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When contemplating a Grand Canyon vacation, priority #1 should be to book your lodging, and booking it ASAP. Grand Canyon hotels and lodges sell out months, even a year or more in advance, depending on which Grand Canyon park you visit.
Grand Canyon hotels and lodges run the gamut from ultra-modern hotels with all the amenities modern travelers expect, to bare-bones rustic cabins that offer a clean place to lay your head and not much more. Vacation rental homes, bed and breakfasts, and glamping resorts also warrant consideration for larger traveling parties, individuals who prefer to cook their own meals, and those who wish to experience their destination on a deeper cultural and personal level.
Grand Canyon South Rim Lodging
Grand Canyon South Rim is the most developed of all the Grand Canyon rim parks. It was declared a National Park in 1919, but in reality, it has been hosting tourists since the late 1800’s. Its main visitor services complex, Grand Canyon Village, is home to 6 hotels:
It should be noted that none of these properties offer amenities such as pools, jacuzzis, game rooms, or breakfast. Nevertheless, staying inside the park is always most desirable as you are ideally situated to experience sunrise and/or sunset on the rim of the Grand Canyon, which shouldn’t be missed if you can possibly help it! In-park lodging also puts you in closer proximity to Grand Canyon hiking trails, mule rides, ranger programs, and scenic overlooks.
In the community of Tusayan, AZ, 7 miles South of the Grand Canyon park entrance, you’ll find 5 more hotels:
These hotels all have pools (outdoor pools are open seasonally), and most include breakfast in their nightly rates. The Best Western property also has an on-site game room and bowling alley. Those who opt to stay in Tusayan are just 1 mile from the Grand Canyon National Park Airport (GCN), where Grand Canyon airplane and helicopter tours depart from. These hotels are also walking distance from the National Geographic IMAX Theatre.
Other options for visitors unable to secure lodging in the immediate vicinity of Grand Canyon South Rim are:
West Canyon Lodging
Grand Canyon’s West Rim, or Grand Canyon West, as it’s formally known, is a Native American Tribal Park. Although it is not affiliated with Grand Canyon National Park, this property owned by the Hualapai Indian Tribe has quickly risen to equal prominence with the South and North Rims by offering visitors experiences they won’t find anywhere else in the Grand Canyon, such as helicopter flights to the Colorado River, authentic replicas of traditional Native American dwellings, one day white water raft trips, the Grand Canyon Skywalk, and even a zipline!
Unfortunately, there’s not much in the way of lodging to speak of on the West Canyon, with the notable exception of the Grand Canyon Hualapai Ranch. With 44 cabins smoke-free cabins boasting covered porches, on-site dining, and recreational activities from horseback riding to photo opportunities with the Hualapai Tribe, you can spend a day or a week at Hualapai Ranch and never run out of fun.
The next nearest area for lodging is Kingman, AZ, 75 miles Southwest of the Grand Canyon Skywalk. There are 37 independent and chain hotels in this area, including:
20+ B&B’s compliment the selection of traditional hotels. Like Williams, AZ, Kingman was once a fixture on Old Route 66 and the downtown area still retains some of its character. The Arizona Route 66 Museum, Powerhouse Visitors Center, the Monolith Garden Trail, and other attractions make it worth it to stay another day.
Of course, if you can’t do without some slot or blackjack play on your West Canyon vacation, you’re in luck since Grand Canyon West is within less than half a day’s drive of cities where casinos are legal, such as:
East Canyon Lodging
Grand Canyon East? Who knew there was a Grand Canyon East? Actually, the East Canyon is not known as a park in its own right. Not yet, anyway. But the nearly endless list of scenic attractions and recreational opportunities outside the Eastern borders of Grand Canyon National Park make it a hand-in-glove addition to any family vacation in the American Southwest.
Consisting largely of Native American Tribal Lands, in this case the Navajo Indian Tribe, photo opportunities come at you in almost rapid-fire succession once you depart Grand Canyon National Park at Desert View Point:
East Canyon lodging options are few and far between until you reach the town of Page, AZ, near the shores of Lake Powell in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. On the Navajo reservation, there is:
In Tuba City, the Navajo Interactive Museum, Tuba City Trading Post, and nearby Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks make for a fun way to spend a few hours before heading to Monument Valley, Navajo National Monument, Canyon de Chelly, or Lake Powell. Take note that all lodging on the Navajo Reservation prohibit the transport, sale, or consumption of alcohol.
Upon arrival in Page, AZ, you should plan to spend 2-3 days to fully enjoy the attractions and activities within a few miles of town, such as:
Page, AZ, offers 50 hotels, both chain and independently owned, as well as 70+ bed and breakfast type properties. Traditional hotels include:
For a vacation stay that’s more along the lines of a cultural expedition, consider the new crop of “glamping” resorts in the area like:
Again, these are located on Navajo Indian Lands, so no booze, no exceptions.
Whether you go South, North, East, or West – or all of the above – at the Grand Canyon, you’re sure to find lodging options that suit your needs and budget. If you don’t find exactly what you’re looking for, remember, at the end of the day your hotel will just be a place to lay your head after a busy day of outdoor fun and adventure!
Grand Canyon North Rim Lodging
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon was once referred to as “the connoisseur’s Grand Canyon,” and for good reason. The experience here is more back-to-basics and down-to-earth, and that includes your Grand Canyon lodging options. This area of the Grand Canyon is only open between May 15th and October 15th due to higher winter snowfalls. The main activity here is hiking, and opportunities abound for visitors of all ages and fitness levels. Mule rides are also offered here, and are often more readily available than their South Rim counterparts.
Inside the park, there is only one hotel, the Grand Canyon Lodge. Built in 1928, then rebuilt in 1936 after a fire, this venerable stone and log structure finally took its rightful place on the National Historic Register in 1987. Lodging units consist of motel rooms and cabins, some of which are situated right on the rim and offer spectacular canyon views amid the lush foliage of the Kaibab National Forest.
Grand Canyon Lodge is typically sold out a year or more in advance. If you find that to be the case when planning your North Rim vacation, there is a handful of out-of-park properties worth considering:
Further North, on the banks of the Colorado River are the communities of Marble Canyon and Lees Ferry. Lodging options in this area include:
Kanab, UT, is the nearest populated area to the North Rim (80 miles away) and offers 38 hotels and motels, including, but not limited to:
If you are hiking to the world famous “The Wave,” or trying your hand at the walk-in permit process, Kanab, UT is an ideal place to stay.
Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn is conveniently located near the Grand Canyon National Park Airport and offers many amenities only offered by resort hotels. Their full service spa includes a hair salon and massage/treatment rooms. Their family friendly Game