Last Updated: April 19, 2021
Whether you’ve been planning your Grand Canyon vacation for months or are just starting to research your options, you’ve got a lot of decisions to make before you can strap on your hiking shoes, hit the trails, and snap that perfect #CanyonSelfie. What rim should you visit? What time of year is best? And of course, where will you stay?
There are numerous accommodation options to suit every traveler, both within the Grand Canyon National Park and in nearby towns. Most of the hotels located within the boundaries of the National Park are situated on the South Rim, in or near the Grand Canyon Village, but the best place to stay when you visit the Grand Canyon will ultimately depend on your budget and travel needs.
When should you visit the Grand Canyon? It depends on what you want to do when you’re there. Our guide can help you choose the perfect time to visit.
If you’re planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, be warned—Grand Canyon hotels book up early, so it’s highly recommended that you book your accommodations over a year in advance. Keep reading to learn more about the most popular Grand Canyon hotels, as well as alternatives in the surrounding area.
Designed by Mary Colter in the 1920s and nestled on the banks of Bright Angel Creek, Phantom Ranch offers the only accommodation below the rim, inside the Grand Canyon. This rustic outpost can only be reached by mule, foot, or by rafting the Colorado River.
- Mule: 1 or 2-night mule trips can be booked with the Central Reservations Office. These trips are only sold as a package.
- Hike: Phantom Lodge is about a 7.5 mile trek down the South Kaibab Trail. It takes 4-5 hours to get there, and about 6-10 to return to the Rim. You can also reach Phantom Ranch via the Bridge Angel Trail, but this hike is about 10 miles each direction. If you plan to hike, remember that temperatures rise the deeper you get into the Canyon, so factor this into your schedule and be sure to bring lots of water.
- Raft: Multi-day, overnight rafting trips can be arranged through independent tour providers.
Phantom Ranch is one of the most remote places to stay at the Grand Canyon. There are no phones or televisions—just the Canyon sky.
Dormitory and cabin-style accommodations are available:
- Dorms: There are two male dorms and two female dorms. Each features 5 bunk beds, a shower, and a shared restroom. Dorms are reserved for hikers only.
- Cabins: Cabins accommodate 2-10 guests. They are equipped with bedding, a cold water sink, soap, and hand towels.
Showers, bath towels, and hot water sinks are provided at a central location.
|Dormitory||$62 per night|
|Cabins (double occupancy)||$171 per night|
|Cabins (group occupancy)||$332 per night|
Meals and duffel service can be purchased for a fee. Additional fees will also apply to additional occupants in cabins.
Space at Phantom Ranch is very limited. Due to extreme demand, guests must submit a request for accommodation. Guests will be chosen by lottery based on dates and available accommodations, and will be notified with instructions on how to proceed.
The reservation lottery opens for dates 13 months prior to when you plan to stay. If you are selected, you will need to confirm your reservation 2 days before you are due to arrive.
Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins
Originally built in 1896 as the first overnight accommodation available in the Grand Canyon Village, Bright Angel Lodge was later redesigned in 1935 by architect Mary Colter to offer a more affordable alternative to the nearby El Tovar hotel. Despite its many transformations over the years, Bright Angel Lodge has retained its rustic character and rich cultural history, making it one of the most popular places to stay at the Grand Canyon.
Whether you stay at Bright Angel or not, stop in to check out the geologic fireplace in the History Room, featuring rocks from all layers of the Grand Canyon—right from the river bed all the way to the edge of the Rim.
Located at the top of the Bright Angel Trailhead, Bright Angel Lodge consists of 90 lodging units, ranging from historic units with shared bathrooms to standard lodge rooms and even private cabins. Most rooms generally only have one bed, and rooms with Canyon views are limited.
If you’re looking for a place to stay that’s steeped in Grand Canyon history, check out Bright Angel’s Buckey O’Neill Cabin or Red Horse Cabin:
- Buckey O’Neill Cabin: Originally home to Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, you can now stay overnight in Buckey O’Neill’s Grand Canyon home. This cabin cannot be reserved online.
- Red Horse Cabin: This two-room cabin was originally built in 1890, serving as Post Office for the Grand Canyon Village from 1910-1935. When the cabin was slated for demolition in the 30s, Mary Colter stepped in and convinced the owner to remodel and restore it for guest use—and now you can stay there, too! This cabin cannot be reserved online.
Bright Angel Lodge also offers:
- Harvey House Cafe—A family-friendly restaurant serving diner classics. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
- Arizona Room—Enjoy a more formal dining experience, featuring Southwest mainstays like steak, chicken, and ribs.
