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Best Hotels + Places To Stay Near Grand Canyon South Rim

Best Hotels + Places To Stay Near Grand Canyon South Rim

Are you looking for the best hotels near Grand Canyon South Rim? We’re going to explain everything you need to know about each national park run lodging option on South Rim, as well as the best places to stay in nearby towns to help you choose exactly where to stay for your budget and Grand Canyon National Park travel goals.

Is it worth staying at Grand Canyon South Rim?

Yes, it is definitely worth staying close to Grand Canyon South Rim if you are planning to hike down into the canyon or photograph sunrise and sunset over the famous landscape. Having quick and easy access to trailheads and photo spots will make planning your itinerary much easier.

We have personally visited Grand Canyon South Rim on two separate occasions. The first time we stayed in Tusayan and Grand Canyon Junction, and the second time we stayed in Williams.

Here’s what we will show you:

  • What to expect from hotels around Grand Canyon South Rim
  • 7 Grand Canyon National Park lodging options
  • 4 best places to stay near Grand Canyon South Rim
  • Top tips for booking your hotel

Let’s find you the perfect Grand Canyon South Rim hotel!

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Are There Many Hotel Options Around South Rim?

There are 7 lodging options right inside Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim and many more hotel options located in several small nearby towns.

As a general rule to follow, hotel prices are cheaper and amenities are better the further away from Grand Canyon South Rim you go.

You might already be aware that booking hotels or lodges can be a real problem when visiting some of the most popular US National Parks due to lack of availability, options, cost or the sheer size of a park like Yellowstone or Death Valley.

However, this is not the case at Grand Canyon South Rim.

You will find hundreds of rooms available in park lodges scattered around South Rim but they are extremely popular and the convenience will cost you. Hotels in nearby towns typically offer more amenities and cheaper prices better suited to budget travelers.

What are your plans for South Rim?

Read our popular first time visitor guide to Grand Canyon South Rim including best things to do and itinerary examples to help you plan the perfect visit.

Couple wearing heavy winter coats on a foggy day standing on rocks
Mark and Kristen in heavy winter coats on a snowy day at Grand Canyon South Rim

Our Grand Canyon South Rim Hotels Experience

The first time we visited South Rim was back in November 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic.

Grand Canyon was one of last stops on our first 3 month road trip around the US. We were getting to the end of our travel budget and we were booking hotels last minute so we could be flexible.

The only hotel option in Valle (also known as Grand Canyon Junction) called Grand Canyon Inn had a really cheap nightly rate and it was reasonably close to the park so we took it. The stay was good but we had to wake up extra early to get to Mather Point for Grand Canyon sunrise photography.

Next night we found a cheap night at the Best Western in Tusayan which was excellent and far more convenient for accessing South Rim.

The second time we visited South Rim in December 2021 after driving down the US west coast from Seattle WA to Sedona AZ.

This time we had a healthier budget and decided to stay a night at Bright Angel Lodge inside the park. After hiking the amazing South Kaibab to Bright Angel Trail from rim to river and back, we left South Rim and spent a night at the Best Western Plus Inn of Williams because it was half way down to Sedona.

Stunning sunset in grand canyon national park one of the best reasons to stay in a nearby hotel is sunrise and sunset access
Dusk at Hopi Point in Grand Canyon South Rim

Where To Stay In Grand Canyon South Rim

Let’s take a look at your 7 lodging options within Grand Canyon National Park South Rim, which you will see as Grand Canyon Village when looking at a map.

Here are the 7 places you can stay:

  • 1. El Tovar
  • 2. Bright Angel Lodge + Cabins
  • 3. Kachina Lodge
  • 4. Thunderbird Lodge
  • 5. Maswik Lodge
  • 6. Yavapai Lodge
  • 7. Phantom Ranch

El Tovar, Bright Angel Lodge, Kachina Lodge and Thunderbird Lodge are all located next to one another in a crescent shape along the South Rim.

