Hotel in or near Grand Canyon

Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:24 PM
  #1  
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Hotel in or near Grand Canyon

Hi everyone~
I need a quick bit of advice. I'm in Sedona for a training. I've been here for a week now, with one to go. My SO is flying out at the end of the week to drive home with me and we were thinking of driving up and spending one night at the Grand Canyon or at least somewhere close. I have limited computer access here but thought if I posted this early enough, someone might have some hotel recommendations for me.

We don't need super fancy and would like to keep the price around $100 but would like something more than just decent. Does that make sense? It will just be the one night (Monday). If I was on my own computer, I'd be all over the Net doing research but that just isn't possible here. I'll be checking abck as I can to see if anyone can help me out.

Thanks!!!
cat111719 is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:35 PM
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Xanterra runs the hotels in the park. The website is: https://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/

As of right now, the only hotel with availability for next Monday (the 30th) is Yavapai Lodge. A standard 2 queen bed in the west section is $107, otherwise a room in the east section is $153. You'd be 1/4 of a mile from the rim.

You can also call them to check for last-minute cancellations. Phone: Toll-free within the U.S. 888.29.PARKS (888.297.2757)

Rooms are nothing fancy, if you want something nicer than average you'd have to go with El Tovar but those rooms are $175 or so a night if you can find availability. There are some hotels outside the park but in-park lodging is the way to go.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:37 PM
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Try getting a place in the park. Xanterra handles the reservations for all of the places there call 303-297-2757 or 888-292-2757. People reserve a year in advance and often have to cancel. Keep trying. el Tovar is a nice hotel on the rim, Bright Angel has cabins and a lodge on or close to the rim, Thunderbird and Kachina are motels on the rim, Yavapai and Maswik are motels a short way back from the rim and have shuttles to the rim.
emalloy is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:37 PM
  #4  
J62
 
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The in-park lodging operator is Xanterra - www.xanterra.com. Any of the in-park lodges are fine for one night.

4 are right on the rim, all basically side by side so location is identical.

El Tovar is top end hotel
Bright Angel is next
Then Thunderbird and Kachina.

Just off the rim but still in the park are Yavapai and Maswik. A quick search on that website shows that there are rooms avail at Yavapai Lodge for $107. They are your basic hotel rooms - nothing fancy at all. The $107 rate rooms are in the Yavapai West. - the older 1/2 of the property. They have rooms in the newer (but not really any fancier) East buildings for $153. They are a little bigger and have AC, which you won't need in March.


My recommendation is book the room at Yavapai West, then on each day from now until then call to see if they have a cancellation at one of the lodges on the rim. You can get to Yavapai to the rim area by free shuttle bus so it's perfectly fine & close (1/2 mile from the rim as the crow flies, ~1+ mile from the main rim hotel/restaurant/museum area.) Something special about staying right at the rim though - being able to walk out of your room, grab a coffee and enjoy the sunrise in absolute peace and quiet.

The phone # is 888-297-2757.
J62 is online now  
Mar 23rd, 2009, 04:39 PM
  #5  
J62
 
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Seems as though we were all posting at the same time. Good to know our info matches.
J62 is online now  
Apr 2nd, 2009, 03:57 PM
  #6  
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Just wanted to check back in and say thank you! All of your advice was spot on. We got a room at the Yavapai and it was perfect, just what we needed. We could have gotten a room at El Tovar but it was non-view and was close to $275 for one night. As it was, we just drove right up to the rim after check-in and had cocktails and appetizers at El Tovar, right by the window, just in time for the sunset. We also ate breakfast there and it was excellent!

Next time, we want to try to stay in one of the cabins at Bright Angel - that looks really fun.

Sidenote - Whoever designed the Thunderbird and the Kachina should surrender their architectural license immediately!

Well, thanks again! It really helped a lot!!!
cat111719 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 04:06 AM
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If you want one of the cabins at Bright Angel that are on the rim, be sure to specify that when you make the reservation. There are some that are back a little bit, not far but there is parking between them and the rim, so just a one minute walk, but if it is the rim from your room that you want you need to specify. The little cabin we stayed in was one of the ones that was back a little, it was fine but small and unlike some NP places we've stayed, had a TV which we didn't use. The positive was that we could park there and so didn't have to jockey for a place to park near Bright Angel Lodge. Yes, Thunderbird and Kachina are not beautiful but their location can't be beat and the rooms are very standard motel rooms. Glad you had a good trip, one of the most spectacular places on earth, everyone should experience it at least once.
emalloy is online now  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 08:22 AM
  #8  
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We are thinking of the cabins just to be able to walk to El Tovar for breakfast and such, though the rim would be nice, just not mandatory.

Has anyone stayed at Phantom Ranch? That sounds like a great trip. During the winter they do two-night mule trips. I wonder if it is as fun as it sounds or if it is more torturous.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 08:48 AM
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Phantom Ranch---yes, we have stayed there. We have also camped at the nearby campground, which we prefer over staying in the dorms at Phantom. We then buy dinner at Phantom; the food is very good and the experience fun.

The mule riders get cabins at Phantom, which is a good thing. (Most of the hikers have to stay in ten-person dorms).