- Old-style saloon
- Coffee shop
Bright Angel Lodge is one of the most affordable places to stay at the Grand Canyon.
|Standard lodge room with shared bathroom||$100-$116 per night|
|Standard lodge room with private bathroom||$124 per night|
|Cabins||$179-$270 per night|
|Buckey O’Neill Cabin (suites)||Rates are quoted on a per night basis. Call for reservations.|
|Red Horse Cabin||Rates are quoted on a per night basis. Call for reservations.|
Most rooms can be reserved online. You must call to reserve the Buckey O’Neill or Red Horse Cabin.
El Tovar Hotel
Designed by Charles Whittlesey in 1905 in an effort to appeal to the tastes of the elite from that era, El Tovar Hotel is a cross between a Swiss chalet and Norwegian villa. Located directly on the Rim, El Tovar is still considered the Grand Canyon’s “premiere lodge”, hosting luminaries such as President Theodore Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, and Albert Einstein over its century-long history.
78 rooms are available, including 12 suites. No two rooms are alike, and each of the 12 suites features its own unique name, identity, and decor style. Accessible rooms are also available.
El Tovar is the only accommodation in the Grand Canyon Village to offer hotel concierge, bell service, and in-room dining (for breakfast and dinner only). Guests can also enjoy a fine dining room, lounge, gift shop, and news stand.
|Standard room, double bed||$243 – 270 per night|
|Standard room, one queen or two double beds||$353 per night|
|Deluxe room||$424 – 446 per night|
|Suites||$593 – 682 per night|
Rooms at El Tovar can be reserved online.
Initially built as part of an extensive construction effort celebrating the National Park Service’s 50th anniversary, Yavapai Lodge is the largest lodge in the park. It’s situated about half a mile from the Rim, so it’s usually the least popular choice—but it’s also the most likely to have rooms on short notice.
- East: Situated in six two-storey buildings, Yavapai East rooms are all air conditioned.
- West: Yavapai West features 160 rooms, including 16 pet-friendly rooms, with a style reminiscent of old Route 66 motels.
Rooms include mini fridge, coffee maker, television, telephone, and a private bathroom.
The Yavapai Lodge Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The fully-stocked Yavapai Tavern offers drinks, and the lodge also contains a coffee shop to satisfy your early morning caffeine needs.
Yavapai Lodge is family friendly, bike-friendly, and pet-friendly. Accessible rooms are also available.
Reservations can be made online here.
This contemporary, family-focused lodge was also built as part of the decade-long construction effort supporting the National Park Service’s 50th anniversary in 1966. Located in the heart of the Grand Canyon Village directly on the Rim Trail, Thunderbird Lodge is within easy walking distance to restaurants, gift shops, the Kolb Studio, Verkamp’s Visitor Center, and the Bright Angel Trailhead.
Some rooms have partial canyon views, and accessible rooms are available.
|Streetside room||$258 per night|
|Canyonside room||$325 per night|
Reservations can be made online. Check-in is at Bright Angel Lodge.
Built in 1971, Kachina Lodge also sits directly on the Rim of the Grand Canyon, tucked in behind El Tovar hotel. Since it’s located in the heart of the Grand Canyon Village, Kachina Lodge is within easy walking distance to restaurants, gift shops, the Kolb Studio, and the Bright Angel Trailhead. It’s also conveniently located on the Rim Trail.
Rooms have a comfortable modern ambience, and canyon and streetside rooms are available.
|Streetside room||$258 per night|
|Canyonside room||$325 per night|
Reservations can be made online. Check-in is at El Tovar Hotel.
Originally built in the 1960s, Maswik Lodge was named for a Hopi Kachina who is said to guard the Grand Canyon. This 250-room lodging complex is nestled within several acres of Ponderosa Pine forest, a short quarter-mile walk or bus ride from the Canyon edge.
Maswik Lodge is divided into North and South wings. North rooms feature air conditioning, in addition to other upgraded amenities. South rooms are slightly smaller, motel-style rooms.
There are no elevators, but accessible rooms are available.
Maswik Lodge also offers the Maswik Food Court and Pizza Pub if you’re looking for a convenient bite to eat during your stay.
|South room||Closed for renovation|
|North room||$245 per night|
Reservations can be made online.
Grand Canyon Lodge
The Grand Canyon Lodge is the only lodging available inside the National Park’s North Rim boundaries, overlooking the North Kaibab Trail and Bright Angel Creek. Originally built in the 1920s by Gilbert Stanley Underwood, the Lodge was later rebuilt in 1937 after being destroyed by fire five years earlier. Thankfully, much of the Lodge’s original features were retained—the rebuilt structure utilizes much of the same stonework, as well as the same floor plan as the original building.
