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Jesse Weber | 06.14.2018

So you're finally ready to check the Grand Canyon off your bucket list! You've made the commitment to travel to the remote corner of Arizona, where the world's most dramatic gorge opens across a vast plateau. The miles of forests and plains surrounding the Grand Canyon are mostly void of civilization. Thus, getting here is quite the drive.

With so much to do in this massive national park, the last thing you want is to spend most of your day in the car. The solution is to spend the night in or near the park so that you can maximize your time at the overlooks, exhibits, and on the trails rather than on the road. But you certainly want to sleep and eat comfortably in order to have full energy for a full day of adventure. Luckily, there are many lodging options nearby and enough variety to satisfy any traveler.

Whether tucked in the depths at Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the canyon, or sleeping under starglow on the rim at Grand Canyon Lodge, the national park and vicinity has numerous accommodations that let you enjoy every minute--both day and night--of your trip to the Grand Canyon. The best times to experience it are by far early and late in the day--when crowds thin, summertime temperatures drop, and the low sun sheds dramatic colors on the landscape. To be sure you don't miss out, book one of these lodging options near Grand Canyon National Park.

Inside the Park

Opening the curtain to a canyon sunrise, gazing out your window to layers of painted cliffs and golden sky--this is of course the ultimate in Grand Canyon accommodations. There are many options for staying inside the park, some of which are right on the rim, but they are understandably in high demand. For the unbeatable convenience of walking or riding the free shuttle to restaurants, shops, museums, art studios, and trailheads from your room, you should book well in advance, especially if you'll be visiting during the busy months of March to October.

  • Bright Angel Lodge: Historic buildings designed by architect Mary J. Colter to artfully mimic the canyon's geology, and located right at the top of Bright Angel Trail. Accommodations range from rustic cabins to modern rooms.
  • El Tovar Hotel: Built for the lavish tastes of the wealthy elite in 1905, the El Tovar has been known as a jewel of national park lodges for a long time. Today it retains its historic charm and features canyon views from many of its hotel rooms and suites.
  • Maswik Lodge: Motel-style rooms set in ponderosa forest about a quarter mile from the canyon rim.
  • Thunderbird Lodge: Family-focused lodge positioned directly on the Rim Trail in Grand Canyon Village, the Thunderbird Lodge is within easy walking distance to vistas and other attractions.
  • Kachina Lodge: Hotel-style accommodations centrally located in Grand Canyon Village and right on the rim. Many rooms offer spectacular views right out the window.
  • Yavapai Lodge: A variety of room types located in Grand Canyon Village that are an easy bike ride away from the canyon rim and only steps from the general store and post office.
  • Grand Canyon Lodge: The only lodging at the Grand Canyon's remote North Rim, this historic lodge's charming cabins and motel-style rooms are close to canyon vistas and many of the hiking trails.
  • Phantom Ranch: The only lodging below the rim, this is the historic ranch in the bottom of the canyon that can only be reached by foot or mule. Located among shady cottonwoods and towering cliffs, the rustic cabins and bunkhouses blend with the timeless beauty of this especially wild place.

Choice accommodations outside the park

While the glamour and convenience of staying on the canyon rim are obvious, booking such high-demand rooms can seem like a chore. Luckily, there are a few choice accommodations just outside the park in the tiny town of Tusayan, which is only a 15-minute drive to the South Rim Visitor Center using the available free shuttles. Tusayan also has the benefit of more dining options than you will find inside the park.

  • Grand Hotel at the Grand Canyon: Upscale rooms and suites that come with the bonus of an indoor pool and hot tub as well as other amenities, the Grand Hotel is located adjacent to a steakhouse and saloon with nightly live entertainment.
  • Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel: Southwestern-styled rooms and suites with an outdoor pool, indoor hot tub, and restaurant.
  • Best Western Premier: A familiar hotel with added character, the Best Western at the Grand Canyon has indoor/outdoor pools and hot tubs as well as a basement game center with billiards, bowling and an arcade as well as multiple restaurants onsite.
  • Red Feather Lodge: Affordable hotel and motel accommodations with family-focused amenities including an outdoor pool.

Budget options outside the park

For the thrifty traveler, there are still plenty of options for staying overnight and saving a dime. Most of the budget accommodations are a farther drive from the park, but this also makes booking less competitive so rooms are more likely to be available last minute. Here are three of the closest, which are likely to be along your route to the South Rim. For more options, look at Williams or Flagstaff, the two nearest cities.

  • Grand Canyon Inn & Motel: Located about 25 miles south of the park in the ranch town of Valle, the inn offers spacious and comfortable accommodations as well as a gift shop and a family-friendly restaurant and cocktail lounge.
  • The Westerner Motel: One of many lodging options in Williams, about an hour south of the national park along Interstate 40, the Westerner is a friendly budget motel with Old Route 66 vibes.
  • 7 Mile Lodge: Unlike other hotels in Tusayan, this affordable lodge has a walk-in-only policy, making it perfect for spontaneous stays and road trippers on a budget, but it sacrifices little in comfort or convenience, still just a 15-minute drive to the South Rim.

For more lodging options near Grand Canyon National Park, check out these options from


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