Thursday, October 6, 2016

Places to Stay Around the Grand Canyon

A day trip to the Grand Canyon is more than feasible, but with so much canyon to explore, many visitors to the natural wonder elect to spend a night or two nearby. From campsites to resorts, there are lodging options to suit every need. We round up some favorite places to stay around the Grand Canyon that we know you’ll just love.

South Rim
Visitors to the Grand Canyon will find plenty of accommodations at the area’s most popular destination, South Rim. The park’s visitor center, many of the tour companies and a slew of historic sites are found atop South Rim. It is the top choice for most Grand Canyon goers.

Only 3 miles from Mather Point, Thunderbird Lodge opened in the 1960s and has provided guests with comfortable rooms, friendly service and easy canyon access ever since. Its location in the heart of South Rim’s historic district makes this straightforward hotel a popular choice.

For a more rustic feel, book a stay at El Tovar Hotel. Completed in 1905, the Swiss chalet inspired hotel was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. It has hosted such luminaries as Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, Western author Zane Grey, former president Bill Clinton, Sir Paul McCartney and countless others. Located on the canyon rim, you’ll find plenty of dining options, souvenir shops and hiking trails just steps from your room.

Just outside the park in the town of Tusayan, The Grand Hotel is a modern option full of luxurious amenities, such as the pool, hot tub, gift shop and business center. The hotel’s Canyon Star Steakhouse and Saloon serves up delicious food, cold beers and live music. The property is only a mile from the park entrance, but you can still take advantage of the free park shuttle service.

For those travelers who prefer less brick and mortar between them and nature, lush campsites are available for rent year round at Mather Campground, operated by the National Park Service. The famous Mather Point, a popular lookout at South Rim, is less than a mile away from the aptly named campsite. The park’s free shuttle service also connects Mather Campground to the visitor center, restaurants and shops.

North Rim
The North Rim is a whole other world. With no airport or major interstates nearby, there are far fewer visitors here. Its higher elevation means this area of the Grand Canyon is open only between May 15 and October 15. It typically takes a little more planning to visit North Rim, but cooler temperatures and small crowds make this a desirable destination.

Kaibab Lodge is in the heart of North Kaibab National Forest just 5 miles from the entrance to Grand Canyon National Park's North Rim. Built between 1926 and 1927, the lodge once served as a cattle ranch. A truly unique aspect of this property, there are no phones or televisions in the rooms. You also won’t have any cellphone service. Short of carrier pigeon, there is no way work can get to you. Nearby hiking trails include Point Imperial, Cape Royal and Roosevelt Point.

West Rim
A popular access point to the canyon due to its proximity to Las Vegas, West Rim welcomes around 700,000 visitors a year. There is also a handful of must-see lookouts and attractions in the area, including Guano Point, Eagle Point, horseback riding and Skywalk, a cantilevered, glass-bottom bridge suspended above the canyon floor. This portion of the park is open every day of the year, including all major holidays.

Hualapai Ranch is far and away the best lodging option at West Rim. The entire family will love the Wild West feel of the ranch. You can take part in horseback riding, roasting s’mores over the open fire, as well as roping and quick draw lessons from genuine cowpokes. The Western hospitality, cowboy entertainment and wagon rides will have you planning next summer’s family vacation at West Rim.

Canyon Floor
While the canyon floor can reach staggering temperatures in the summer, the novelty of sleeping below the rim is enough to shrug off the heat. Nestled along the northern bank of the mighty Colorado River, Phantom Ranch is the only lodging available below the rim. The property’s timeless cabins constructed using native stone and wood afford canyon dwellers a rustic retreat from the bustling South Rim and throngs of rim hikers. The unique accommodations can only be reached on foot, mule or by rafting the river. It’s a true Southwest adventure!

So tell us, where are your favorite places to stay around the Grand Canyon? Are there any on this list you're excited to check out?

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