The Grand Canyon is one of the most popular national parks in the country, and hotel rooms both within and just outside the park are in high demand. Make reservations as far in advance as possible. Don’t expect to find a room if you show up in summer without a reservation—you’ll probably have to drive back to Williams or Flagstaff to find a vacancy. However, occasionally it’s possible, due to cancellations and no-shows, to get a same-day reservation at a national park property; it’s a long shot, but it happens. Same-day reservations can be made by calling tel. 928/638-2631.

Inside the Park

All hotels inside the park are operated by Xanterra South Rim/Xanterra Parks & Resorts; to make reservations at any of the in-park hotels listed below, contact Xanterra at www.grandcanyonlodges.com; tel. 888/297-2757 or 303/297-2757. Reservations are taken up to 13 months in advance, beginning on the first of the month. If you want to stay in one of the historic rim cabins at Bright Angel Lodge, reserve at least a year in advance. The one exception are the small, very basic rooms with shared bathrooms at Bright Angel Lodge; they’re often the last in the park to book up. If you’re trying to get a last-minute reservation, they may be your best bet.

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In Tusayan (Outside the South Entrance)

If you can’t get a reservation for a room in the park, this is the next closest place to stay, in a line of hotels along U.S. 180/Ariz. 64. During the day, the area can be very noisy, with helicopters and airplanes constantly taking off from the airport, but at night things calm down. Hotels outside the park are popular with tour groups, which keep them full throughout the summer.

Campgrounds

Inside the Park—On the South Rim, there are two campgrounds and an RV park. Mather Campground, in Grand Canyon Village, has 327 campsites ($18 per night). Reservations can be made up to 6 months in advance and are required for stays between March and late November. Contact the National Recreation Reservation Service (www.recreation.gov; tel. 877/444-6777 or 518/885-3639). In winter, campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, at $15 per night; reservations not accepted. Desert View Campground, with 50 sites ($12 per night), is 25 miles east of Grand Canyon Village and open from mid-April to mid-October. No reservations are accepted; on arrival, campers must self-register at the automated fee machine. The Trailer Village RV park, in Grand Canyon Village, has 75 RV sites and charges $41 per night (for two adults) for full hookup. Reservations can be made up to 13 months in advance online via DNC Parks & Resorts (www.visitgrandcanyon.com). For same-day reservations at all these campgrounds, call tel. 928/638-2631.

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Outside the Park—Two miles south of Tusayan, the U.S. Forest Service’s Ten-X Campground has 70 campsites ($10 per night), open May through early October. There are no shower or laundry facilities and no utility hookups. It’s usually your best bet for finding a site late in the day.

You can also camp just about anywhere within the Kaibab National Forest, which borders Grand Canyon National Park. Several dirt roads lead into the forest from the highway, and although you won’t find designated campsites or toilets along these roads, you will find spots where others have obviously camped before. This so-called dispersed camping is usually used by campers who haven’t found sites in campgrounds. One of the most popular roads for this sort of camping is on the west side of the highway between Tusayan and the park’s south entrance. For more information, contact the Tusayan Ranger District, Kaibab National Forest, 176 Lincoln Log Loop (P.O. Box 3088), Grand Canyon (www.fs.usda.gov/kaibab; tel. 928/638-2443).

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.