Photo courtesy of Forever Resorts
Grand Canyon LodgeWant to avoid the crowds? At an elevation of over 8,000 feet, the remote North Rim of the Grand Canyon gets just 10 percent of annual park visits, making it a quieter experience preferred by couples and serious hikers. The only place to stay is the rustic Grand Canyon Lodge, a historic limestone-and-native-timber landmark that has been in operation since 1936. Accommodations are spare yet clean, ranging from no-frills motel rooms to more modern cabins with two queen beds, plus a full bath, mini-fridge, coffee-maker, and spacious porches—some of which back up to the rim. The main building houses a dining room with expansive views of the canyon and a saloon serving cocktails and beer, but many grab something to go from the lodge’s Deli in the Pines to enjoy while soaking in the copper-hued sunset on the veranda. Owing to early snows, the lodge is only open from mid-May thorugh mid-October; head there in September, when the changing colors of the region’s maple, birch, and oak trees put on a show that rivals the best New England foliage tours.