Grand Canyon Lodge
The North Rim of the Grand Canyon gets just 10 percent of the visits per year that the more accessible South Rim, so options for nearby accommodations are much fewer, and the Grand Canyon Lodge is the only place to stay inside of the park. Because the North Rim is 1,000 feet higher than the South, snow comes early; the lodge is open only from mid-May to mid-October. But for families and couples seeking a much more quiet experience, the lodge offers respite from the crowds and traffic on the South Rim, and starting in mid-September, it’s the perfect location for taking in the glorious show when the maples, birch, and oak start changing colors. There are two motel compleses, and three types of cabins, from the small (1-3 people) and rustic Frontier Cabins to the relatively modern Western Cabins, with two queen beds, full bath, mini-fridge, coffee maker, and spacious porches – some of which back up to the rim (worth the extra money). The original lodge building was rebuilt in 1937 after a fire, reusing much of the same Kaibab limestone and native timber from the original 1928 structure. It houses a main dining room with expansive views of the canyon, and a saloon serving cocktails and beer. Many choose to grab something to go from the lodge’s Deli in the Pines, and take it out on the veranda to soak in the views.
By Deb Hopewell, AFAR Contributor