifi and free cable TV
- Snack bar
- 50 amp RV spaces
- Spaces suitable for bigger rigs
- Swimming pool
- Gift Shop
- Fire Pit Rentals
- Laundry facilities
Note: Open All Year
All Around Fun Camping At Lakes Near Williams, Az
For people looking to make their trip to Williams, camping is one of the most fun activities you can take at the lakes around Williams. When your final destination is the Grand Canyon itself, it is good to take a break in between and head to the pristine Kaibab National Forest (the views are spectacular here!) to fish or do a number of other activities at lake campsites.