With lots of accomodation located both inside and close to the Grand Canyon National Park there’s lots of choice for where to stay at the Grand Canyon and staying overnight is the perfect way to enjoy the South Rim.
We loved spending a few nights exploring everything the South Rim has to offer and have put together this list of the best places to stay at the Grand Canyon. It includes our recommendations on where to stay, what to consider when planning your trip and lots of tips for anyone planning to stay at the Grand Canyon.
Where to Stay at the Grand Canyon
We’ve included detailed info on the best places to stay below. If you want to skip the detail and get right to our favorites, here is our quick list of the best places to stay at the Grand Canyon.
- Best lodge in the park: we love all the in-park lodges but it can often be hard to secure a reservation due to demand. Yavapi Lodge, which is a short walk from the South Rim, can sometimes have closer availability than the others due to having 358 rooms. Bright Angel Lodge is another of our favorites and is very reasonably priced.
- Best Hotel near the park: our favorite outside the park, the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn has fantastic facilities including a pool.
- Best for Families: given its location, a short walk away from the rim, Yavapi Lodge is a nice choice for families. Outside the park, the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn is a great choice if, like ours, your kids request a swimming pool in every hotel!
- Best for Luxury: nothing can compete with the historic El Tovar Hotel located in Grand Canyon Village
- Best Budget: Holiday Inn Express Grand Canyon located in Tusayan
- Best for Groups: a vacation rental is often a great choice for groups and the Canyon Plaza Apartments has two bedroom rentals.
National Parks Pass – America The Beautiful
If you’re planning to visit a couple of the US National Parks we highly recommend purchasing an America The Beautiful pass. The pass grants you access to over 2,000 federal recreation sites across the US, including all the National Parks. We purchased a pass before we began our trip across the US and it’s one of the best value tickets out there! – check prices now!
Why Stay at the Grand Canyon?
Many visitors only allow for a passing visit to see the canyon. While it’s possible to check out the views and enjoy the Grand Canyon in a short time frame, we recommend allowing at least a full day at the canyon to really experience everything the park has to offer. We really love spending a few days exploring the South Rim from sunrise to sunset!
For us, staying at or near the Grand Canyon has a number of benefits over visiting on a day trip:
- Time to explore: Regardless of where you visit from it’s likely a long drive to the Grand Canyon South Rim. Staying overnight either in Grand Canyon Village or Tusayan allows time to relax and experience the views with fresh eyes.
- Avoid the crowds: staying at the Grand Canyon Village means you will avoid the long entrance lines into the park that are common at busy times. Staying in nearby Tusayan will allow you to enter the park at off-peak times to avoid the crowds.
- Sunrise and sunset: Staying overnight will give the opportunity to experience the magical sunrises and sunsets at the Grand Canyon. During a recent stay, we had a 2-minute walk to the rim from our cabin at Bright Angel Lodge and had two epic sunrises during our time there.
Where to Stay at the Grand Canyon
The best place to stay at the Grand Canyon has be one of the beautiful lodges in the Grand Canyon Village. These are the only accommodation options located within the Grand Canyon National Park at the South Rim and most are located just steps from the rim of the canyon.
Bright Angel Lodge is one of our favorites and, in our opinion, being so close to the canyon rim definitely makes for a special experience. Being able to wake each morning and be just steps away from the magnificent views of the Grand Canyon was definitely worth it. It also allowed us to experience many parts of the South Rim with few other tourists around during off peak times.
- Bright Angel Lodge: we’ve stayed in the cabins at Bright Angel Lodge and always have a fantastic stay. The lodge offers rooms and cabins and is located on the rim right at the start of the Bright Angel trailhead. It is often one of the cheapest options within the park and the cabins are great value for money – check prices now!
- El Tovar Hotel: the South Rim’s premium accommodation option, the elegant El Tovar is a National Historic Landmark with 78 unique rooms and a fine dining restaurant. – check prices now!
- Kachina Lodge: for those seeking regular style hotel rooms Kachina is a good option with clean and comfortable rooms. The lodge sits directly on the rim of the canyon and the views are incredible. Kachina Lodge also has room configurations suited to families – check prices now!
