We checked in late at night after driving up from Phoenix. They were very accommodating for us. I would stay here again.We recieved a great rate.
Friendly staff. They all the features you would find in a Hilton. They had a very good breakfast to start the day.
This was our first experience of actually staying in one of the US National Parks, and it was a great one! We calculated that the cost of the so-called Frontier Cabins here was only a little higher than that of a motel room outside the gates, and well worth the extra, as the 50 miles needed to drive each way to the Canyon would otherwise probably restrict us to a single day’s visit.
We loved everything about our stay here, although we would probably have enjoyed it even more had we known to take warmer clothes. Even in June it gets very chilly at these elevations, and we were ill-prepared for the snowstorm that greeted us on our arrival. But the Lodge was warm and welcoming, and when the weather outside grew too cold we could watch the storm from the warmth of the grand central hall. Our cabin too was cosy, with a stove to heat it and plenty of warm bedding. I loved the fact that it was a log cabin – shades of Laura Ingalls Wilder and the “Little House in the Big Woods”, if we could ignore for a moment the many close neighbours.
We stayed two nights and ate in the Lodge both nights. The first night was a splurge in the Lodge’s excellent dining room (reservations essential), and the second a simple pizza from the adjoining pizza restaurant (now apparently closed, but there’s a Deli for lower-cost dining options). We also ate breakfast on both mornings in the dining room, what was reasonably priced and provided us with great views as well as a tasty start to the day.
Mention too for the high-quality gifts in the souvenir shop. I treated myself to a silver bangle made by local Navajo craftspeople, which is still one of my favourite pieces of jewellery.
Current prices for a Frontier Cabin such as ours are $116 a night, with dearer Western Cabins with a view of the Rim costing $170 a night, and several options in between. The Lodge is under different management these days (it was run by Xanterra back then) but it appears to be much the same in style and appearance.
We had a rim view room on the ground floor. Very good standard of accommodation. Last time we stayed in Maswik Lodge which was good but further towalk to the rim. We did struggle to find where it was and where we had to check in and as we were relatively late arriving there was insufficient parking available. However now we know the layout I wouldn't hesitate to book the same rooms again.
Really close to the rim, wildlife outside your window, close to restaurant and gift stores etc.
As of Nov 21, Mather Campground is off the reservation system, thru end of Feb. It is on a self pay machine over the winter. Grab a vacant site & pay the machine.
Starting March 1- late Nov the reservation system is in effect.(http://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/cg-sr.htm) Last summer, 2009, in spite of the economy it was sold out most nites from late April through mid Oct. An $18 campsite is ALOT cheaper than a $200 hotel room.
The booking window is 6 months out for the family sites, & 12 months for the 7 groupsites. However, within 2 days of your arrival reservations can not be made, unless you are at the Campground Office.
Sometimes when you call within 2 days you will be told, by a misinformed agent, that "There are plenty of first come first serve sites available". This IS NOT true, as these sites are "Administrative Sites" used for various volunteer groups. If they are not taken, then they are sold on a first come first serve basis. If they are full of Volunteers, then you are out of luck.
Bottom line- DO MAKE RESERVATIONS to be assured a site. You can choose your own site, so you will get a better site if reserved ahead of time. The outer edge sites, backing up to woods (like 292,293,294,226,227,229,231,232,242,243,ect)are the beter ones.
Also, be nice to the Campground Rangers. They are there to help you.
We drove up to the Grand Canyon from Phoenix over Labor Day weekend (Aug. 30 - Sep. 1, 2008). We took the route over Williamsburg and had dinner at a great restaurant called the Cruisers Cafe Bar&Grill, which offered live entertainment and the opportunity to eat outside. The restaurant offers homestyle meals but is a little bit pricy. Since this was out first trip to the Grand Canyon we wanted to stay very close and chose the Yavapai Lodge since it is conveniently located in the Grand Canyon National Park. We were going with our in-laws in their camper we figured a logde would be best to accommodate all of us (7 people). We booked two double rooms (online at their website) and were able to park the camper right outside our rooms. The lodge offers a good variety of tours to the Grand Canyon. A little dissappointing was the "restaurant" at the lodge which is more like a cafeteria and it's made up to accomodate a large number of guests. It's not very inviting and very expensive. Other than that the rooms we stayed in were large and clean and they really fit the enviroment (a lot of nature).