Maswik Lodge is located around 5 minutes walk back from South Rim, and Yavapai Lodge is located between the village and main visitor center near Mather Point.

Phantom Ranch is the only official lodging at the bottom of Grand Canyon National Park but it is very hard to get a bed and you will have to enter a lottery system.

What Are The Benefits To Staying In Grand Canyon South Rim Lodging?

Staying right next to Grand Canyon South Rim means you have a far more convenient location.

You can easily reach all of the best hikes in Grand Canyon South Rim, hop on the Hermit Road shuttle bus to reach the most popular sunset spots and access Desert View Drive to explore the best views into Grand Canyon from the east.

Those with just one night to spend at South Rim should consider a national park lodge to save on drive time in and out of the park.

Need help organizing your visit to Grand Canyon South Rim?

Our popular 30+ page Grand Canyon South Rim Guidebook can help you with planning every aspect of your trip.

What Are The Downsides To Staying At A Park Run Hotel In South Rim?

Grand Canyon South Rim lodging tends to be more expensive when compared to hotels in nearby towns. In addition, rooms are booked long in advance so even if budget is of no concern you have to be organized.

This quote is taken directly from the Grand Canyon NPS website about lodging:

“South Rim lodging is available all year, and books up well in advance, especially during spring break, summer months, and fall weekends.”

Important – Prices fluctuate significantly from day to day and month to month at each of the park lodges. If you have flexible dates, you stand a much better chance of picking up a good deal.

The only other downside is a lack of choice when it comes to restaurants. You are stuck with what you have at the lodges in South Rim, but that will only really impact anyone who stays for 3 or more days.

Lodging In Grand Canyon South Rim

OK, let’s take a closer look at each park run hotel in Grand Canyon South Rim!

Hiker walking a stone path trail leading down into Grand Canyon South Rim at sunrise
Kristen hiking down South Kaibab Trail at sunrise

1. El Tovar Hotel

El Tovar is Grand Canyon South Rim’s premier and most celebrated historic hotel. There are 78 rooms available at El Tovar, but this is a popular place to stay so book up as soon as you know your travel dates.

Stay at El Tovar Hotel for location, history and if you have a larger budget for your trip to Grand Canyon South Rim.

Google Reviews: 4.4 / 5 after thousands of ratings (as of January 2023).

Room Cost: Rooms start at $278 + tax per night for a double room in Winter but you can expect to pay more in peak season.

>> Book El Tovar: Grand Canyon Lodges | Hotels.com


Bright Angel Lodge behind the trail sign in Arizona
Bright Angel Lodge right on the edge of South Rim

2. Bright Angel Lodge + Cabins

Bright Angel Lodge + Cabins is the cheapest place you can stay in Grand Canyon South Rim. There are 90 lodging units, some with shared bathrooms which are offered at even cheaper nightly rates.

Stay here for location and if you are traveling on a tight budget. Bright Angel is the only lodging you will find along the rim costing under $150 / night.

The lodge is situated on the edge of a cliff at the beginning of the popular Bright Angel hiking trail. Staying here would be extremely convenient if you plan to hike down into the canyon via Bright Angel.

You will need to be flexible and be able to travel midweek to get a cheaper rate. Due to the lower price point and prime time location, Bright Angel Lodge fills very early.

Google Reviews: 4.3 / 5 after thousands of ratings (as of January 2023).

Room Cost: Rooms start at $129 + tax / night for rooms with or without shared bathrooms in Winter. Expect to pay more in peak season.

>> Book Bright Angel Lodge: Grand Canyon Lodges | Hotels.com


Tree with no leaves on a blue sunny day in Arizona overlooking a deep gorge
Lone tree standing watch over South Rim

3. Kachina Lodge

Kachina Lodge is a fantastic mid range budget lodging option at Grand Canyon South Rim. It sits in the middle ground between cost and comfort when compared to El Tovar and Bright Angel Lodge.

