The Grand Canyon is one of the most iconic landscapes in the United States. This natural wonder of the world has no shortage of incredible things to do, enough to fill several days!

But the Grand Canyon spans nearly 300 miles, covering 1,900 square miles of protected land. Due to the park’s size, where you stay can significantly impact your trip!

This guide covers where to stay in Grand Canyon National Park, including lodges and campgrounds inside the park and hotels and rentals outside the park. Plus, I’m sharing tips on finding the perfect place to stay and booking coveted lodging inside the park!

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Summary of the Best Places to Stay in the Grand Canyon

I’ll cover each of the best places to stay in the Grand Canyon in more detail throughout this post, but here’s a quick summary before we dive in.

Grand Canyon National Park At-A-Glance

Before diving in, here are a few highlights to help you plan your trip:

  • Best Time to Visit: Spring or Fall are the best times to visit, thanks to the mild weather, perfect for hiking. Avoid crowds by visiting in April to mid-May or mid-September to October, on either end of peak season.
  • Where to Stay: If you want to stay in the park, choose from the luxury El Tovar Hotel, historic Bright Angel Lodge, or the newly renovated Maswik Lodge. If you want to stay outside the park, I highly recommend The Grand Hotel or Best Western Squire Resort in Tusayan.
  • How to Get There: The closest airports are Las Vegas (4 hours away) or Phoenix (3.5 hours away). Use Expedia to browse flights and find the best price.
  • How to Get Around: Grand Canyon National Park offers free shuttles year-round at the South Rim, which saves time trying to find parking. However, you’ll still need your own car to get to the park. Use Expedia to browse deals on rental cars or rent an RV or campervan with Outdoorsy!
  • Best Self-Guided Tour: My favorite way to learn more about the park is with GuideAlong, a narrated self-guided tour perfect for road trips and scenic drives. The Grand Canyon South Rim Guide provides incredible commentary and detail about the history and geology of this natural wonder.
  • Don’t Forget: Be sure to get an America the Beautiful National Park Pass ahead of time. This $80 pass is valid for 12 months and gets you into all 400+ national park sites (including the Grand Canyon!).

How to Choose Where to Stay When Visiting the Grand Canyon

In the northwestern part of Arizona, Grand Canyon National Park protects the most extensive canyon stretch along the Colorado River.

The park receives more than 5 million visitors annually, most of whom come to see the South Rim and Grand Canyon Village. 

The Grand Canyon is split into three distinct sections. Where you stay will depend on what part of the park you plan to visit.

  • South Rim: This is the most visited part of the park, home to Grand Canyon Village and the most popular park attractions. If you plan to visit the South Rim, stay at Grand Canyon Village or outside the park in Tusayan, Grand Canyon Junction, or Williams.
  • North Rim: This part of the park is more remote, requiring a 4+ hour drive from the South Rim. The best places to visit the North Rim are inside the park, as hotels outside the park are limited.
  • West Rim (Grand Canyon Skywalk): This part of the Grand Canyon is part of the Hualapai Indian Tribal Lands. Most visitors visit the West Rim on a day trip from Las Vegas. However, if you’re looking for a place to stay nearby, Peach Springs, AZ, is your best bet.
Map of the rims of the Grand Canyon

Each park area has various accommodation types, from budget-friendly to luxury. 

Before booking a place to stay, I recommend walking through these questions to determine the best accommodation for you.

  1. Plan your itinerary. I always recommend determining everything you want to do first, then picking an accommodation closest to those activities and minimizing driving time (if possible). If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some ideas on the best things to do in the Grand Canyon and the best Grand Canyon viewpoints.
  2. Know your budget. While lodging at the Grand Canyon is generally expensive (usually $200+ per night for a “budget” hotel room), some options are more economical. Accommodations at the South Rim charge a premium for their walkable location. Typically, staying outside the park will be more budget-friendly but may require more driving and provide less walkability. The most budget-friendly option at the Grand Canyon is camping.
  3. Know what amenities you’re looking for. If you’re looking for more updated or modern accommodation, you’ll want to choose from more recently renovated lodging inside the park or stay at a hotel outside the park. Lodges at the South Rim are more outdated but still charge a high price (a few have been renovated, though!). Other amenities to look for include internet, TV, walkability, on-site dining, parking, shuttle access, and more standard hotel amenities like a fitness center, hot tub, or pool.
  4. Consider how far in advance you’re planning. All lodging reservations inside the park open 13 months in advance and fill quickly. I highly recommend booking as early as possible for the best selection. If you’re planning a last-minute trip, you’ll most likely only be able to find accommodation outside the park.

