If there is one place that you absolutely must visit on the west coast of the United States, it is undoubtedly the Grand Canyon. Any adjective fails to qualify this ever-changing landscape for 70 million years, its dizzying heights, intense colors, and rugged paths that meander around the Colorado River.
The dimensions of the Grand Canyon are cyclopean, more than 446 kilometers long, with a width of 5.5 to 30 kilometers and more than one and a half kilometers deep. To move from the south bank to the north you have to travel about 300 kilometers. The Grand Canyon is the icon of the West and the image of an entire state, theArizona.
The Grand Canyon can be visited from:
North Rim - the northern shore
South Rim - the southern shore
West Rim - the western edge
The south bank is more popular with visitors because it is better suited to organizing a roadtrip, is easier to reach, has an impressive number of breathtaking views, and activities are more numerous.
As we said it is easily accessible: a street (180/64), two entrances (south and east) and a town just outside (Tusayan). You can get there from Flagstaff and Williams to the south and from Page or Tuba City to the east. Many visitors come directly from Las Vegas, 4 hours drive west.
Where to sleep in the Grand Canyon: the best areas
Where to stay inside the park
If you are looking for maximum comfort without worrying too much about the price, sleeping in the Grand Canyon is the best option. Obviously, it is priceless to open the window and enjoy a breathtaking view.
We advise you to sleep inside the Grand Canyon if you plan to visit it for more than one day. If (like many) you decide to spend just one day in this natural wonder, we think there are cheaper options for spending the night outside the park.
The interior of the park, as you can imagine, it is the most expensive area to stay in the Grand Canyon. It is the option most chosen by hikers who want to do several daily routes within the park.
Stay inside the South Rim
Staying inside the South Rim of the Grand Canyon means having easy access to some of the best experiences the area has to offer - long hikes in one of America's most iconic areas, a chance to wake up early to see the colors of sunrise.
The South Rim is the most visited rim and offers several hotels to choose from with the canyon right on the doorstep. The Town it is the nerve center of the south bank of the Grand Canyon National Park. There is everything there, shops, a supermarket, toilets and, of course, the hotels inside the park.
The blue bus line called Village Route drive through the village so you can get around without taking the car. There are 5 million tourists and there is no parking for everyone.
The Village is the place where you can sleep closest to the edge of the canyon. Of course, you'll need to book a year in advance, as the thousands of tourists who visit the Grand Canyon every day quickly sell out the 200 beds available in the Village.
Base prices for two at hotels within the Grand Canyon Village:
- Bright Angel Lodge & cabins – 85 $ – 110 $
- Maswik Lodge – 112 $
- Hotel El Tovar - $ 217
- Kachina Lodge – 225 $
- Lodge Thunderbird – 225 $
- Yavapai Lodge – 199 $
Stay on the North Rim
The North Rim is a very remote destination, so there is limited accommodation and services, plus the short summer season (open May to October) means everything sells out quickly. This shore is much less visited than other areas of the canyon, and if you are looking for peace and quiet then this is the area to stay.
Traveling to other areas of the canyon from the North Rim can take up most of the day, so staying in the North Rim for more than one night makes up for the long journey.
There is only one historic lodge that offers lodging within the boundaries of the North Rim National Park, the Grand Canyon Lodge, perched on the precipice of the Kaibab plateau. It is a fascinating mix of motels and cabins and the only accommodation within the National Park, therefore, it is recommended to book well in advance.
Sleeping at the bottom of the Canyon
The only dwelling at the bottom of the canyon is the Phantom Ranch, built in the 20s. The only ways to get there are on foot, on the back of a mule or by rafting. The Phantom Ranch is 11,7 miles from the South Rim via the South Kaibab Trail and 16,6 miles via the Bright Angel Trail. It is essential to book well in advance.
Sleeping in the West Rim
Are you going to drive up to the Skywalk? Then you have to reach the West Rim, managed, unlike the other areas of the park, by the Hualapai Indians. This is a remote area of the Grand Canyon that doesn't offer many nearby amenities.
There are two options for staying on the West Rim; the Hualapai ranch, and the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, on historic Route 66. Hualapai Lodge however is almost as far from the Skywalk Las Vegas - about 130 miles. If you don't want to stay in Vegas, Kingman it is approximately 75 miles away.
Where to sleep near the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park receives an average of 4,5 million visitors annually, ranking second among most visited national parks of the United States.
As one of the most famous natural attractions in the world, some people book their accommodation more than a year in advance. If it is not possible to book a few months in advance, you will probably need to stay in one of the adjacent cities:
Tusayan – Grand Canyon Village: 15 minuti
Williams – Grand Canyon Village: 1h 10 minuti
Flagstaff – Grand Canyon Village: 1h 30 minuti
Valle – Grand Canyon Village: 3h 33 minuti
Page – Grand Canyon Village: 2h 30 minuti
Cameron – Grand Canyon Village: 1h 12 minuti
Just 10 kilometers from the south bank of the canyon is a town called Tusayan. This city is nothing more than a service area, with hotels, restaurants, shops and gas stations, created to offer all the services to tourists who want to visit the Grand Canyon every year.