The Yavapai Lodge is conveniently located inside the Grand Canyon National Park. The rooms are large and clean but simple. Although it says on their website that they don't have AC, we had it in our rooms as well as TV's.
Free standing rooms, that share a wall with only one other room. The rooms are cozy and have 2 entrances, one towards the main middle grassy area of the place and the other near the car park. You can park your car right next to your room. The rooms include a fridge, microwave, a Cable TV, and free WiFi. However, the best part of the place is the hospitality. Owned by a cute old couple who are so hospitable and friendly. We asked to see the room and the gentleman showed us to the room and showed us the various amentities and different things about the room. They were a delight to be around and very friendly. This place is not big so there is a chance there will be no vacancies.
As mentioned earlier, the couple who own the place are so friendly. Need something, ask them, they will be willing to help out. They have some cute cats on the property too. They don't bother you, but they do roam around when they are awake. There is also a little shop at the front lobby, they sell curios of the area. Not too far from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, a little further out than Jacob Lake, but better priced and more likely to have a vacancy, definitley worth the drive.
The North Rim "Prime" Sites (11,14,15,16,18) have very nice Canyon views. #16 is my favorite. You WILL need to reserve *WAY* ahead of time (www.recreation.gov). At Mather Campground on the South Rim, there are no Canyon views- its about a mile away. Go for an outer edge site that backs up to the woods,away from a road, such as #292,293,294,227,229,231,232. The Reservation Season on the North Rim is around May 15 - Oct 15.The North Rim's road stays open until it gets snowed in. Mather CG on the South Rim stays open year around, with reservations from March 1 - Nov 30. It is self serve Dec 1 - April 30.
We absolutely loved our stay at the Grand Canyon Lodge. We stayed in a room that faced the canyon. We didn't have a clear view of it because there were so many trees, but that was okay. It was so peaceful to sit out and watch the stars and just listen to the sounds. Our room was basic but clean. The lodge was very nice. You have your choice of cabins or rooms. Either of the two were very nice. The cabins are more rustic.
Even though there were quite a few people at the Grand Canyon Lodge, there is such a tranquility about it. We had such a wonderful time here.
We got a helicopter to this ranch, wondering what was gona happen. Turns out it was one of our best holidays ever.We landed in the ranch by Helicopter and got on a wagon and went to the ranch where we checked in. They had entertainment the whole time we were in the ranch. Their were two accomidation types at the ranch Cabin or Tepee.
They had a Cowboy shoot out, Gold Panning, and horeback riding where we could see the sunset, you could also see California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah which was amazing, we were all given free champagne and a cowboy came and started playing cowboy songs with his guitar.
Lovely old cabins, good restaurant. Built in the 20's.
The cabin rooms are cozy with fireplaces and porches. The setting is much less crowded than the south rim, but busier than I remembered.
Call ahead for dinner reservations and be sure to inquire when sunset will be . . . breakfast wonderful as well. Restaurant service was very good every night
Mather Campground is located on the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It is the most popular location in the canyon with access to several popular hiking trails and great views of the Canyon from the rim. We spent two nights at the campground. The sites were very clean, with some shade and flat open spots for tents. There are firepits (the national parks will often ban fires based on drought conditions and fire safety) and picnic tables in every site.
The campground had laundry and showers available at the entrance to the campground. Showers cost $1.75 for 5 minutes. Quarters are available onsite. Ice can also be had for $2.25 in quarters at the same location. Showers are from 6am - 11pm. Ice is available 24/7 as long as you have the quarters.
There is a full service supermarket within a short drive/long walk from the camp. Hours are 7am - 11pm. They have pretty much everything from camping gear to groceries to a deli. There is also a post office and a bank located next to the store. The store sells firewood, though it's quite expensive ($6.79 per small bundle as of 6/20/07).
It is important to note that there is a $25 entrance fee to the park that is good for 7 days. That goes above and beyond any camping reservation fee. Reservations to the camp should be made no less than 3 months in advance.
