Conveniently located between El Tovar and Bright Angel Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge was built in 1968 and its concrete facade reflects the era. It was part of a larger decade-long construction effort by the National Park Service to build more infrastructure in the park in time for the National Park Service's 50-year anniversary in 1966. While Thunderbird was completed after the anniversary, it was designed to provide comfortable rooms, not be a charming classic National Park Service hotel. While there is no lobby to gather in, its location is fantastic as it sits on the canyon rim in the heart of the South Rim's historic district.
Thunderbird At Rim
It's also steps away from the Rim Trail, a 12.8-mile trail that winds its way along the rim from Hermit's Rest to the west all the way to the Kaibab trailhead to the east. Take the trail to the west to explore the legendary Hopi House, designed by Mary Jane Colter, that contains Native American-stye gifts and relics, or the Kolb Studio where Ellsworth and Emery Kolb opened a photo studio right on the edge of the canyon in the early 20th century. Starting in 1903, the two brothers sold photos of tourists, often riding mules into the canyon, as well as landscape shots. The Kolb Studio is right next to the Bright Angel trailhead.
Thunderbird Lodge Rooms
Half of the rooms at the Thunderbird Lodges have partial canyon views, and the others are street side. This encourages you to get out and make the most of your Grand Canyon experience. All of the rooms are ideally suited for families. Rooms have two queen beds or one king bed, in-room Keurig coffee machine, refrigerator, safe, television, telephone and full bath. Rooms designed for guests with physical disabilities are available. In case you are worried about creating more waste with the coffee pods than necessary, know that there's a robust recycling and composting program in place. The staff collects all Keurig K-Cups and sends them to a facility that turns the leftover grounds into compost and the cups into energy. In 2016, 183,000 K-Cups weighing 7,300 pounds were diverted from the landfill and sent off to be repurposed.
For more information:
Reservations (888) 297-2757 or (303) 297-2757
Tip: Guests staying at the Thunderbird Lodge have to check in at the Bright Angel Lodge front desk. The Bright Angel Lodge is west of Thunderbird.