REI unveils Grand Canyon campsite plans

Kyle Simchuk
4 Min Read

Camping under the stars near the Grand Canyon is about to become a lot more hassle-free and glamorous.

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Camping under the stars near the Grand Canyon is about to become a lot more hassle-free and glamorous.

Don’t worry about packing a tent, or even food.

REI Co-op, the giant outdoors company, is the new owner of 20 acres near the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. The remote property dotted with juniper trees will soon become REI’s fourth Signature Camp. 

REI currently operates three of the luxurious camps at Bryce Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains and Zion national parks. Campers sleep in tents and enjoy wild, untamed places – but don’t have to sacrifice creature comforts like hot showers, flushing toilets and hearty meals.

The new site, which will soon operate between April and October, sits 40 miles north of Williams off Alta Villa Road. It’s 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon’s south entrance station.

REI purchased the 20-acre parcel for $75,000 in August, according to Coconino County property records.

The camp will accommodate a maximum of 12 guests, two guides and one camp host. Water will be trucked in weekly and stored in a pump tank. Guests will be given solar-powered lamps to charge devices.

  • 10 tents on platforms
  • Communal fire pit
  • Outdoor picnic area
  • Three communal restrooms and showers
  • Septic tank and leach field

The property will not be accessible to the general public. Visitors with reservations will get picked up at an airport (REI did not specify which one) and shuttled to and from the campground in vans driven by REI employees. Personal vehicles are not allowed. And neither is outside food.

“To be compliant and have minimal impact as possible, that’s our intent with developing this site,” REI outdoor adventure guide Josh Kloepping said during a meeting with Coconino County officials. The Planning and Zoning Commission in November granted REI a conditional use permit.

REI’s tentative itinerary includes camp activities from 6-8 a.m., guided hiking tours within the Grand Canyon National Park from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. and camp activities from 4 p.m. into the evening.  

“For more than three decades, we’ve led trips to some of the most remote and storied locales in the U.S. and Canada,” said Mark Seidl, divisional vice president of REI Experiences. Each REI adventure trip is an immersive experience that our guests will remember for a lifetime.”

Comfort and convenience always come with a price tag. REI has not revealed how much campers can expect to pay at the Grand Canyon Signature Camp. A 5-day stay at the Zion Signature Camp starts at $3,199 for REI members and $3,519 for non-members. A lifetime REI membership is $30.

REI has not said when work on the property will begin, but they plan to welcome the first group of campers in Spring 2025.

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Kyle Simchuk ,
KPNX Vivrr Local Feed: sports , 2024-03-28 23:34:04
Categories: outdoors,news,local,arizona,sports,home

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