Revered for its plummeting ravines, craggy ridges, and rusty red rocks, the Grand Canyon offers a captivating escape from the chaos of daily life. It’s teeming with activities, from scaling the mile-deep canyon to traversing the awe-inducing glass Skywalk, so there’s something for everyone.
While you can fill your days with exciting activities and sightseeing, you’ll need somewhere to stay at night. The options are plentiful, from the sprawling city of Flagstaff to the quaint town of Tusayan. Here’s where to stay near the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon: An Overview
The Grand Canyon is a natural wonder of the world and one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the United States, seeing well over four million visitors every year. Covering over 270 miles in northern Arizona, the canyon features an array of unique geological formations and vibrant colors.
Its history dates back millions of years when the Colorado River slowly whittled away the rock layers to create a massive gorge. Over the years, the Grand Canyon has seen many inhabitants, including various Native American tribes. The most prominent tribes were the Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Navajo, and Paiute.
The history of the Grand Canyon dates back millions of years. The canyon was formed by the Colorado River, which slowly carved its way through the rock layers over time. The canyon itself is estimated to be between 5 and 6 million years old, although the rocks that make up the canyon are much older, with some dating back over 2 billion years.
It wasn’t until the late 19th century that the Grand Canyon began to receive widespread attention from geologists, explorers, and eventually tourists.
Today, the Grand Canyon is a national park, one of the seven natural world wonders, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s home to numerous plant varieties and animal species and is a popular destination for various recreational activities, including hiking, rafting, and camping.
Grand Canyon Village
Situated on the South Rim and close to the visitor centers, Grand Canyon Village is a go-to spot for visitors who want to admire the landscape. The village has a rich history, plenty of lodging options, numerous trailheads, and multiple places to collect souvenirs. Various dining and shopping options provide plenty to do when you’re not touring or sightseeing.
Tusayan is the gateway to the Grand Canyon, located just one mile from the action. This quaint little town offers plenty, from ample restaurants and convenience stores to hotels and cozy accommodations. There’s even a shuttle service that transports people to the Grand Canyon!
If you’re wondering where to stay in the Grand Canyon, Tusayan is a worthwhile consideration.
As a historic town nestled in northern Arizona on Route 66, Williams is an excellent choice for those who enjoy rich history and small towns. It features a scenic railway to the Grand Canyon that carries you in restored rail cars and offers entertaining antics from cowboy characters and lively musicians.
While this town is undoubtedly small, it has plenty of hotels, motels, and B&Bs available for your stay. Plenty of dining and entertainment options offer plenty to do in the evenings.
Flagstaff might be an ideal option if you prefer the luxuries a larger city can offer. Flagstaff is teeming with entertaining cultural attractions and buzzing nightlife, ensuring you’ll have plenty to do when you’re not touring or enjoying scenic drives through the Grand Canyon.
It has various accommodation options, including upscale hotels, cozy home rentals, and reservable campsites.
Renowned for its unique red rock landscapes, Sedona is a phenomenal choice for those who want a blend of breathtaking views and modern luxuries. It boasts numerous upscale resorts and spas for maximum relaxation, art galleries for calm activities, and handfuls of lively outdoor activities.
If you prefer fully immersing yourself in nature, camping might be the perfect place to stay. The Grand Canyon and surrounding areas have plenty of camping opportunities for tents, RVs, trailers, caravans or camper vans, pickup campers, fifth wheels, and pop-ups. Pick a perch close to your booked activities, but remember to reserve ahead of time!
Choosing the Right Accommodation
Accommodations are a core part of almost any trip. Here are a few tips to help you choose where to stay at the Grand Canyon.
As you browse for the perfect place to hang your hat during your stay, consider your needs. Do you have a nightly budget you want to stay within? How close do you want to be to the action? Are there activities you booked that you need to be close by? Do you prefer specific amenities?
Your answer to each question will help you select the ideal fit for your stay.
Booking Tips and Availability
During peak season (summer), accommodations around the Grand Canyon fill up rapidly. So, to ensure you can find available lodgings, planning ahead is crucial. If possible, plan your trip with ample time to secure lodgings before they’re booked.
If you wait too long, you’ll likely have to drive further to a different city or area to find available lodgings. Accommodations are more widely available in slower seasons, so booking weeks or months in advance isn’t as critical.
Consult Guest Reviews
The reviews on hotels, lodges, campsites, and other accommodations can be insightful as you search for the perfect place to stay. They can offer valuable tidbits about what to expect and whether it fits your needs. So, as you search for accommodations for your trip, it doesn’t hurt to peruse previous guest reviews.
6 Travel Tips for the Grand Canyon
As you travel in and around the Grand Canyon to experience the full breadth of its striking beauty, there are a few things to remember. Here are six travel tips for visiting the Grand Canyon:
- Best time to visit: The Grand Canyon is magnificent in late spring and early fall, as temperatures are more manageable and crowds are minimal. Summer can also be an ideal visiting season, but it’s the park’s peak season, so be prepared for massive crowds, limited lodging, and scorching temperatures.
- Hiking precautions: If you plan to hike the Grand Canyon, ensure you prepare accordingly. Wear comfortable closed-toe shoes, bring plenty of water, bring sunscreen, and be prepared for elevation changes and scorching temperatures. Remember to get a backcountry permit for overnight trips.
- Steer clear of animals: The Grand Canyon is home to various animals, including desert bighorn sheep, mule deer, reptiles, coyotes, grey foxes, birds, and rodents. If you come across any animals, leave them be.
- Camping preparedness: If you plan to camp, ensure you bring the camping essentials and make reservations for campsites you want to stay at, if applicable.
- Leave no trace: Be courteous and leave each place as you find it. Pick up trash and other items you bring along with you to leave no trace.
- Plan ahead: Lodgings around the Grand Canyon fill up fast, especially during peak season. Ensure you plan accordingly and book accommodations in advance.
Explore The Grand Canyon’s Beauty
Are you ready to explore the Grand Canyon’s jaw-dropping beauty but need help figuring out where to start? A guided tour of the canyon might be the perfect fit. Our guided tours take you through the stark wonders Arizona offers, from the towering burnt sienna rocks of Sedona to the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon.
At Caravan, we handle the hard parts for you, so you can enjoy the excursion without worrying about the details. Book your next trip to this stunning destination by calling 1-800-CARAVAN or +1-312-321-9800.