It is a magical place, I think. So remote and peaceful, and lots of history. It used to be a Hollywood-type getaway retreat, complete with swimming pool, which was filled in years ago. You can still see the outlines where it was.

Whether the mule ride down is fun or torture is totally up to the individual. There is a women who posts here occasionally, and also on Tripadvisor, who has done it four times now and keeps going back. She and her husband love it. I'm sure there are others who are so glad to get off that mule they'd rather walk back up.

I think everyone who goes loves the scenery on the way down and back up, regardless of how they get there. It is truly the best way to see the canyon, passing down through all the layers and geologic strata. (Raft trips are good too, but we've never done one and likely never will).
enzian is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 09:00 AM
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cat111719---a few more comments. If you are seriously interested, I can explain more about getting the Phantom reservations. It is not easy! But there are some things to know that may help.

Also, if you would consider hiking down and camping (where you can stay 2 nights year round, not just in winter) I can explain the permit process. You can pay to have the mules carry your gear down and back up if you don't want to carry it on your own back.
enzian is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2009, 12:52 PM
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Enzian, I might do that. How long of a hike is it? Do you have to be in top condition? I guess I have to decide which I would rather have be sore - my legs or my a**!

I'm really intrigued by Phantom Ranch but I guess we can eat there even if we are camping. Maybe I should look into rating in instead. I just love the historical aspect. SO is an architect and really loves Mary Colter's work. It may be a few years before we could really get a trip like that together but I would love to know ho, just in case. Thanks!
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 01:42 PM
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Hiking down into the Grand Canyon AND back up is a difficult and exhausting hike, made more so by the intense heat that develops in summer. You start the hike at 7,000 feet and must return to that altitude. It is dangerous for those who are not in shape. You must wear proper hiking boots, and take plenty of water. If you have to be rescued, you will pay the cost of the rescue. People have died in the canyon.
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Apr 3rd, 2009, 07:58 PM
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Yes, people have died hiking in the Grand Canyon. But more have died in Yosemite, and crossing the street here in any major city.

Most of the Grand Canyon deaths can be attributed to poor health (cardiac failure), poor planning (lack of water and/or getting lost) or extreme heat. I would never attempt it in the summer. Nor should an inexperienced person try to hike down and back in one day.

But in fall or spring, with an overnight stay at the bottom, it is a great hike. (Winter too, if you are prepared to deal with snow and possibly icy trails at the top). You must be in good health to do it, and reasonably fit. Someone who is not a hiker will be sore in the knees and quads after the hike down, and very tired after the hike up. But most healthy people can do it, although it may be difficult for the last couple of miles up.

DH and I hike all the time, and we do not find this hike difficult at all. We've done it 3 times so far. We are both in our 60's. Our 14-year-old daughter went with us once, and loved it.

Most people use the South Kaibab trail to descend---losing 4800 feet in elevation over about 7 miles. The hike up is on the longer, less steep Bright Angel trail, which has water on the way--an important consideration.

But if you have any doubts about the hike, the mules are a great option. Have you ever ridden a horse? You'll be on the mule for about 4 hours in each direction, which is pretty tiring. That hot shower feels great after you arrive.

You mentioned an interest in Mary Jane Colter. Did you have a chance to see any of her other projects at the Grand Canyon? (There are 6 in all, with the Watchtower being her finest. I haven't seen that yet myself). There was a great article about her in the Smithsonian a while back. She was a small woman, a smoker, and tough. She would be on the site every day to supervise, and if she didn't like the way the work was going, she would make them do it over. The rocks in the fireplace at Bright Angel Lodge are arranged in order of the geologic strata---not that most people seeing it would even know that. But it was important to her.

Anyway. . . back to Phantom. It is reputed to be the second hardest place in the US to get reservations (the toughest is French Laundry). Reservations open up on the first day of the month one year in advance. So, for example, for a reservation anytime in May, 2010, you would call on May 1, 2009. You have to call---they don't do on-line reservations. People who are serious about it will have multiple phones dialing in repeatedly. You are very lucky if you get through within a half-hour or so, and luckier still if you actually get a reservation. I think the mule trips are a bit easier to get than the hiker's spots, which are much less expensive!

The time of year also makes a difference. Spring and fall are the toughest, especially May and September/early October when hikers are trying to book for a rim to rim hike. I think winter is easier; fewer people think of going then. Summer is also popular, but personally I would not want to go in that heat.

A different option would be to book a raft trip that includes an overnight stay at Phantom. This would be a "partial" trip, not the whole Grand Canyon. You either raft from Lees Ferry to Phantom and hike out ("Upper canyon trip"), or hike down to Phantom and meet the rafts for a trip the rest of the way ("Lower canyon trip"). This river outfitters' website describes the various trips and lists the outfitters:

http://www.adventuresports.com/wwraf...es/options.htm

Not many of the companies offer the option of an overnight at Phantom, but this one does:

http://www.canyoneers.com/pages/trip...erGrandPhantom

Dates and prices:

http://www.canyoneers.com/pages/dates_09.html

It is easier to get reservations for these raft trips as they don't operate on the "first day of the month" rule like Xanterra does. Who knows---you might even find availability for this year. I would go in May if I had a choice (rather than July or August when it is much hotter).

The river is always cold, even in summer.
enzian is offline  
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