Some of the rooms at Kachina Lodge have ‘partial’ canyon views, but they will of course be snapped up instantly so getting booked early is key.

Kachina Lodge is also located right on the rim but is less popular than both lodges above.

Google Reviews: 4.0 / 5 after hundreds of ratings (as of January 2023).

Room Cost: Rooms start at $226 + tax / night in the Winter season but Summer will be more expensive.

>> Book Kachina Lodge: Grand Canyon Lodges | Hotels.com


Camera and beer on a table in Yavapai Tavern at Grand Canyon South Rim
Refueling at lunch time in Yavapai Tavern

4. Thunderbird Lodge

Aside from having a catchier name, Thunderbird Lodge is a carbon copy of Kachina Lodge.

However, Thunderbird Lodge tends to have a larger spread of price points from more affordable to more expensive depending on season.

Thunderbird Lodge also has a ‘family focus’ and is located right along South Rim Trail between Bright Angel Lodge and El Tovar.

Google Reviews: 4.2 / 5 after hundreds of ratings (as of January 2023).

Room Cost: Rooms start at $116 + tax / night in Winter, but expect to pay much more in peak season.

>> Book Thunderbird Lodge: Grand Canyon Lodges | Hotels.com


Desert View Watchtower on the far eastern side of Grand Canyon South Rim tall stone tower surrounded by trees on a sunny day with deep blue sky
Desert View Watchtower in the far east of Grand Canyon South Rim

5. Maswik Lodge

Maswik Lodge is a little further back from South Rim but still only a 5 minute walk. This is a huge complex featuring 12 buildings, each two-story for a total of 280 rooms.

Maswik Lodge has recently been redeveloped and heavily updated, which might make it a more appealing place to stay with modern touches.

Google Reviews: 4.1 / 5 after thousands of ratings (as of January 2023).

Room Cost: Rooms start at $113 + tax / night in Winter but increases throughout peak seasons.

>> Book Maswik Lodge: Grand Canyon Lodges | Hotels.com


Exterior photo of Yavapai Lodge on a sunny afternoon in Arizona
Yavapai Lodge lit up by sun around lunch time

6. Yavapai Lodge

Yavapai Lodge is the largest lodging option along Grand Canyon South Rim, with 358 guest rooms spread between Yavapai East and Yavapai West.

This lodge is a little further from the Rim but it has by far the most amenities. You will find Yavapai Tavern, restaurant, coffee shop, market, bank and post office within walking distance.

Yavapai Lodge provides one of the best value for money lodging options inside the national park. Stay here for lower cost, location and amenities.

This is the only hotel you can book at Grand Canyon South Rim through Visit Grand Canyon rather than Grand Canyon Lodges.

Google Reviews: 4.1 / 5 after thousands of ratings (as of January 2023).

Room Cost: Rooms start at $222 + tax / night, prices will increase between Spring and Fall.

>> Book Yavapai Lodge: Visit Grand Canyon | Hotels.com


Hiker enjoying a hot chocolate at Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Mark enjoying a hot chocolate at Phantom Ranch

7. Phantom Ranch (Canyon Floor)

Phantom Ranch is the only official place you can stay at the bottom of Grand Canyon National Park outside of backcountry camping.

The only way to reach Phantom Ranch is by hiking Bright Angel Trail or South Kaibab Trail, riding a mule or rafting along the Colorado River. Sounds like a pretty awesome place to spend a night!

However, the major problem is very limited space and enormous demand. Visitors to Grand Canyon South Rim can only stay here by ‘winning’ the Phantom Ranch lottery.

You can add on meals, have duffel service and sleep in dorms or cabins so there are a wide range of prices. We won’t list every cost but you can read more about Phantom Ranch or enter the lottery here.

Best Places To Stay Near Grand Canyon South Rim

What if there is no availability or prices are too high at the official park lodges?

