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4 - 9 of 11 reviews
Reviewed 10 August 2014 via mobile

We had the site with shade...pretty sure it was 10, on the right side (next site lead back off trail, and then it was the water station) most of them don't unless you are in a group. Sites are small, but you aren't traveling with a lot so not much space is needed. Nice large Cottonwood trees up the trial by ranger station, picnic table, and access to Bright Angel Creek ~icy cold and refreshing. Best part is that it is only a short trip away to get to Ribbon Falls, an absolute oasis. Make it a day trip during high heat to stay refreshed. Great stay there, decent pit toilets, fresh water, emergency phone if need be, beautiful scenery. Oh, but it is hot! We brought fly of tent and mosquito net to hook inside so as to keep critters out- mice, scorpions, spiders, etc...and we were still hot!

Stayed: July 2014, travelled as a couple
Thank EleveNYC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 January 2014

Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon is about 24 miles, but that number, though large, is misleading because it doesn't count the elevation loss and gain, which will be more than 10,600 feet. This hike is not for the out of shape. It's not for anyone with any health issues, either, because there is no cell reception in the Canyon, and no way to get help quickly. Cottonwood is one of the best places to stop either on the way up or the way down, depending on which rim you start from. Most people start at the North Rim, because that is the longest single section of the hike and they'd rather do it downhill than up, but I've done both and either way I'd recommend that you stop at Cottonwood if only to change socks and get a drink of water. I've done R2R in a Day twice, once each direction, and we always stop there to put our feet in the water. The basic R2R is four days, three nights, with one night at Cottonwood (assuming here a north to south route), one night at Phantom in the bottom, one night at Indian Gardens on the Bright Angel Trail, and then up to the South Rim. There is no better way to get a sense of the immensity of this canyon than to go to the bottom. You can ride mules if you prefer not to walk, but your butt will be REALLY sore. If you arrange them well in advance, there are small cabins-- really just board walls with a cot-- you can rent at Phantom, where there is also a small store and where they serve meals family style at night during the summer. Reservations are required for the meals. Hiking the Grand Canyon can be a life-altering event. It can also be a life-threatening event if you are unprepared, or if you "disrespect" the environment. The heat in the summer can reach well over 110 f, and trying to hike in that heat can bring on heat exhaustion or heat prostration, which can kill you. Spring and fall are the best seasons to hike into the Grand Canyon. Most of the nearly 5 MILLION (!) people who "visit" the canyon every year scarcely leave their cars. They get out at the South Rim and walk to the edge, or they drive to Mather Point or the tower at Desert View and look into and across the abyss, and they ooh and ahh, but they can't possibly fathom its size from the top. I think this canyon is the most amazing place on earth.

Room Tip: No rooms available at the tiny primitive campground, and reservations/backcountry permits are required to camp.
  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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7  Thank Soggiorno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 May 2013

Cottonwood is a small campground about 7 miles from the North Rim. It is a nice stop along the way. It is a small campground. Permit is required and it is first come, first served.

Bathrooms are compost toilets (Bright Angel is actual flush toilets) and there are no running water sinks. There are 2 drinking water faucets, one by the campsites and another by the day use area. I read that there is no shade at all here but that is not true. Some sites do not have any shade but others to have shade.

We camped in camp site 10. We loved it. It had shade and amazing views. There are ammo cans for your food and trash and poles for your backpacks.

If you stay here on a Rim to Rim trip, I recommend heading to Ribbon Falls right after you get into camp (leave your backpacks at the camp). It is a little over a mile down the trail from Cottonwood (there is a sign for the trail to Ribbon Falls and a foot bridge). Ribbon Falls is a must and it would be difficult climbing over some of the rocks to get there with a full 30 lb pack on your back. Beautiful falls though.

I really enjoyed my stay. Recommend it to anyone thinking about it.

Stayed: May 2013, travelled with friends
7  Thank Jdp107
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 January 2012

We went R2R and this was our first stop coming down from the North Rim. It's near Bright Angel Creek and the trail cuts right through the campground. It has water and bathrooms. Most sites had shade with a few without. It was a good stop before heading on down to Phantom Ranch.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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7  Thank Chizzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 September 2011

Very small - 11 sites/1 group site. Permit needed from Backcountry Office to camp here. http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/backcountry-permit.htm
First come, first choice - some sites near the Bright Angel Creek, some sites with shade. Site comes with a picnic table, metal boxes for food protection and T-pole to hang backpacks from.
Pit toilets, drinking water available (seasonal), ranger station (seasonal) with day-use area (with cover), first aid kit, emergency phone available. No cell reception in the area. Carry in/carry out all trash. No campfires allowed.
Do not underestimate the hike to get here: The walk from the North Kaibab trail head to Cottonwood Campground covers 6.8 miles and drops 3,170 feet -- nearly a half-mile longer than the entire length of the South Kaibab Trail, with nearly three-quarters of the vertical drop.
We visited during a lightning storm. When nightfall comes, it is DARK! Definitely an adventure.

Stayed: September 2011, travelled with friends
11  Thank EmTeeNesters
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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