Bright Angel Lodge
This historic lodge complex, mere steps away from the South Rim in Grand Canyon Village, has history and location in spades. And did we mention location? The lodge building is usually packed with visitors gawking at the jaw-dropping views of the canyon; it’s also the jumping-off spot for the popular mule rides and guided hiking tours down the Bright Angel Trail. Designed by architect Mary J. Colter (who also designed Phantom Ranch, Desert View Watchtower, and several other structures in the park), the rustic lodge looks from the outside very much as it did when it opened in 1935, though the rooms themselves have been modernized and – if not exactly luxurious – are cozy, clean, and comfortable. The lodge building itself houses 37 rooms (half of them with shared bathrooms), while the 50 one-bedroom log cabins actually have more modern amenities, such as Keurig coffee makers and satellite TV. There are a handful of cabins right on the rim, a couple of them with fireplaces. Don’t miss the fabulous floor-to-ceiling fireplace that Coulter designed in the main lounge – the geologic layers of the canyon walls are recreated, more or less to scale, using the same rocks that form the strata found in the canyon walls, from the 2 billion-year-old Zoaster Granite at the bottom of the canyon to the 250 million-year-old Kaibab Limestone at the top.
By Deb Hopewell, AFAR Contributor
9 Village Loop Drive, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023, USA