Grand Canyon Hotels
There are around 2,000 hotel rooms in close proximity to the South Rim, many of which can be found scattered throughout the Grand Canyon Village which is encompassed by the park. Other hotels can be found in the nearby community of Tusayan.
Nevertheless, as the Grand Canyon is such a popular destination, the best accommodations tend to get booked up quickly. As a result, it is important that you reserve your accommodation months in advance, especially if you want views of the Grand Canyon from your room. As the room rates are set by the National Park Service, rates are dependent on hotel facilities as opposed to proximity to the park. This can make staying in a rim side cabin the same price as a charmless motel room a mile away!
There are plenty of mid-range accommodation options available in the South Rim area. In addition to independent three-star accommodations, major chains like Best Western and Holiday Inn Express have properties here.
There are also a number of luxury properties in the area which promise high levels of customer service and superior facilities. One of the most famous is El Tovar Hotel which dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and has visual similarities to Swiss chalets and Norwegian villas.
Budget accommodation can be found around the South Rim in the form of campsites and lodges. In addition, room rates fall dramatically between January and March in a bid to maintain occupancy levels, so you can make some great savings by timing your trip to coincide with the low season. During the winter room rates drop by between $20 and $40 per night.
The Top Things to do in the Grand Canyon
Of course, there are a host of different excursions and activities to enjoy when visiting here. One quite popular tour for those who are a bit more intrepid consists of a helicopter ride. This professionally supervised attraction will provide you with a bird’s eye view of the entire landscape and is perfect if you wish to snap a few stunning panoramic photos during your stay.
Camping is another extremely common activity to be experienced here. Most of the campsites are confined to areas along the North and South Rims of the canyon and within very specific locations. Keep in mind that some campsites along the North Rim are often closed seasonally due to snow and potential road closures.
Those who are more active can choose to hike down to the floor of the canyon and back up within a single day. However, this is not for the faint of heart. The trails are steep and rocky while the temperature variations between the bottom and top can be quite extreme.
Due to the presence of the Colorado River, rafting is another fun attraction that can be enjoyed. There are different grades of difficulty depending upon if you are experienced or a novice. Most of the tours are completely supervised by an experienced rafter. Rapids, waterfalls and tranquil waters are only a few of the sights to be seen here. If you arrive during the summer months, a rafting excursion is a great way to beat the heat.
For an extraordinary view of a portion of the canyon, you can choose to visit a site known as Toroweap Overlook. Located over 3,000 meters above the canyon floor, this is a great place to take photographs and enjoy a stunning sunset or two during your stay. This is actually the only point where the Colorado River can be viewed vertically from above.