Cabin and motel-style rooms are available, including 23 deluxe cabins and 91 standard cabins:
- Motel-style rooms: Located in a separate building, these rooms are designed for double occupancy, with one queen bed and a private ¾ bathroom (shower only).
- Western cabins: Spacious cabins featuring two queen beds, a full bath, and front porch. Four Western cabins are ADA accessible.
- Frontier cabins: One double and one twin bed with ¾ bath (shower only). Two Frontier cabins offer limited ADA accessibility.
- Pioneer cabins: Two-room cabins with a queen bed in one room and two twin bunk beds and a double pull-out bed in the other, with a ¾ bath (shower only). Two Pioneer cabins are ADA accessible.
The Lodge Dining Room serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily. Guests can also enjoy a deli, coffee shop, and saloon during their stay.
Rooms start at $183 per night.
The Grand Canyon Lodge is open seasonally from mid-May to mid-October. It books up quickly, so it’s recommended that you book as far in advance as possible to secure your space. Reservations can be made online.
Staying Outside the Grand Canyon National Park
Lodging within the National Park books up over a year in advance, and can be more expensive than staying in the surrounding area. If no rooms inside the National Park are available, you’re looking to cut your costs, or if you plan to explore more of the Southwest beyond the Grand Canyon, booking a room a hotel in a nearby town is a great alternative.
There are several nearby towns and cities that make great home bases for your Grand Canyon explorations.
1. Tusayan, AZ
This resort town is just 7 miles from the Grand Canyon Village, catering primarily to Grand Canyon visitors. It’s accessible by the Grand Canyon shuttle, and is also home to the Grand Canyon National Airport.
Several reliable chain hotels are available in Tusayan. They may lack the Old West character of the lodges in the Grand Canyon Village, but hotels in Tusayan will offer comfortable rooms alongside other perks like free breakfast.
2. Williams, AZ
This small but busy city is about an hour’s drive from the Grand Canyon Village, situated on historic Route 66. Since it’s farther away, hotels in Williams will be much cheaper than you’d play closer to the Canyon. Many hotels are also family-friendly, with pools and free parking.
Williams also offers you more opportunities to explore the Southwest, including vintage American shops, diners, and other attractions, such as Bearizona Wildlife Park and the Route 66 zipline.
3. Flagstaff, AZ
Bordered by mountains, desert, and dense pine forests, Flagstaff is less than 1.5 hours drive to the entrance of the National Park. It’s ideally situated for exploring other places in the Southwest, including Sedona, Walnut Canyon National Monument, and the Coconino National Forest.
4. Sedona, AZ
Sedona is about two hours from the South Rim National Park, but there is lots to see, do, and explore in this bustling town. Hiking is especially popular, particularly the Cathedral Rock Hiking Trail, and Oak Creek Canyon. Sedona is also within reach of the Grand Canyon East region, if you want to explore Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.
5. Tuba City, AZ
Tuba City is about a 1.5-2 hour drive from the Grand Canyon Village. It’s also equidistant from Page, AZ, making it an ideal central location for Exploring both the South Rim and Grand Canyon East. This town is a less common choice for Grand Canyon explorers, making it particularly ideal for budget travelers and roadtrippers.
6. Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix is about 4 hours to the Grand Canyon Village. The distance may make it tough to make a day trip from Phoenix, but it is possible. The drive may seem long, but it’ll take you through Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff, and Williams on your way, giving you the opportunity to explore more of the Southwest. If you don’t want to drive yourself, there are also guided tours available from Phoenix.
7. Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas is about a 5 hour drive from the South Rim. Day trips are possible, but are generally not recommended if you plan to drive yourself. If you only have a single day to visit from Las Vegas, consider taking a guided tour or visiting the West Rim instead—it’s only about 2.5 hours from Las Vegas.
If you do decide to drive from Las Vegas to the South Rim, your route will take you past the Hoover Dam and down historic Route 66. Make sure you leave time in your schedule to stop for photo ops and a bite to eat!
Whether you want to stay right on the Rim or would prefer to spend the night in a nearby town, you have lots of choices when it comes to where to stay when you visit the Grand Canyon. The best place to stay when you visit depends on your travel needs, your itinerary, and your budget.
No matter when you plan to visit or where you want to stay, book early—hotels and lodges within the Grand Canyon National Park are fully booked over a year in advance.
Does a day trip sound more up your alley?