7 Grand Canyon South Rim Hotels - How to Choose

Which Grand Canyon Hotel? Here’s a personalized guide to help you decide where to lay your head from historic lodges to modern motels inside the national park on the south rim.
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With seven accommodation options at the South Rim in Grand Canyon National Park, it can be difficult to figure out where you should stay. Do you stay in the historic lodges or modern motels, with or without air conditioning? Follow this chart to find the lodging that best suits your needs.


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What South Rim location do you want to stay in?

At the Rim

Historic hotel without AC: 1
Historic hotel with AC: 2
Modern hotel without AC: 3 & 4

Away from the Rim and Crowds

Modern hotel without AC: 6 West & 7 South
Modern hotel with AC: 6 East & 7 North
Pet-friendly: 6 West

Canyon Bottom

Near the Colorado River: 5

1. Bright Angel Lodge

Bright Angel Lodge in the Grand Canyon. NPS photo by Micheal Quinn.

Bright Angel Lodge in the Grand Canyon. NPS photo by Micheal Quinn.

Located just feet from the rim of the Grand Canyon and the South Rim’s famed Bright Angel trailhead, the Bright Angel Lodge is full of character. Architect Mary Jane Colter was hired to refresh the structure to provide travelers with a more affordable alternative to El Tovar Hotel down the path.

At the Bright Angel Lodge, you can choose from 90 lodging units that range from standard lodge rooms to historic cabins to historic units with a shared bath. There are not many rooms with canyons views, which may be architect Mary Jane Colter’s subtle reminder to guests to spend as much time outside as possible to experience the Grand Canyon.

Read more about Bright Angel Lodge.

2. El Tovar Hotel

El Tovar Hotel and Restaurant at the Grand Canyon's South Rim

El Tovar Hotel and Restaurant at the Grand Canyon's South Rim. 

If El Tovar Hotel’s walls could speak, they would tell stories of presidential visits from President Teddy Roosevelt to President Clinton and some of the greatest thinkers in history like Albert Einstein. Settle into one of the 78 rooms in this elegant hotel right on the rim of the Grand Canyon.

Read more about El Tovar Hotel.

3. Thunderbird Lodge

Thunderbird Lodge.

Thunderbird Lodge. 

Conveniently located between El Tovar and Bright Angel Lodge, Thunderbird Lodge was built in 1968 and its facade reflects the era. Its location is fantastic as it sits on the canyon rim in the heart of the South Rim's historic district.

Read more about Thunderbird Lodge.

4. Kachina Lodge

Kachina Lodge

Kachina Lodge

Conveniently located between the historic El Tovar Hotel and Bright Angel Lodge, Kachina Lodge does not have deep-rooted histories like its neighbors down the path. But what it lacks in historic depth and charm, it makes up for in location.

Built in the late 1960s, it sits right on the canyon rim, making it easy to explore some of the South Rim's best attractions by foot.

Read more about Kachina Lodge.

5. Phantom Ranch

Phantom Ranch Cabins at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Phantom Ranch Cabins at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

If you are looking for a unique experience powered by your own feet (or of those of a mule you are riding on top) in the Grand Canyon's South Rim, look no further than Phantom Ranch. There are four dormitories: two for males and two for females. Each dorm has five bunk beds, a restroom and a shower. The ranch provides towels and bedding for each guest. There are cabins you can stay in, as well. While the cabins are variable in size, they can fit between two to 10 people.

Read more about Phantom Ranch.

6. Yavapai Lodge

Yavapai Lodge (West). Courtesy photo

Yavapai Lodge (West). 

If you are looking for convenience and a reasonably priced room, consider Yavapai Lodge located about a mile from the South Rim. The lodge also stands out in that it has one building with 16 pet-friendly rooms, a major convenience for hotel travelers traveling with their four-legged friends.

Yavapai Lodge West
Rooms are equipped with ceiling fans. Pet-friendly rooms are available. The style is reminiscent of old Route 66 motels.

Yavapai Lodge East
Modern rooms in six two-story buildings where you can cool off in air conditioning.

Read more about Yavapai Lodge.

7. Maswik Lodge

Maswik Lodge

Maswik Lodge

Located a quarter of a mile from the edge of the Grand Canyon, Maswik Lodge is nestled in a ponderosa pine forest. In some ways, it's hard to imagine such a large canyon exists so close by when you are standing on the Maswik property and surrounded by towering ponderosas.

Maswik North
Two-story buildings with air conditioning.

Maswik South
Two-story buildings with no air conditioning.

Read more about Maswik Lodge.