Temperatures on the rim are about 85 F in the summer with a low of 40 F at night. Down in the canyon, however, the temperatures are MUCH higher both day and night.
The view of the night sky is spectacular if you like star gazing.
The GC Railway Hotel in Williams, Arizona (about 60 miles from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon) is the successor to the original Harvey House which was part of the Santa Fe railway’s network of guest houses and restaurants. It is a very nice facility with a lot of amenities and the rooms are pretty large, clean, well equipped and comfortable. The lobby is an impressive one with an old style look to it and they have a heated pool and jacuzzi, fitness room, game room, playground for kids as well as a basketball court, volleyball court and horseshoes.
I include this tip with Grand Canyon because, in my experience, finding a place to stay for a visit to the canyon can be very difficult.
They offer various packages for stays at the hotel and the train from Williams to Grand Canyon. Prices can vary widely depending on the class of room and class of train service you desire, but I think our package was pretty reasonable: one night at the hotel including dinner and breakfast and the train to Grand Canyon and back $426 including tax for myself, my wife and our grandson.
The hotel is located near downtown Williams and just a couple of blocks from old US Route 66. The restaurant is next to the hotel and the train station so the train connection is very close.
One of the most important things on my trips would be hotels and location. There are a number of choices at The Grand Canyon.
I have stayed at Yavapai twice. It is nice, and nice and quiet. It sits around 3/4 of mile off the rim of the Grand Canyon. Not as many people and you are in the forest. It's a nice atmosphere. There is a general store and the lodge to ge your meals too.
Last August I enjoyed looking at all the stars. The Milky Way was amazingly clear! You can always walk, drive or take the shuttle to the rim.
The last thing that is nice about Yavapai, there always seems to be rooms available since it's off the rim just a bit. (It s still in the National Park)
For reservations, go to Xanterra's website.
In the forest, not a crowded and a great night sky to look at.
This tip is for my own future reference as I haven't used these resources nor have I stayed at any of these businesses. But if I go to the Canyon in peak season, I'll need this info; finding lodging in the park is darn near impossible without booking several months in advance during the summer I wanted to save links to two websites I found that had a nice selection of hotels/motels/etc in the area. Tusayan is just 5 miles from the park's South Entrance so the closest stay outside of the park's boundaries.
I haven't stayed at ALL of these places, but thought a quick reference might help others.
El Tovar is the most expensive place to stay inside the park. It's the Premier lodge built just after the railroad depot was completed. The views from the patio are fantastic, the food a the dining room are wonderful, and it shares parking with Hopi House and Verkamps curios. The staff are very accommodating to guests and visitors alike. Dad got his first GREAT view of the Canyon from this property, so we love it now. Some rooms do have Canyon views. Winter or Peak Seasons: $134-$304
Bright Angel is in the middle of things: at the top of a trail head, family dining, mule ride check in counter and more. Less expensive than El Tovar, it's also more rustic. No TV or other amenities modern travelers come to expect - but hey! You're at the GRAND CANYON! There are some rooms with Canyon access, and cabins. Winter: $50-$239, Peak: $68-$139
Kachina and Thunderbird Lodges are between the first two mentioned ... more motel-ish in character, they also have some canyon views. They don't have front desk staff - you have to check in at on of the neighboring properties. Winter/Peak: $125-$136 (Street vs. Canyon views)
Please see my separate tip on Maswik.
Yavapai lodge is the largest property on site, and was closed when we were there. It's about 1/2 mile from the rim and is next to the grocery store, post office and other useful places. It does close during the off season if there is no need, but during the summer it's hopping! Winter: $76-$89, Peak: $96-$113
Phantom Ranch is the only lodging below the rim, so plan on hiking or mule riding in or out to get there! I have a dream - to get there and stay a day or two to explore the floor of the canyon. Sigh. This is one of the least expensive lodges with both dormitories and cabins, but the trip to get there has to be AMAZING! No seasonal discounts as the dorm is the cheapest stay in the park.
Trailer Village is a full hook up style motor home park within the park. It's about 1/2 mile from the rim and is the second cheapest stay in the park @ $23 year round.
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