Well, you can book a hotel at one of the following places to stay near Grand Canyon South Rim:

  • 1. Tusayan – 6.5 miles / 10 minutes drive
  • 2. Valle (Grand Canyon Junction) – 28.7 miles / 35 minutes
  • 3. Williams – 59 miles / 1 hour
  • 4. Flagstaff – 79 miles / 1 hour 30 minutes

Let’s take a closer look at each of your options.

Guest bedroom at a hotel in Tusayan near Grand Canyon South Rim two double beds
Our room at Best Western Premier in Tusayan

1. Tusayan

Tusayan is the closest town to Grand Canyon South Rim.

At just 6.5 miles (10 minute drive) to the main visitor center parking lot, Tusayan represents the best place to stay near Grand Canyon South Rim for convenience.

You will find a handful of restaurants plus fast food such as McDonalds and Wendy’s in Tusayan. There are also grocery stores, gas stations, tour companies and the Grand Canyon IMAX theater.

Hotels in Tusayan are more expensive than other towns near South Rim because of its superior location. You will need to weigh up the perfect cost versus convenience balance for your travel budget and plans.

Best Hotels In Tusayan AZ

Let’s take a look at the 5 best hotels in Tusayan in order of highest to lowest guest ratings as per Booking.com and Google:

Canyon Plaza Apartments are the best place to stay near Grand Canyon South Rim for longer stays because they have kitchens and they are also pet friendly.

The Grand Hotel is a popular hotel option in Tusayan but Best Western has the most reviews on Google. We stayed at Best Western and had a very positive experience.

Person in winter coat walking through trees on a path in fog with snow on sides
Kristen walking South Rim Trail in the snow

2. Valle (Grand Canyon Junction)

Valle is the second closest place to Grand Canyon South Rim along AZ-64 after Tusayan but it is very small.

When we first stayed in Valle there was just one hotel and restaurant with some new tent-style developments underway.

Today, there are a handful of additional places to stay in Valle including canvas tents and domes perfect for watching the dark night sky, and a popular bed and breakfast.

In addition, a highly rated restaurant called Fred’s Diner has recently opened, which was much needed for visitors staying in the Valle area.

Grand Canyon Junction is 28.7 miles from South Rim visitor center parking lot, which will take around 35-40 minutes to drive.

Best Hotels In Valle AZ

Here are the 5 best places to stay in Valle near Grand Canyon South Rim:

Grand Canyon Inn and Motel is your low budget hotel in Valle. Under Canvas and Clear Sky Resorts are very unique places to stay near Grand Canyon South Rim but they are expensive.

Dumplin Patch bed and breakfast is a homely place to stay for those who prefer a more personable lodging experience.

Hiker on a narrow trail with distant views of deep rock formations
Mark half way down South Kaibab Trail in mid morning

3. Williams

Heading further South to the very end of AZ-64 you will find the much larger town of Williams AZ, which sits just off I-40. This section of I-40 is part of the famous and historic Route 66.

Williams to Grand Canyon South Rim visitor center parking lot is 59 miles or 1 hour drive time. So it is certainly further out, but Williams has far more hotel options spanning a greater price range.

You will find a bunch of highly rated local restaurants and cafes in Williams which are seldom seen closer to the park, plus groceries, gas and fast food.

Williams is the best place to stay near Grand Canyon South Rim if you are looking for a traditional small town with better amenities and good (but not the best) access to Grand Canyon. It suits those who like comfort and don’t need to be inside the park for sunrise or stargazing.

Best Hotels In Williams AZ

With more to choose between in Williams, let’s take a look at the hotels with top guest ratings for each price bracket:

Cheap:

Mid Range:

Expensive:

Grand Canyon Railway Hotel has by far the most reviews of any hotel in Williams which means it is a hugely popular place to stay near Grand Canyon South Rim.

However, Trapper’s Rendezvous has the highest rating across both Booking.com and Google, so if you can stretch the budget you should take a look at staying there.

