This section lists lodging and dining options inside Grand Canyon National Park. Many additional hotels and restaurants exist in the nearby Arizona communities of Tusayan, Williams, and Flagstaff, as well as in Kanab, Utah. Rooms in Flagstaff, Williams, and Kanab -- all three of which are more than 50 miles from the park -- generally cost less than comparable ones inside the park. That said, hotels inside the park offer remarkable value given their quality and proximity to the canyon. The park's two concessionaires operate more than 900 rooms across seven lodges, including Phantom Ranch. Tusayan, 1 mile from the park's south entrance, tends to be more expensive than the park. When planning a visit to the Grand Canyon, I recommend reserving a place inside the park for at least 1 night. This lets you savor the canyon's twilight hours without having to drive far in the dark.
If you're hoping to spend the night at or near the rim, be sure to call well in advance of your stay. During busy seasons, especially summer, the lodges in the park and in Tusayan frequently fill up, forcing would-be lodgers to backtrack away from the park.
If you tire of relatively new rooms with Southwestern motifs, a few historic hotels and lodges remain. In the park, stay at the breathtaking Grand Canyon Lodge (your only option on the North Rim, which books full up to a year in advance), the exquisite El Tovar Hotel (the park's most upscale lodging), or Bright Angel Lodge (a favorite among families, hikers, and history buffs). The park's concessionaires retain these three accommodations' historic character -- other park lodgings tend to be more motel-style. If you stay on the North Rim, which is open only during the warmer months, expect greater serenity but fewer services than you'll find on the South Rim.
Reserving a Room Inside the Park
Lodging inside the park on the South Rim is handled by Xanterra (tel. 888/297-2757 or 303/297-2757; www.grandcanyonlodges.com), and on the North Rim by Forever Resorts (tel. 877/386-4383 or 480/998-1981; www.grandcanyonforever.com). Book well ahead. The most desirable rooms, like those at Grand Canyon Lodge, El Tovar, or Bright Angel's rim cabins, can fill up a year in advance. All lodges usually sell out from mid-March to mid-October (in summer, you can often find a room more easily for late Aug or early Sept). It is possible to reserve a room up to 13 months in advance (which you would need to do for Phantom Ranch) and the rate is guaranteed for the first night, even if the price increases later. If you're flexible with dates and travel in fall or winter, you can usually find rooms 1 or 2 months in advance. Because Xanterra and Forever Resorts both allow cancellations without penalty up to 48 hours in advance, you can sometimes grab a room at the last minute, even at the busiest times. A few rooms become available each day, so try walking into the lodge of your choice to ask about vacancies there or nearby. Checkout is 11am, so the staff will know by that time whether a room will be available.
Rates in the listings are for double-occupancy rooms during high season, which lasts March through October and includes holidays. Prices may fall substantially in the off season at off-rim lodges (prices remain the same year-round at El Tovar, and Bright Angel, Kachina, and Thunderbird lodges). A 7.74% tax will be added. Xanterra and Forever Resorts accept American Express, Diner's Club, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. Kids under 16 stay free with their parents. Pets are not allowed in accommodations inside the park (service animals are permitted), and no smoking is permitted at any of the lodges.
The hotels do not have specific street addresses. When you enter the park, you receive a map pinpointing their locations. Most of the rooms in the park have relatively new furnishings, as well as telephones and televisions. Only El Tovar, Yavapai East (at Yavapai Lodge), and Maswik North have air-conditioning; Thunderbird and Kachina lodges have evaporative cooling systems. The only conspicuous difference in decor is at upscale El Tovar.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.