5 Best Spots to Stay in and Near the Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is not just one of the world’s most spectacular national parks but also one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Over 277 miles long and up to 18 miles wide, the Grand Canyon boasts a scale that is difficult to comprehend. The only way to truly appreciate its awe-inspiring size and beauty is to see it in person.
If you’re planning a trip to the Grand Canyon, it’s important to consider where you’re going to stay. There are several places in and around the Grand Canyon that host its five million yearly visitors. Each comes with unique advantages that may appeal to you and your needs.
Because this national park is one of our favorite destinations, we at Autio have created this list of our five favorite spots to stay when we visit the Grand Canyon.
1. Grand Canyon Village
If you want to stay as close to the canyon as possible, look no further than Grand Canyon Village. Situated on the south rim of the canyon, this township is home to 2,000 permanent residents who are passionate about the park and its visitors.
One of the many attractions here is the Hopi House, an over century-old stone building modeled after the 1,000-year-old pueblo dwellings of the Hopi village in Old Oraibi. At this historical landmark, you can appreciate the area’s native culture and purchase traditional Hopi crafts.
Grand Canyon Village is also within close proximity to the park’s most renowned hikes, such as Bright Angel Trail, Rim Trail, and Mather Point. These hikes are absolute musts when you visit the Grand Canyon, so being within walking distance of the trailheads is a huge advantage.
The most popular lodging option in Grand Canyon Village is The Grand Hotel, a three-diamond hotel with the best rustic luxury in the park. In addition to its beautiful surroundings, guests can enjoy top-notch dining and a heated swimming pool.
Other options in Grand Canyon Village include a Best Western Premier and a Holiday Inn Express, which provide excellent amenities and value.
If you feel a connection to the canyon and want to immerse yourself in it as much as possible, then camping is the way to go.
Located in Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim of the canyon, Mather Campground is as close as you can get to pure unadulterated nature. Each campsite includes a campfire ring and cooking grate, a picnic table, a parking space, and room for six people, three tents, and two vehicles.
On top of the convenience, camping is one of the best ways to experience the Grand Canyon. Through camping, you’ll get to remove yourself from the stress of modern society and take deep breaths of the fresh desert air.
Plus, Grand Canyon National Park is an International Dark Sky Park, meaning it has one of the best nighttime views of the galaxy in the world. Take it from us—there are few better places to sleep under the stars.
Affectionately nicknamed “the gateway to the Grand Canyon,” Williams is a small town that should be on every Grand Canyon Visitor’s itinerary. Situated along the historic Route 66 just 60 miles from the Grand Canyon, Williams is a destination in its own right. Even if you’re not staying in this lovely town, be sure to make a detour.
In Williams, you will find old-school diners, the stunning Kaibab Lake, and the Bearizona Wildlife Park. There, you’re sure to spot majestic creatures like mountain goats, bears, bison, and even wolves.
Other can’t-miss attractions include the Pete’s Route 66 Gas Station Museum and the Route 66 Zipline. Your family will fall in love with this town’s vintage aesthetic and energy.
Williams’ hotel offerings include the Grand Canyon Hotel, Red Roof Inn PLUS+, and Quality Inn. While the Red Roof Inn features a seasonal pool, the Grand Canyon Hotel boasts themed rooms that are great fun for the whole family.
3. Tuba City and Moenkopi
While the Grand Canyon undoubtedly provides some of the most stunning beauty in Arizona, the neighboring communities of Tuba City and Moenkopi give it a run for its money. About an hour east of the park’s entrance, these townships reside on native Navajo land and display strong ties to their roots.
In addition to dramatic landscapes of vibrant red rock and vast valleys, Tuba City and Moenkopi also contain budget-friendly lodging options near the Grand Canyon.
While they’re close enough to the park’s gates to make daily trips, you can definitely spend days exploring the immediate area. In addition to their immersive landscapes, you can also visit the Moenkopi Dinosaur Tracks and Navajo Interactive Museum to learn more about the history of the land.
Moenkopi is home to some top-notch glamping sites, meaning that you can experience the outdoor connection of camping while enjoying the luxuries of a hotel. Other affordable options include a Quality Inn, Moenkopi Legacy Suites, and Oasis in the Wild West––a cozy camper trailer with WiFi and television.
An over two-hour drive from the Grand Canyon, Sedona is the furthest option on our list. Nonetheless, Sedona is a beautifully quaint town that requires a visit in its own right. Boutique shops, luxury spas, and breathtaking scenery only begin to describe everything this oasis has to offer.
Sedona’s hiking trails are among the best in the state, with natural sites that are a must-see for any Arizona traveler, including Bell Rock, Cathedral Rock, and Boynton Canyon. The bell of the ball is Devil's Bridge, a natural red rock arch that overlooks a lush valley surrounded by soaring red mesas.
If you’re looking to kick things up a notch, Sedona’s attractions include high-octane off-road tours in convertible Jeeps. You can also find one of the best views in the state through a hot balloon ride over Sedona’s natural wonders. When you want to relax, take a stroll through Tlaquepaque, a collection of Mexican-style buildings that hosts over 50 boutique arts and crafts shops.
Ideal for the luxuriously-minded, some of Sedona’s best hotels include The Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort by Diamond Resorts, Hyatt Residence Club Sedona, and Best Western Plus Arroyo Roble Hotel & Creekside Villa.
If you want to experience the amenities of a city while visiting the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff is the place for you.
What sets Flagstaff apart from the other towns on this list is its unique geography. Surrounded by desert, mountains, and pine forests, Flagstaff is truly one of the most geographically diverse places in the state. If your dream is to visit the Grand Canyon and go skiing on the same day, dream no more.
Flagstaff is also a popular choice among Arizona newcomers, as its high elevation provides a welcomed escape from the Arizona heat.
In addition to skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing, Flagstaff’s visitors will want to explore historic sites like the Walnut Canyon National Monument and Barringer Meteor Crater. Flagstaff’s old-school downtown also cannot be missed.
Our hotel recommendations include Little America Hotel, Days Hotel by Wyndham, and Rodeway Inn & Suites. You can also find a variety of Airbnb offerings in Flagstaff if you want to live like a local.
Hit the Road With HereHear
Now that you know where to stay, it’s time to pack the car and drive over to the Grand Canyon.
Autio is all about ensuring that you have the most fun, informative, and memorable road trip possible. With our app, you can make the most of your journey with our wide range of tips, histories, and local insights specially curated for travelers like you.
Whether you’re off to get lost in a big city or seek inner peace among natural beauty, you can download Autio for all the information you need to make the absolute best of your adventure.
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International Dark Sky Parks | IDA
The 7 Natural Wonders Of The World: See Spectacular Scenery | Forbes