There you will find everything, including a wider choice of accommodation and especially restaurants to suit all budgets, while within the park the options are more limited and more expensive.
Undoubtedly, Tusayan it is one of the best options to consider if you want to stay near the Grand Canyon. To reach the canyon, simply hop on the free shuttle bus that takes visitors into the park.
The reality is that in the South Rim, both within the national park and in nearby Tusayan, hotels are few compared to tourist demand. Therefore, it is highly recommended to book in advance, especially if you want to have a margin of choice.
The hotels in Tusayan are much more modern than the accommodation in the village. And the best example is the hotel Best Western offering huge, well-equipped rooms, a restaurant, outdoor heated swimming pool and of course internet and free parking.
Find a hotel in Tusayan
Named "the gateway to the Grand Canyon," the city of Flagstaff is nestled in the midst of a natural alpine landscape. The Grand Canyon is an hour and a half away (129 km) and you can take the free shuttle bus from the city.
The accommodations here are thankfully cheap. Don't expect 5-star hotels, but log cabins tucked away in the woods, mid-range hotels or locally run bed and breakfasts.
This is the most important city near the park, convenient and easy to reach.
Best places to stay in Flagstaff
The old city of Williams is located just 88 miles from the Grand Canyon National Park, on an old part of the Route 66. This city is a fun place to stay, much more authentic than Tusayan. Perhaps Williams offers the best combination of lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment near the Grand Canyon.
Also, the hotel offer in Williams is better and therefore you will find cheaper prices than Grand Canyon Village or Tusayan. The only drawback is the distance from the Grand Canyon, since you'll have to drive for over an hour to get to the visitor center (or vice versa).
Finally, Williams is also known for being the city from which you can go to the Grand Canyon in one historic steam train, which has become a new tourist attraction. Without a doubt it is an original way to get to the national park.
Red Garter Inn – This romantic Victorian building is a historic Far West Saloon, opened in 1897 and refurbished as a bed and breakfast. It still retains its antique furniture, without sacrificing the comfort and safety that travelers demand today.
The passage of the old woman Route 66 of Williams has left historic housing, which retains a special charm. As the Grand Canyon Hotel, which has opened its doors since 1891. And best of all, it has a great price, around € 75 for a double room.
Find a Williams hotel
If you travel to Southern Utah, Kanab is a small town where you will find many hotels and motels.
Kanab has become a strategic place to stay if visiting national parks such as Bryce Canyon o Zion. But, above all, it is the most recommended place if you choose to visit the Grand Canyon in the North Rim, which is located 130 kilometers south of Kanab.
Kanab is great for those who want to experience the iconic natural wonders the region has to offer. The small town boasts beautiful scenery and access to numerous hiking trails.
Best places to stay in Kanab
South of the Grand Canyon, halfway between Williams and the South Rim, is the quiet and charming town of Bale. The hotels here are considerably cheaper than those in Williams and come in the form of mid-priced inns and hotels.
Valle is also home to an airplane museum and Flintstones park, Bedrock City. To get to the Grand Canyon from Bale, just hop on the cross-city bus from Williams.
Find a Bale hotel
And to finish the list of places to sleep near the Grand Canyon, we can mention a city that few usually choose to stay overnight, Cameron. This town is located at the east gate of the park, before entering Desert View Road, the same distance from the Grand Canyon as Williams.
Cameron has a lot less charm than Williams and the prices are just as cheap. Why consider Cameron for sleeping near the Grand Canyon? Cameron is a very good choice if you are visiting the Grand Canyon and your next destination is Antelope Canyon and the Monument Valley and you don't want to go back to sleep in Williams.
Find a Cameron hotel
Other cities to consider:
Page (176 km): if you want to reach Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon and theHorseshoe Bend. Page is a strategic place that offers a wide choice of accommodation.
Tuba City (94 km): if you head towards Monument Valley. However, the city is not very engaging.
How many nights are needed?
Whether you're coming from Route 66, Page or Monument Valley, a night on the edge of the Grand Canyon will be the bare minimum. This way you can explore the views along the south coast, or even take a helicopter flight over the canyon.
For hiking lovers, an extra night would be ideal to see all the park has to offer.
When to book accommodation?
Once again, the supply of accommodation is lower than the demand during the high season and the longer you wait, the less you will have availability as you get closer to the park ...
As for cities like Williams and Flagstaff, where the offer is wider, the reservation will be less urgent ...
Where to book a hotel for the Grand Canyon?
We recommend using sites such as:
Booking.com - offers the possibility to cancel bookings made almost always free of charge. Read carefully the conditions and taxes to be added for hotel services.
HotelsCombined.com - is a great site to compare the price of a hotel and choose the best deal.