This post is part of Just Ahead’s Grand Canyon Trip Planner—our guide to what you need to know to plan your trip to Grand Canyon National Park. Click here to see the complete series, and be sure to download our Just Ahead smartphone audio tour of Grand Canyon before you head to the park.
When it comes to lodging in Grand Canyon National Park, you have superb options. Every lodge in Grand Canyon has the rustic feel you’d expect in a place like this. Many are historic, including the imposing El Tovar Hotel, which is older than the park itself. Then there’s Bright Angel Lodge, with its stacked-stone fireplace that matches the arrangement of the rock layers in the canyon itself. Even visitors who aren’t staying in a Grand Canyon lodge make a pilgrimage to these historic inns.
Grand Canyon Lodges—South Rim
As you might expect, the easily accessible South Rim offers the greatest number of lodging options for your Grand Canyon visit. Here’s a rundown:
El Tovar Hotel
If it’s classy digs you’re after, you’ll want to check into the stately 78-room El Tovar, just a few steps from the Grand Canyon rim. With its gourmet Dining Room and ideal location, this architectural gem offers an experience that’s top-drawer from beginning to end. For more information on the El Tovar Hotel, click here.
Bright Angel Lodge
Bright Angel Lodge’s 87 rooms and cabins are scattered around a central lodge building designed by renowned Grand Canyon architect Mary Colter in 1935. From a purely practical perspective, its location near the Bright Angel trailhead also makes it a great place for hikers who want to get an early start. Some of its rooms are genuine bargains. Plus it’s a registered national historic landmark, and its Buckey O’Neill Cabin is the most coveted lodging in Grand Canyon. For more information on Bright Angel Lodge, click here.
If you like to start or end your day with a leisurely stroll, you’ll find the location of the 1960s-vintage, 49-room Kachina Lodge on the paved Rim Trail to be an ideal place to lace up your walking shoes. Up-to-date design and a number of view rooms make Kachina Lodge on the top choices for Grand Canyon lodging. For more information on Kachina Lodge, click here.
The 55-room Thunderbird Lodge also dates back to the park’s late-sixties building boom, but don’t let that fool you. In addition to its central location on the Grand Canyon’s Rim Trail, the Thunderbird offers the modern ambiance and creature comforts you’d expect at any upscale hotel. For more information on Thunderbird Lodge, click here.
Nestled in a ponderosa pine forest just a quarter-mile from the Grand Canyon rim, the 250-room Maswick Lodge offers two-story, motel-style rooms built around a central lodge building that also houses a food court. Rooms in the south wing are smaller, making them among the best values among lodging in Grand Canyon National Park. For more information on Maswick Lodge, click here.
If you can’t bear to leave your pet at home, check out the pet-friendly 358-room Yavapai Lodge. As the largest hotel in the park, Yavapai also sets itself apart with its relatively affordable rates. For more information on Yavapai Lodge, click here.
All of the above properties have the advantage of being served by the park’s free shuttle bus system.
Grand Canyon Lodging Reservations
For El Tovar, Bright Angel, Kachina, Thunderbird, and Maswick lodges, you can call 888-297-2757 or click here.
For reservations at Yavapai Lodge, call 877-404-4611 or click here.
For reservations at Grand Canyon Lodge, call 877-386-4383 or click here.
No matter which of these properties you choose, book your room as early as possible. This is especially true if you plan on visiting during the summer or on a holiday weekend. Lodging in Grand Canyon for peak periods can fill up a year in advance.
South Rim—Outside The Park
The resort town of Tusayan, just outside Grand Canyon National Park’s south entrance, has a number of hotel choices, which makes it a good Plan B if you’re unable to find a room inside the park. For more information on Tusayan hotels click here.
Farther south, hotels in Flagstaff and Williams often have rooms when all else fails. However, you’ll be facing at least a 60-minute drive to reach the South Rim. For more information on accommodations in Flagstaff click here. For more information on lodging options in Williams click here.
Cameron Trading Post, 30 minutes from the South Rim’s east entrance, is another attractive alternative. For more information on the Cameron Trading Post Motel click here.
Grand Canyon Lodging—North Rim
Grand Canyon’s North Rim offers just one lodging option. That said, you’ll find it to be among the grandest you’ll ever encounter in any national park:
Grand Canyon Lodge
Grand Canyon Lodge has 100-plus rustic cabins and 40 motel-style rooms, but the main attraction is the grand stone-and-timber main lodge building. Add a dramatic location at the very edge of the North Rim, and the Grand Canyon Lodge is one of the park’s most memorable buildings. For more information on Grand Canyon Lodge, call 877-386-4383 or click here.
North Rim—Outside The Park
The closest accommodations to the North Rim outside of Grand Canyon National Park are 44 miles from the visitor center in the small crossroads town of Jacob Lake. Topping that list is the Jacob Lake Inn. For information, call 928-643-7232 or click here.
Beyond that, you’d have to venture to the town of Kanab, Utah, about 80 miles north of the North Rim visitor center.
For more information on North Rim camping, visit Grand Canyon National Park’s website.