Where to Stay at the Grand Canyon South Rim (Inside the Park)

The South Rim is the most visited part of the Grand Canyon. It also offers the largest selection of lodging options. At the South Rim, you’ll find lodges and campgrounds inside the park, plus hotels and vacation rentals (Airbnbs) outside the park.

In this section, I’m diving into all the best hotels, lodges, rentals, and campgrounds near the South Rim. 

However, to get a head start, use this interactive map to search the area’s hotels! Search hotels and rental properties near the Grand Canyon South Rim below.

Best Hotels and Lodges at the Grand Canyon South Rim

Seven lodges are located inside the park at the Grand Canyon South Rim, ranging from budget-friendly options to historic hotels. You’ll even find a backcountry ranch that is truly bucket-list-worthy!

Four of the seven lodges are located along the rim, providing incredible walkability and views of the Grand Canyon. 

For a more budget-friendly option inside the park, consider one of the two hotels off the rim instead. The shuttle system makes it easy to reach popular attractions from these lodges.

The hotels located directly along the rim include:

  • Bright Angel Lodge is a National Historic Landmark offering budget-friendly lodge rooms and rustic cabins along the Rim Trail, with on-site dining.
  • El Tovar Hotel is an iconic, upscale hotel known for its historic elegance and stunning canyon views, offering fine dining and lodge-style rooms.
  • Kachina Lodge is a lodge with updated rooms and canyon views, ideal for families and those seeking a balance of comfort and affordability.
  • Thunderbird Lodge is between El Tovar and Bright Angel, offering scenic views and easy trail access with updated hotel rooms.
El Tovar Hotel in Grand Canyon National Park
El Tovar Hotel
Bright Angel Lodge at Grand Canyon National Park
Bright Angel Lodge

The hotels located off the rim include:

  • Yavapai Lodge is a quiet, pet-friendly hotel in a pine forest, offering comfortable rooms with modern amenities and on-site dining at an affordable price.
  • Maswik Lodge is the most recently renovated lodge, providing basic amenities at a budget-friendly price and easy access to South Rim attractions via the park shuttle.

There is also a lodge along the floor of the Grand Canyon. Phantom Ranch is a coveted backcountry experience, and reservations are tough to come by. It is accessible only by mule, foot, or raft and offers basic cabins for an unforgettable experience.

Best Campgrounds at the Grand Canyon South Rim

The South Rim has three campgrounds: Mather, Desert View, and Trailer Village RV Park. Mather and Desert View Campgrounds can be reserved six months in advance, while Trailer Village can be booked a year in advance. 

Here’s what to expect at each of these campgrounds: 

  • Mather Campground, located near Grand Canyon Village, is open year-round and has a dump station, campfire rings, grills, and flush toilets. The campground can accommodate tents and RVs up to 30 feet.
  • Trailer Village RV Park, adjacent to Mather Campground, is open year-round and features pull-through sites with full hookups for RVs up to 50 feet. The RV park also has laundry facilities and a dump station.
  • Desert View Campground, situated 26 miles east of Grand Canyon Village, is open from April to mid-October and offers sites for tents and RVs up to 30 feet. You’ll find amenities like a seasonal general store, campfire rings, grills, and flush toilets.

Best Hotels and Vacation Rentals Near the Grand Canyon South Rim (Outside the Park)

While staying inside Grand Canyon National Park is most convenient, mainly when using the free Grand Canyon shuttle, there are several benefits to staying outside the park, including:

  • There’s more availability, and reservations don’t need to be made as far in advance
  • Hotels outside the park offer more amenities and are more budget-friendly
  • There are more dining options, generally with fewer crowds and more budget-friendly prices
  • The entrances to Grand Canyon National Park are open 24 hours a day, giving unlimited access even if you stay outside the park boundaries. 
Map of the towns near Grand Canyon South Rim

Best Places to Stay in Tusayan

Tusayan is the closest town to the South Rim, only a five-minute drive to the South Entrance Station. In summer, a free shuttle transports guests from Tusayan into the park to connect with the rest of the park’s shuttle system – no car is needed!

