Dear Peter, I want to go to the Grand Canyon by car from Las Vegas. I cannot figure out where to stay, on the South Rim or the North Rim. My husband and I want to stay as close to the rim as possible. Can you help us?
Both rims have lodging options, but the South Rim has many more choices. Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins is a just a few feet from the rim itself and is actually the starting point for the famous Grand Canyon Mule Rides. Amenities at this rustic establishment (which is a national historic landmark) range from standard rooms with shared bathrooms, to suites, to private, rim-side cabins with fireplaces.
You can also choose to roam the same hallowed halls as Theodore Roosevelt and Albert Einstein by staying at the luxury El Tovar Hotel, which was renovated in 2005. All of the rooms have cable TV, full bathrooms, and air conditioning, and some even have a balcony. El Tovar also offers concierge services, a fancy dining room, and a lounge.
The North Rim is much quieter and less crowded, but has only one lodging option—the Grand Canyon Lodge. The lodge has three different kinds of private cabins—Frontier, Western and Pioneer—and there are motel rooms at the main building. Cabins can accommodate a large number of people, which makes them convenient for families.
You can also stay in the canyon if you’re so inclined. The Phantom Ranch is located at the bottom of the canyon and is the only facility below the rim. Phantom Ranch can only be reached by foot, mule, or raft, and is popular with hikers, campers, and backpackers. The accommodations are fairly Spartan and include private cabins and dormitory beds.
These resorts are all very popular and book up quickly, so make reservations as early as you can.