- Thunderbird Lodge: situated between Bright Angel and Kachina Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge is also located directly on the canyon rim and many of the rooms offer partial views of the canyon. Thunderbird Lodge would also suit families better due to the room configurations – check prices now!
- Maswik Lodge: located in a wooded area near the rim of the Canyon, Maswik Lodge has 280 rooms across 12 buildings. The lodge has more of a contemporary style and rooms accessed via outside walkways. It’s a quick shuttle ride or quarter-mile walk from the lodge to the rim – check prices now!
- Yavapi Lodge: located a short walk from the South Rim, Yavapi Lodge is a large property and can sometimes have later availability than the other lodges due to having 358 rooms – check prices now!
Where to stay near the Grand Canyon
The best alternative to staying in Grand Canyon Village is in the nearby town of Tusayan. Tusayan is a 15-minute drive south of the Grand Canyon South Rim and has lots of options ranging from luxury and mid-range hotels to budget-friendly hotels.
The Best Tusayan Hotels
- Best Western Premier Squire Inn: clean, modern and only a 10-minute drive from the Tusayan entrance to the park. This Best Western is our first choice for when we stay outside the park. – check prices now!
- Vacation rentals: there are some great rental options in Tusayan and its surroundings. These apartments are a great option close to the south entrance and this tented camp offers a unique Grand Canyon experience – check prices now!
- The Grand Hotel: one of the few hotels with an indoor heated pool to relax in after exploring the grand canyon. Grand Canyon Village is a short drive so you’re quite close to the park – check prices now!
- Holiday Inn Express Grand Canyon: located in the center of Tusayan, The Holiday Inn Express is another great mid-range option – check prices now!
Unique Places to Stay at the Grand Canyon
There are a few really unique places to stay at the Grand Canyon. Two of the most fun are
- Under Canvas Grand Canyon – Under Canvas is a unique luxury camp around a 25-minute drive from the Grand Canyon South Entrance at Grand Canyon Junction. It offers a luxury experience including large king beds, ensuite bathrooms and woodburning stoves in each tent. After a fun day exploring the Grand Canyon Under Canvas, enjoy the evening roasting smores over the fire pit as you gaze at the stars above. Under Canvas was also listed as one of the best resorts in the US by Conde Naste Traveler – check prices now!
Wander Camp Grand Canyon -Wander Camp is another great glamping option located just north of Grand Canyon Junction. Wander Camp specialise in eco friendly glamping in remote locations throughout the USA. The Grand Canyon camp offers spacious tents (200+ square feet each) with large king size beds and plush furnishings – check prices now!
- Phantom Ranch: nested at the bottom of the canyon, Phantom Ranch is the only accommodation located below the rim of the Grand Canyon. The rustic accommodation can be accessed via a 7.5 mile hike on the South Kaibab trail or 10 miles on the Bright Angel Trail. It is also possible to reach the ranch by mule or rafting the Colorado River. Phantom Ranch is extremely highly sought after and most of the inventory for accommodation and mule rides are allocated via lottery 13 months in advance (entry to the lottery is between 1st and 25th of the 15th month preceding your stay and winners are notified in the 13th month prior to the stay date – click here for details of the Phantom Ranch lottery, good luck!
Tips for Where to Stay at the Grand Canyon
- Spent at least 2 nights at the Grand Canyon – this will allow a full day to explore the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and a few hours on the day you arrive and leave to see anything you missed.
- Book your accommodation as early as possible – this applies to all the hotels and lodges during the busier periods at the Grand Canyon, but especially if you are planning to stay in Grand Canyon Village. The lodges and hotels here can book up months in advance so it’s worth securing your room once you know your dates.
- Try to stay in Grand Canyon Village – having stayed in Bright Angel and Yavapi Lodges we highly recommend trying to stay in Grand Canyon Village for convience.
- Gas & Supplies: We found buying gas and supplies in Tusayan to be very expensive and recommend planning ahead before arriving at the Grand Canyon. Buying bottled water and snacks prior to arriving will save quite a lot of money.