Tusayan would be my first choice if you want to stay outside the park!

Drive Time to Popular Attractions at the South Rim:

  • Grand Canyon Visitor Center & Grand Canyon Village: 15 minutes
  • Desert View Watchtower: 45 minutes
The Grand Hotel in Tusayan near Grand Canyon National Park South Rim
The Grand Hotel

The best hotels in Tusayan include:

  • The Grand Hotel is a luxurious 4-star stay offering upscale amenities like an indoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and a shuttle stop with easy access to the park.
  • Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn is a pet-friendly, family-oriented hotel with multiple dining options, two pools, an arcade, a bowling alley, and direct shuttle access.
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Canyon offers a comfortable stay with complimentary breakfast, a fitness center, an indoor pool, and a short walk to the shuttle stop.
  • Red Feather Lodge is a budget-friendly hotel featuring an outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and a short walk across the street to the shuttle.
  • Grand Canyon Plaza Hotel is a pet-friendly 3-star hotel ideal for families, featuring an outdoor pool, hot tub, and on-site dining. Guests can walk next door to catch the shuttle.

Best Places to Stay in Grand Canyon Junction and Valle

Staying in the Grand Canyon Junction or Valle area is an excellent option for families or groups looking to stay at a rental property instead of a hotel. In this area, there are plentiful Airbnb and VRBO properties.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions at the South Rim:

  • Grand Canyon Visitor Center & Grand Canyon Village: 35 minutes
  • Desert View Watchtower: 1 hour 5 minutes
Dome at Clear Sky Resorts near the Grand Canyon South Rim
Clear Sky Resorts

There are three excellent glamping spots in this area:

If you’re looking for a vacation rental instead, consider these properties:

  • Our Little Ranch Retreat is a charming ranch-style property with spacious living areas, ideal for up to 8 guests.
  • Vacation Rental at the Grand Canyon is a comfortable home for ten guests, featuring outdoor seating areas and a full kitchen.
  • Casa Sublime is a modern, luxurious property for up to 12 guests, with a gourmet kitchen and plenty of entertaining space.
  • The Haven at Woodland Ranch is a large, secluded cabin perfect for groups of up to 14, offering a cozy fireplace and scenic outdoor spaces.

Best Places to Stay in Williams

If you’re planning a more last-minute trip to the Grand Canyon and find that accommodations in Tusyan are booked, you may be able to find a hotel or rental in Williams instead! 

Staying in Williams is also the perfect option for anyone who wants to take the train into the park instead of driving.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions at the South Rim:

  • Grand Canyon Visitor Center & Grand Canyon Village: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Desert View Watchtower: 1 hour 40 minutes
Grand Canyon Railway train car at the South Rim
Grand Canyon Railway runs from Williams to Grand Canyon Village

The best hotels in Williams include:

There’s no shortage of rental properties, either. Here’s a handful that I’d recommend:

  • ​​Renovated 1911 Historic Cottage is a quaint option in downtown Williams, perfect for up to 4 guests, featuring a well-equipped kitchen and cozy living space.
  • Wheel House Getaway Cabin is a uniquely designed, cozy cabin for five guests, ideal for small families or couples.
  • Lake Front Property Near Grand Canyon is a picturesque lakefront property for up to 8 guests, offering beautiful views, lake access, and a family-friendly living area.
  • The Grand Cabin is a rustic, spacious cabin for ten guests, complete with a full kitchen, a large living area, and an outdoor fire pit.
  • Family Friendly Cozy Cabin is a comfortable cabin for eight guests, featuring a full kitchen and outdoor seating area, ideal for family stays.
  • Lovely Log Cabin Near Grand Canyon is a charming log cabin blending rustic design and modern comforts, accommodating up to 8 guests, with a fully stocked kitchen.
  • Family Memories Home is spacious for up to 12 guests, perfect for large groups, offering multiple living spaces and an outdoor entertainment area.

Best Places to Stay in Flagstaff

Staying in Flagstaff is only a good option if you only plan a day trip to the Grand Canyon and predominantly want to explore the Flagstaff area. With a 1.5-hour drive each day, it’s doable for a day trip, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a multi-day trip.

