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“Not all cabins and rim views are created equal”

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Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 1, 2013

I stayed in a frontier cabin at the Grand Canyon Lodge for three nights Memorial Day weekend, 2013. The Grand Canyon Lodge has four choices of accommodations: Western cabins, pioneer cabins, frontier cabins and motel rooms. The only cabin I could book in advance was a pioneer cabin and I paid extra for my cabin because it was "rim side". But because of the thick grove of trees between my cabin and the canyon, I would describe the view from my cabin like the obstructed view from a cabin on a cruise ship. It is really not worth the extra money, in my opinion, to stay in a "rim side" cabin. My frontier cabin had one queen, one full and two twin beds (bunk bed) and it was clean, but it was very small, especially the bathroom. Grand Canyon Lodge claims my pioneer cabin could accommodate 6 people, but it would be crowded with that many people in the cabin at the same time.

For my money, I would stay in one of the western cabins in future visits. They are larger than the other cabins and have a better location, located nearer to both the lodge and the canyon than the other cabins. Only western cabins have porches and some of the western cabins had views of the canyon. The western cabins are also closer to the parking lot too. The parking lot of the lodge is located a short walking distance to the accommodations. That distance seems longer because of the altitude (almost 8000 feet) and the downhill slope from the parking lot to the cabins. But there is a free porter shuttle service where a GCL employee will transport you and your luggage by golf cart. None of the accommodations have TV, internet access or A/C. Cell phone reception is spotty at best also. But I expected rustic accommodations at the Grand Canyon Lodge and I enjoyed my stay in my cabin.

The best views of the Grand Canyon on the Grand Canyon Lodge property are from the actual lodge itself. What a grand view it is too. Picture postcard views abound from the lobby, the restaurant and the outside terraces of the lodge. The trail that leads to Bright Angel Point, one of the better viewing places on the North or South Rims, begins near the lodge and you should not miss seeing it.

Remember if you elect not to stay at the Lodge and still want to stay and visit the North Rim, the closest decent accommodations are outside the park at Jacob Lake, located over 40 miles away. Staying at the Lodge means you will not have to contend with the daily long lines to enter the park, since there is only one Ranger entry station that all vehicles must pass through. The wait to pass through the Ranger entry station can last sometimes from 30 minutes to an hour.

If you do not expect fancy and modern accommodations, then you should enjoy staying a few days at the Grand Canyon Lodge. I

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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4  Thank randallboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,226 - 1,232 of 2,245 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2013

We arrived at the North Ridge around 6 p.m. on the Trans Canyon Shuttle. We’d left our Jeep at the Market Plaza at the South Rim where we were going to end up the following evening since this was our long-planned Rim2Rim, north to south. I’ve been to the South Rim countless times, nearly every year, but strangely enough I’d never been to the north rim before.
The GC Lodge sits at 8255 ft. at the very tip of a promontory between the Transept and a side canyon of the Bridge Angel Canyon, perpendicular to Bright Angel Canyon.
The main lodge and the terrace outside look out across the Grand Canyon to the South Rim. A quarter-mile trail takes you to Bright Angel Point, and then you are really at the edge and the views are simply overwhelming.
There are guest cabins very close to the edge, others sit further back between the Ponderosa Pines. Our room was in the ‘motel’ style building at the end of the line, furthest from the rim, but that was okay, we simply needed a place to sleep. The room was perfectly clean and nicely decorated, albeit fairly small, which, again, didn’t matter, we needed a place to sleep, not a palace. The bed was very comfortable. At night it was totally calm and quiet – the only problem was earlier on after we’d gone to bed – admittedly fairly early, but since we were going to get up after 4 and hike over 23 miles across the Grand Canyon to the south rim we wanted an early night. Some of our dear neighboring guest seemed to be having them a major door slamming contest.
There was a coffee machine in the room, which came in handy as we got up at 4:15 and were to be picked up at 5 outside the main lodge.
There was soap and moisturizing lotion in dispensers beside the wash basin, which was a nice touch. The room was more expensive than your average motel room, but considering where you are and that there’s no alternative anywhere near – except camping – that was to be expected. Our room was $125 for one night at the end of May.
We were very happy with our room, and the check in staff were extremely nice and friendly. We had a good, albeit brief stay there and loved it – would definitely stay here again, happily.

Room Tip: some of the cabins are at the rim, or overlooking the canyon, others aren't, be aware f that whe...
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Esty666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Stayed on the North rim of the Grand Canyon for one night. Arrived early but our cabin was ready. The cabins has been updated since our last visit with new bathroom fixtures and it was very nice. The Frontier cabin suited our needs very well. The cabins are not huge but for what we needed, they were great. Just make sure to reserve a cabin several months in advance and if one is not available, keep checking for cancellations. Already making plans for next year.

Room Tip: Book early.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank DonkArizona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 27, 2013

My future son-in-law joined 8 other hikers from Texas on 5/17/2013 to hike from the south rim of the grand canyon to the north rim, a distance of 24 miles. That's a long way down and longer way up. We stayed for two nights at the grand canyon lodge in hiker cabins. I had the queen bed and Max had the bunk bed. So soft! Hot shower! Spectacular views!

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank Richard_Temple_TX
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2013

We stayed in a Frontier cabin for two nights and all in all it was fine. These cabins are close to the lodge, which is convenient, and they aren't as close together as the Pioneer cabins a bit farther down the road. They are tiny, only enough room for one twin bed and a double bed shoved in the corner, a desk, and a tiny bathroom. The bathroom is completely modern and updated, so the only thing wrong with it is that it is small. Functionality wise, it is fine with a nice tile shower and plenty of hot water. Needless to say, there isn't any counter space, but we managed just fine.

