If you’re planning a trip to the Grand Canyon this summer, there is so much to think about. What to pack, what to do while you are there and which part of the canyon to see, are just a few of the questions you might have.
But, before booking that flight, you should look at what accommodations interest you. Do you require a grand hotel with all the amenities befitting of a king, or are you a simpleton and just need a warm blanket and some running water? Each part of the Grand Canyon has something to offer, but it just depends on what kind of vacation you want and what your needs are.
Which side of the Grand Canyon is best to visit?
The South Rim will have the most to do, but is also the most crowded. The North Rim is quieter and more rustic, but won’t have as many options for accommodations. The West Rim is beautiful and has a lot to do but the hotels and motels are fewer. The East Rim is very remote and there aren’t as many options to choose from. So, picking an accommodation just depends on what kind of Grand Canyon vacation you are looking for.
Is it better to stay inside or outside Grand Canyon National Park?
It is always better to stay inside any national park if you can get a reservation. You got the time off work and you have probably been planning this trip of a lifetime forever. Make the most of it and stay inside the park so that you can fully immerse yourself in the experience, day or night.
How many days do you need for the Grand Canyon?
If you are a hiker and you really want to experience the canyon I would say at least a week. If you are a viewpoint junkie and like to explore the edge and all the stops along the way, then three to four days should be sufficient. However, if you are a Clark Griswold type and one look at the great crevasse is good enough for you, then an afternoon will suffice.
What accommodations will I find at the South Rim?
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon will have the most and the best variety of places to stay in the Grand Canyon. There is everything from economy motels to grand lodges to camping options. One thing is for certain. You will find something to fit your style and budget.
The El Tovar is the crown jewel of the South Rim in terms of accommodations and is undoubtedly the most luxurious place to stay. Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Einstein once graced this hotel, so you know it must be something special. The El Tovar has an incredible lobby that will invite you in to stay at any suite from their standard room, to their top of the line suite.
The Bright Angel Lodge is a bit rustic and has great budget friendly alternatives to some of the more expensive options. There are rooms that share showers and other amenities or you can choose a private cabin with sweeping views of the canyon.
If you really want an experience, The Phantom Ranch has you covered. But, you can only get there by mule, on foot, or by raft. Once there, you will dine in a dining hall, have dormitory or cabin accommodations and enjoy flush toilets. After potentially living in the wild, this is luxury!
Additionally, there are some motel type lodges that will have you staying in comfort without all the bells and whistles of the El Tovar. Stay at the Kachina, Thunderbird, Maswik and Yavapai Lodges that are all within the park and will make your everyday exploration easy and convenient.
Right outside the park, you will find additional chain hotels and motels from economy to luxury. If you are wanting a place to stay with all the amenities of home, you can try an Airbnb or VRBO listing in the area. There are a few to choose from ouside the park that aren’t far from the entrance.
Where should I stay at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon?
The North Rim is remote and doesn’t have as many visitors, therefore the lodging choices are minimal. The North Rim’s lodging along with the visitors center and other amenities are also closed during the winter months due to accessibility issues because of weather. However, in the summer, the the 8,800 elevation change, cool breezes and shade of the ponderosa pine will be welcomed.
Grand Canyon Lodge North Rim is beautiful and has cabins that dot the rim of the canyon under a forest canopy. You can also enjoy the sunroom inside the lodge that gives you breathtaking views of the canyon. The dining room is also a great place to eat and take in the sweeping views that brought you here.
The North Rim also has a campground that is touted as the best in all of the Grand Canyon. Situated under a forest of trees, the shade and the solitude of a campground that is less crowded may be just what you are looking for. In addition to the great sites, the Grand Canyon itself is just a short walk, so you can take in those mesmerizing views at any part of the day.
Are there places to stay at the West Rim of the Grand Canyon?
The Grand Canyon West Rim is owned and operated by the Hualapai Tribe and is on Hualapai Land. The West Rim Skywalk and the visitors center is not part of the National Park Service, but the Hualapai people do a great job of making you feel at home.
The Hualapai Ranch, also known as the cabins at Grand Canyon West is the only option for accomodations near Grand Canyon West. If you are looking for another place to stay, you will have to venture more than 130 miles towards Las Vegas, where you will find the Hualapai Lodge.
Although rustic, the Hualapai Ranch has everything that a traveler would need. Stay in one of their cabins that is equipped with a mini fridge and private bath. This is not a five star resort, but is meant for the vacationer that is looking to stay in a simple accommodation without all the stresses of daily life.
Are there accommodations at the East Rim of the Grand Canyon?
Even though the East Rim is not officially an entrance to the Grand Canyon, many people enter the park from here because there are many other things to enjoy outside the park such as white water rafting.
There are three main locations for accommodations near the East Rim. Marble Canyon Lodge is popular with whitewater rafters and has lodging for larger groups that may want to stay longer than just a couple of nights. This is the largest East Rim lodge and has a post office, market, restaurant and gas station.
If you have a pet, Lee’s Ferry Lodge at Vermillion Cliffs might be for you. Each of the rooms can accommodate up to seven people and opens out to a porch. There is a restaurant on the property that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well. This is a good place to stay if you also plan on exploring Vermillion Cliffs or Lake Powell in addition to the Grand Canyon.
Cliff Dwellers Lodge is a great place to stay for the angler that would like to spend some time fishing on the Colorado River. With a fly shop, restaurant and gas station on the premises, you will have everything you need for your fly fishing excursion.
Whether you stay at the popular South Rim with its amenities and crowds, or the North Rim with is serenity and proximity to nature, you are sure to find the perfect accommodations for your Grand Canyon excursion.