That said, Flagstaff will offer the most affordable accommodations with plenty of chain hotels and motels.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions at the South Rim:

  • Grand Canyon Visitor Center & Grand Canyon Village: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Desert View Watchtower: 1 hour 30 minutes
Lobby of the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff
Little America Hotel Flagstaff

The best hotels in Flagstaff include:

Where to Stay at the Grand Canyon North Rim

The North Rim is a 5-hour drive from the South Rim, making it significantly less visited. Plus, it is only open during the summer due to heavy snow in the winter.

The North Rim is also more remote, with few lodging options nearby. The best option is to stay inside the park at the Grand Canyon Lodge. However, since there is only one lodge in the park and the season is so short, it books up far in advance.

Lobby of the Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim
Grand Canyon Lodge – North Rim

If you can’t get a reservation at the lodge, consider booking a campsite at North Rim Campground or staying outside the park at Kaibab Lodge, located 30 minutes from the visitor center.

If you’re looking for more accommodation options, you’ll need to look at towns that are further away:

  • Kanab is a small town across the border into Utah, about 1.5 hours from the North Rim. Here, you’ll find plenty of recognizable chain hotels and budget-friendly rentals. Search for hotels in Kanab here.
  • Page is the perfect home base for visiting Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Lake Powell, but it’s a 2.5-hour drive to the North Rim. If you’re interested in seeing those attractions, I highly recommend staying in the Page area and making a day trip to the North Rim. Search for hotels in Page here.
Map of the towns near Grand Canyon North Rim

Where to Stay Near the Grand Canyon West Skywalk

Most visitors to the Grand Canyon West Rim make a day trip from Las Vegas, opting to stay in hotels near the Las Vegas Strip and driving the 2.5 hours each way in one day.

If you’d prefer to save some driving time and stay closer to the Skywalk, consider one of these hotel options:

  • Grand Canyon Western Ranch Resort is a rustic resort 25 minutes from the Skywalk, offering cowboy-themed cabins, glamping tents, and an on-site restaurant with live entertainment.
  • Hualapai Lodge, located along Historic Route 66 in Peach Springs, about 1 hour 45 minutes from the Skywalk, features Native American decor and provides amenities like a restaurant and pool.
Map of the towns near Grand Canyon West Rim

Frequently Asked Questions

What part of the Grand Canyon is best to stay in?

The South Rim is the best place to stay at the Grand Canyon, particularly for first-time visitors. It is open year-round, offers the most popular things to do, has a free park shuttle, more visitor amenities, and plenty of accommodation options inside and in nearby towns.

Is it better to stay inside or outside Grand Canyon National Park?

It’s best to stay inside Grand Canyon National Park if it is within your budget. Lodging inside the park provides unparalleled walkability but is more expensive and books out a year in advance. If you’re planning a last-minute trip or are on a budget, plan to stay outside the park instead.

What is the best town to stay in near the Grand Canyon?

The best town to stay in near the Grand Canyon is Tusayan. Located only five minutes outside the park, it’s the perfect budget-friendly alternative to staying inside the park. If lodging is sold out in Tusyan, consider staying in Grand Canyon Junction/Valle, Williams, or Flagstaff.

Is it worth it to stay the night at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon?

It is worth staying at the South Rim, even if you only plan one day at the Grand Canyon. Since the South Rim is a long drive from major cities, staying at the park will allow you to see all the top attractions. Plan to spend two nights at the Grand Canyon for the best experience.

Is it better to stay in Williams or Flagstaff?

It is better to stay in Williams, Arizona, if you plan on visiting the Grand Canyon South Rim. Williams is 20 minutes closer to Grand Canyon Village than Flagstaff, so staying here reduces driving time. However, consider staying in Flagstaff instead if you want more hotel selection.

Final Thoughts

Where to stay when visiting the Grand Canyon will depend on your interests and budget. Here’s a quick recap of the top places to stay in and near the park.

Are you looking for more ideas for your trip to the Grand Canyon? Don’t miss these posts!

Are you planning a national park trip but don’t know where to start? Get my free 28-page national park ebook where I break down everything you need to know to visit all 63 USA national parks.

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