Bright Angel Bridge metal long and narrow suspension bridge crossing the Colorado River
Bright Angel Bridge crossing the Colorado River

4. Flagstaff

Flagstaff is the closest city to Grand Canyon South Rim at 79 miles and around 1 hour 30 minutes drive from the main visitor center.

With Grand Canyon to one side and Sedona to the other, as well as being surrounded by US National Monuments and hiking trails, we think Flagstaff is one of the best places to visit in Arizona.

Flagstaff also has an airport, which is served by Denver, Phoenix and Dallas / Fort Worth.

If you are flying into the Grand Canyon National Park region from afar, Phoenix and Las Vegas are the two major international airports near Grand Canyon South Rim.

You will find a huge selection of hotels, restaurants and other amenities in Flagstaff.

Top tip: Flagstaff is the perfect place to stay near South Rim for those who only plan to day trip into Grand Canyon before heading south to hike the best trails in Sedona.

Best Hotels In Flagstaff AZ

With far greater selection available, we have narrowed down the list to the following top rated cheap, mid range and expensive hotels in Flagstaff:

Cheap:

Mid Range:

Expensive:

Little America Hotel is by far the most popular place to stay in Flagstaff with thousand of positive reviews on both Booking.com and Google.

Residence Inn also has excellent ratings and would be a quality place to set up base for exploring Grand Canyon South Rim and beyond.

South kaibab trail hike wide open gorges and valleys blue sky
South Rim filled with midday sunlight

Grand Canyon Campgrounds and RV Park

If you can’t find a hotel to fit your travel budget inside or near Grand Canyon South Rim, you might consider camping or parking an RV instead.

We know camping isn’t for everyone but it is a way to stay inside Grand Canyon South Rim and save money.

Mather Campground and Trailer Villager RV Park are both located right on South Rim close to the lodges.

National Park campgrounds are notoriously difficult to book into these days, especially with small to medium sized companies ‘block booking’ camp sites.

You will have to be very flexible with dates and book as early as possible.

Late afternoon clouds over the amazing grand canyon where to stay nearby tusayan
Yavapai Point Vista in late afternoon

Tips For Booking Hotels At Grand Canyon South Rim

Let’s take a quick look at some helpful tips you can use when deciding where to stay at Grand Canyon South Rim.

  • Book as early as you have concrete travel dates to stand a better chance of getting the best hotel or lodge available at lower prices. Room rates will only go up the closer you get to your travel date.
  • Seriously consider whether you want the better South Rim location or the better amenities of a nearby town.
  • Think about what you will do either side of your visit to Grand Canyon. Does it make more sense to stay on South Rim or day trip into the park from Williams or Flagstaff?
  • Camping is a much cheaper alternative if you can find availability and don’t mind sleeping in a tent.

Top tip: Grand Canyon is open year round. You will find much cheaper hotels and lodging options both inside and near South Rim if you visit Grand Canyon in Winter.

Hotels In Grand Canyon South Rim FAQ’s

Let’s finish with some of the most asked questions about the best places to stay in Grand Canyon South Rim.

What Is The Cheapest Place To Stay Near Grand Canyon South Rim?

There are several low budget hotels available near Grand Canyon South Rim in Tusayan, Valle, Williams and Flagstaff. However, during low season between November and March you can also find cheaper nightly rates at lodges inside South Rim.

Is It Better To Stay In Grand Canyon South Rim Or In A Town Nearby?

Lodges in Grand Canyon South Rim are more expensive and have fewer amenities, but they have the ultimate convenience factor with popular hiking trails and photo spots right on the doorstep. Hotels in towns close to Grand Canyon South Rim are typically cheaper and have access to more amenities, which will suit those traveling on a lower budget.

Best Places To Stay Guides

Want more Arizona content? Head over to our Arizona Travel Guides to explore the best of Grand Canyon, Sedona and beyond.


We hope this guide about where to stay in Grand Canyon South Rim helps you plan your visit!

Please let us know if you have any questions about the best hotels or where to stay at Grand Canyon National Park

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

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