My family and I will be travelling from Palm Springs, CA. to Kansas in July. We are planning on stopping at the Grand Canyon, but are having trouble figuring out where to stay while we are there. Any suggestions would be much appreciated
Grand Canyon Lodges
There are three basic options.
1. If you want to stay in the park itself, contact Xanterra, the management company (you can find them on the web). Cheapest accommodation at the South Rim is Maswik Lodge, which is a couple of blocks away from the edge of the abyss. For a few dollars more, there are several others right on the edge; the El Tovar is the nicest and most expensive. Summer is the busy season, so look for reservations NOW if you want to stay there (same probably goes for the 2nd option).
2. Tusayan is a little town just south of the park. It's about a 5 or 8 mile drive to the South Rim village. One of the advantages of staying there is there is more variety in dining choices than at the park's venues. If I remember correctly, the hotels in Tusayan are the Red Feather, Moqui Lodge, Grand Canyon Squire Inn -- and probably more as well by now. Be prepared to pay $4 for a Big Mac in Tusayan!
3. Flagstaff and Williams are only 50 to 75 miles away. There are many, many choices for lodging and dining available in Flagstaff, and an adequate number in Williams as well. You can save a LITTLE money by commuting back and forth, although with gas prices where they are, I'm not sure how much.
One thing you'll find worth the cost -- there is an IMAX theater in Tusayan. The film they show about the Canyon is magnificent. Bob
The Moqui Lodge is closed since about one year due to business reasons.
There is a nice Holiday Inn Express which has breakfast included in the rate which ranges from $115 to $150.
Thank you for the update. I have noticed they really cash in on the fact that there are not alot of places to stay in that area. Fortunantly the rest of our road trip stays will be much cheaper.
There are reasons for higher prices.
First, there is continual high demand for services, whether food, auto, lodging or other. This contributes to a sellers market. Second, anything sold there is trucked in from elsewhere, so transportation costs to the remote area add to the expense.
Finally, McDonalds, (for example) in most cities pays minimum wage for counter clerks; in Tusayan, however, they have to import the staff as well as the product from some other place, and not only pay them, but provide lodging and other amenities to get them to stay any length of time, because there isn't a resident labor force.
The alternative is to have no services at Tusayan, and everyone would drive to Flagstaff or Williams to eat and sleep. That's not going to happen... So just consider that you're paying a little extra for the convenience -- the Canyon is worth it -- IMO!
Where to stay at the canyon
It's expensive to stay in GCNP and well worth it. If you arrive without reservations, go to a lodge and use their phone. They can also tell you if they have rooms and where. You can catch cancellations this way. We stayed in Yavapai lodge for 2 days while waiting for a room at El Tovar.
EL tovar is wonderful, bring money. The dining is an experience overlooking the canyon. Sunrise and sunset in the Canyon is spiritual at the least.
Xanterra gets a lot of cancellations on Mondays so call late Monday, early Tuesday to see if you can get what you need.
Thanks for advice about the Monday cancellations. Going without a reservation is what makes it an adventure!
Places to stay at Grand Canyon
My son and I stayed at the Rodeway
Red Feather Lodge in Tusayan in March '03
and had a wonderful experience. The staff
was very friendly and helpful. Yes, everything
in Tusayan is expensive, five dollar
happy meals and twenty dollar pizzas, but
the cost is high to have a town so close
to the G.C. The water there must be trucked
in. One big advantage to being so close is
less drive time. We stayed at the Canyon
until dark, and the next morning, after it
snowed quarter-sized snowflakes all night,
we made the short drive back and watched a
breathtaking sunrise. Wherever you decide
to stay, you should make reservations A.S.A.
P. The Canyon is very crowded in the summer.
You can also get discounts buy reserving early.