Closest Campgrounds prior to reaching the Trail Head Parking
These are Camp Ground choices to stay the night before. Nearby Hotels are also available.
Some commercial Camp Grounds are over an hour, to nearly 3 hours, away from the Hilltop Trail Head parking area.
Rest in comfort the night before your trek. Rather than trying to sleep at the Hilltop Trail Head. Many don’t recommend camping or sleeping at the Hilltop Trail Head parking area.
Drive the final leg at sunrise. Avoid driving the road, RT# 18, in the dark. There are lots of open range animals/cattle on the road.
These are also places to stay on the trip back home. Recover rather than sit and ride in a vehicle for hours after a strenuous hike up the switchbacks.
I have personally done the Havasu Falls trip numerous times. Some suggest sleeping in their vehicle at the trail head parking area. I have done that too. It is half way doable with a van or pickup truck. I truly do not recommend it even then. After trying it all different ways the Parking lot is my last choice.
This is such a beautiful backpacking trip. It is no fun starting out tired and cranky as a result of a bad nights sleep. About the time you make a statement like this, someone will say the parking area is great to overnight at.
To that I can only respond “experience is a great teacher”, or “to each his own”. May you enjoy whatever choice you select.
GRAND CANYON CAVERNS CAMPGROUND & INN – Peach Springs, AZ
(East of IR 18 & RT 66 at mile marker 115)
(65 to trail head) Many make this in around 1 h 30 min
KOA CAMPGROUND – Kingman, Arizona
(114 Miles 2 hr 45 min to Trail Head)
KOA CAMPGROUND Seligman, Arizona
(91.3 Miles 2 h 21 min to Trail Head)
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The below Photo was shot at the Grand Canyon Cavern Campgrounds