Gone Outdoors

Cabin Lodging at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon

by Jodi Thornton O'Connell

The Grand Canyon's North Rim is an in-demand summer getaway for those who want to see the natural wonder or just escape the heat of Arizona. Most of the log cabins in the area appeared during the 1920s to 1940s, but you'll find more recently built structures as well. Some cabins nestle under a canopy of Ponderosa pine in the Kaibab National Forest, with views of the canyon rim, forests or meadow. The cabins are now fully updated, and you need to make reservations early -- they can book up to 13 months in advance.

On Canyon's Edge

Tucked onto a scenic plateau in Bright Angel Canyon, the historic Grand Canyon Lodge provides the only cabins within the national park. Choose from updated cabins sleeping three, four or six people, all with hot showers and modern plumbing. The Pioneer cabins are largest, featuring two bedrooms and a pull-out sleeper. Western cabins tuck into the pines and sleep four in two queen beds. Both floor plans have some units with rim views; others look out at the pines. If you're budget-minded, a Frontier cabin has a double bed and a single bed. Those who use wheelchairs will find ADA-accessible units in all three floor plans. You can rent a cabin at Grand Canyon Lodge from May 15th through October 15th.

In the Kaibab Forest

Get away from it all 18 miles north of the North Rim at Kaibab Lodge. The lodge's cabins don't have phone, TV, Internet or cell phone service. Some cabins have two to four separate units under one roof, so they work well for family reunions or families traveling together. Kaibab Lodge also has stand-alone cabins and second-floor units. The cabins have local decorator touches such as aspen headboards and blanket ladders made with wood from the surrounding forest. Cabins each have a private bathroom with shower, but only some units come with a kitchen. Pets are welcome in some units, and the cabins are available from mid-May through mid-October.

On the Edge of the Lake

Jacob's Lake Inn lies 40 miles north of the North Rim and about 40 miles west of Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Stay in a one- or two-room cabin with king, queen or double beds. The cabins have decks, and some overlook a natural area with a stone waterfall and native wildflowers. The cabins have hot showers, heat and air conditioning, but don't have Internet, phones or TV. Start the day with homemade sweet rolls from the on-site bakery, or grab some cookies, pies or cake for an afternoon treat. The inn's on-site restaurant serves three meals daily, letting you spend your time relaxing on-site without interruption.

In the Depths of the Canyon

On the edge of Bright Angel Creek on the Grand Canyon's floor, you can stay in cabins built during the 1920s at Phantom Ranch. The ranch is 10.3 miles down the Bright Angel Trail from the North Rim, and you'll have to hike in. A variety of cabin sizes accommodate two to 10 people, and you'll have basic amenities that include a toilet and cold-water sink. Bedding and towels come standard in the cabin, but if you want a hot shower, you have to get one for a fee at the main lodge. The stone and wood cabins are available year-round, but between October 15 and May 15, you'll need to access them via the South Rim by foot or mule. You can also arrange to have a whitewater rafting trip drop you off or pick you up at the Colorado River, about a mile away.

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