Grand Canyon National Park: Tours, Hotels & Visitor Info
When are you coming?If you're planning your visit several months from now, that's good; advance reservations at Grand Canyon hotels, sometimes over a year out, are usually needed for in-park Grand Canyon National Park lodging at the South Rim and North Rims. Visiting sooner than 3 months? Your best bet are the dozens of other Grand Canyon hotels and lodging choices just outside the park. You'll find Grand Canyon South Rim hotels in cities near the South Rim like Tusayan (8 miles) and Williams (60 miles). Time of year counts, too; the South and West Rims are open year-round and are busiest in spring and summer, but if you're planning on visiting between mid-October and mid-May, you'll want to note that the Grand Canyon North Rim is closed during this time.
Where do you plan to visit?The South Rim is the most popular part of Grand Canyon National Park, so look for South Rim hotels and motels in nearby Tusayan or Williams, just 50 miles from the park. If Grand Canyon National Park is just one adventure on your Arizona vacation itinerary, consider a more central jumping off point and book one of the hotels, resorts, budget-friendly motels in Flagstaff (90 minutes from GCNP) or Sedona (a destination it its own right, just 2 hours from the National Park.) You could even stay in Scottsdale/Phoenix, but only if you're up for an 18-hour day of self-driving, or better yet, a more relaxed full-day guided van tour to the Grand Canyon.
For those wanting to visit the newer West Rim, home of the Grand Canyon Skywalk, you can book an all inclusive package and stay near the rim, but lodging there is limited to just the Grand Canyon Lodge and Cabins on the Hualapai reservation. Most visitors can expect to experience the West Rim a long day-trip with 5 hours of driving each way. Most will book their hotel in Las Vegas near the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, but for those disinterested in a lot of driving or planning to head to the South Rim or another destination other than Las Vegas at the conclusion of their West Rim adventure, folks might consider staying at a convenient, pocket-friendly hotel in Kingman.
Grand Canyon North Rim is popular among avid outdoor enthusiasts because of the remoteness of the area. It has a short May-to-October season and frankly, most North Rim folks prefer sleeping under the stars in a campsite versus staying overnight in a hotel. But a stay at the Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim is an opportunity you should seize if you are able and are planning a year or so out. If you're late to the party, or you're also planning on visiting other national parks in the Grand Circle - namely Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks in southern Utah - browse our directory of Page/Lake Powell hotels, motels and resorts.
How long are you staying?One or two nights on any rim of the Grand Canyon are plenty for most visitors; if you plan to stay longer, venture outward for your lodging. Stay in Flagstaff, Sedona, or even Scottsdale/Phoenix for a South Rim visit, and choose Las Vegas for your vacation hub for a West Rim and Grand Canyon Skywalk tour.
What do you plan to do at the Grand Canyon?If your life's ambition is to backpack and hike rim-to-rim, take a mule ride or hike down to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Canyon, plan up 12 months ahead and make your reservations as soon as possible. Get backcountry camping permits and reserve your campsite well in advance of your trip. Likewise, guided Colorado River rafting trips, ranging in length from 3 to 21 nights will include camping arrangements made by the outfitter, but you'll want to choose Flagstaff or Page/Lake Powell accommodations for your pre-trip stay, and perhaps Tusayan, Williams or Flagstaff lodging for your post-trip nights.
But as we know, most of us will experience Grand Canyon in a less adventurous way. Taking a train tour? Stay 1 - 2 nights in Williams near the Grand Canyon Railway station. Taking a air tour to the Grand Canyon Skywalk? Stay in Las Vegas where all flights to the West Rim originate. Taking an helicopter tour of the South Rim? Stay in Tusayan near the Grand Canyon Airport. Taking a bus, van or coach tour? Stay in Las Vegas, Sedona or Scottsdale.
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