The main part of the cabin is very dark because there is only one overhead light in the middle of the room and a lamp on the desk. Don't plan to do any reading in bed because it is too dark to do that. There is a telephone in the room, a coffee maker and an alarm clock, but nothing else. The electric wall heater worked fine. The heater in the bathroom ceiling did not work, however. Both beds were comfortable with nice clean linens. They provided lots of fluffy towels, which was nice compared to what you get at the south rim.

The cabin was clean, but we did have to kill three spiders when we first arrived. Other than that there wasn't any wildlife in the room. The main issue with these cabins is that they are duplexes with a very flimsy connecting door between them. So rickety that you can see light from the other side through the cracks. So, that means you can hear EVERYTHING that goes on next door and I do mean everything. We were lucky that our neighbors weren't noisy, but even so we found out way more about them than we wanted to know. If you have kids they'd better be quiet and well behaved or your neighbors will be pounding on that door to shut you up before you know it. Bring ear plugs, trust me on this one.

See my separate review of the dining room at the lodge. The entire place is severely understaffed, so take a lot of patience with you. Everyone was very nice and tried to be helpful, but this was only the second week of the season. At the workload they are carrying, I wouldn't expect them to be nearly as pleasant in a few months.

At $133 per night, the price for these cabins isn't too outrageous under the circumstances. Of course, if these were anyplace else they'd probably sell for less than $50 per night or be out of business in a week, but for here it isn't bad at all.

I talked to someone staying in the motel section and she said, "Never again." I personally wouldn't stay in the Frontier cabins again although it was fine once. The group of Pioneer cabins looks like a concentration camp they are so close together. I would highly recommend waiting until you can get a Western cabin before staying here. They are right behind the lodge near the rim and are WAY nicer than anything else available.

Room Tip: Book at Western cabin if you can.
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank davegidd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

The North Rim still retains some of the wildness that personifies the spectacle of the Grand Canyon, in a manner long since lost on the tourist-dense South Rim. We have stayed in the rim cabins and frontier cabins, the former a bit less rustic but both very charming (the rim cabins we reserved over one year in advance and they are amazing and WORTH IT!). No, this isn't the Hyatt and the dining hall is not Michelin starred, but who cares .. there is no Hyatt on the planet in such a spectacular setting. The dining hall with its towering windows is beautiful and historic, and the food is surprisingly good (I had fears of institutional/cafeteria quality beforehand and I was pleasantly proven wrong). You can stay and enjoy the Canyon from the visitor center with its convenient viewing areas, or you can take hikes of varying lengths and difficulties that take you further from the crowds - your choice.

Room Tip: call at least a year in advance for the cabins - try to get a rim cabin, they are worth it.
  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank Nolocon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2013

In spite of the north rim being billed as more remote than the south rim, the terrace overlooking the magnificent canyon is like a railway station, constant movement of bodies and the inevitable loud-mouth to spoil the experience, made worse by the drone of aircraft passing overhead. There should be a whisper or sign language rule for quiet reflection!

Stayed in the Pioneer Rim View Cabin for 2 nights - simple and rustic but more than adequate. These cabins are very close together, resemble a concentration camp and can be very noisy at night. Had visits from many furry friends which was great and entertaining and even a visit from a small mouse. A disappointment was items of litter surrounding the cabin. Would have thought this would have been taken care of before check-in but not so. The fridge was not cleared after previous occupants - had to call to have it cleared and then seemed incredulous as we insisted on the fridge being cleaned as well. The cabin was not very clean. Lots of dust and cobwebs and the carpets dirty & dusty. The bathroom is very small and shower even smaller. You do the tango with the shower curtain.

Dinner in the dining room was an adventure - had to wait a long time for a table in spite of booking ahead. The food - not hot - arrived after 50 minutes and much badgering. Service slow though polite. Staff were working hard and appears that there were not enough of them to cater for the number of diners.

Had pizza from Deli in the Pines. Good. Also had breakfast from there. Queue management not great and tables outside were dirty and not cleared or kept clean. Rather odd attitude to cleanliness in such a pristine setting.

The check-in and out process was very smooth and very friendly as was the guy where we refuelled. They are all great ambassadors for the lodge.

Overall, the place is in need of a good spring-clean. No-where is this more evident than in the spectacular view lounge where the view windows were very dirty. Understand this must be difficult to keep clean but this is a major feature of the lodge and requires more attention.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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7  Thank KLBTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim

Address: End of Highway 67, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86052
Location: United States > Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Grand Canyon National Park
Price Range: $189 - $295 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim 2*
Number of rooms: 219
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The more remote North Rim offers up its beauty and solitude to those willing to make a little longer trek to cooler temperatures and greener vegetation of the Grand Canyon's less visited rim. Time means little here in this Nirvana for nature lovers…abundant forest beauty and wrap-around scenic splendor as sheer walls hold in the Colorado River a mile below. The only developed lodging within the National Park’s North Rim boundaries this historic treasure has cabins and lodging tucked into the trees and dotting the canyon edge. The historic dining room with wall to ceiling windows gives diners the unique opportunity to take in the Canyon's views and tasteful regional and sustainable delights for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Reservations are recommended. For guests seeking a unique remembrance of their visit to this special place, there is a gift store and convenience store located at the North Rim. Authentic Native American handcrafts, jewelry and merchandise that is U.S.A. made by local and regional artists provide an array of gift items for guests to the Grand Canyon. Smell the pines, listen to the fluttering leaves of quaking aspen, and keep an eye out for a California condor, the largest bird in North America. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon is only open from mid May to mid October. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim Hotel Grand Canyon National Park
Canyon Grand Lodge North Rim

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