NPR Reviews Provided by
Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge
CarolDM1900 from: Montpelier, Vermont
Published Date: Nov, 14, 2021 Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2021 Rating: 5
The Joys of a Multi-night Stay on the North Rim
It took 2 years, but we finally made it here to the North Rim, where we stayed 3 nights in one of the 1920s cabins -- that itself being a very interesting part of our time here.
The South Rim is so crowded and so busy; it was a great joy to come to the cooler, greener, less crowded, much more rustic North Rim.
We appreciated the concern of the "powers that be" to retain the old-time, rustic flavor of the historical canyon, and not to wreck that unique atmosphere by over-developing or over-comfortizing -- is that even a word? -- it, but I think you will understand my meaning.
While we roughed it a bit in our cabin, mostly because it was on the small side and rather cheek-by-jowl with about 100 other cabins, we dined sumptuously every night at the lodge, enjoyed the old-style western bar (no indoor seating, although porch-front wooden tables and chairs are right nearby) with its friendly, engaging bartender, and took maximum advantage of all the sights via a wonderful network of trails available to all.
Some trails are for experienced hikers only and others for just about anyone. Some require a car, while others easily walkable fright from the lodge.
I'd backpacked rim-to-rim years ago, starting from the North Kaibab trailhead, and so was thrilled to be able to reprise part of that trek, down to Supai Tunnel, easily getting to the trailhead by hiking a mile or so right from the cabin. But I also enjoyed the "easiest" and surely one of the most travelled, short trails, the one to Bright Angel Point, with its splendid views and all the helpful informational signs along the way to explain what you're seeing.
Because we arrived by car, we could take the 23-mile drive along the Cape Royal Road and stop at all the impressive overlooks, including our favorite one: Angels Window, which you just have to see to believe, a giant cliff pierced by a large "hole," hence the idea of "window." There is similar drive in the opposite direction, to Point Imperial, with views of the Vermillion Cliffs and Marble Canyon. Having a car greatly extends what you can see here.
But you can see a lot without going far from the lodge, which also has its own magnificent sights from the big veranda out back, where you can settle into an Adirondack chair and just watch the day "happen."
In the end, it was a great trip, and I wouldn't have changed anything, not even the old cabin. The fresh night-time breezes through the big window were delicious. We had a double bed and a single one, both reasonably comfortable. And the in-cabin bathrooms, while pretty tight, ensured you could do the necessary, like taking a shower with good hot water, in privacy. Cleaning staff came daily to make the beds and spruce things up.
Nor could I have asked for more when it comes to food. Dinners in the lodge, with its high ceiling and huge windows from which you will see the sun set, were nicely varied, deliciously made with as many local ingredients as could be found that day, and especially appreciated after a long day of exploration. In fact, all the food we had here was fine, from the basic to the sublime, although there were a few disruptions in the supply line, making for some items being unavailable and others being in short supply. But you can eat well here, and we did.
Let me also say that the National Park Visitor Center here has a wonderful selection of souvenirs, cards/postcards gifts, and books. I bought a interesting book there, Stephen Pyne's "How the Canyon Became Grand," which is NOT about canyon geology, but is instead an engaging study of how perceptions of the Canyon have shifted over centuries, from its being considered a worthless piece of bad land to the awakening idea it as a national and international treasure.
There are other gift shops too, one right nearby the lodge and another near the campground. You can even buy Grand Canyon wine and serve it in glasses etched with "Grand Canyon National Park." The gift selections are excellent., and you can mail postcards at a window/drop slot right near the bar.
If you can get here, go for it. I certainly will not let years go by again, before returning to this truly awesome national treasure.
- Rooms: 4
- Cleanliness: 5
- Service: 5
LovemyAcura from: Phoenix
Published Date: Oct, 14, 2021 Travel Date: Oct, 1, 2021 Rating: 5
North Rim offers peaceful and serene opportunities to view Grand Canyon
I have been here several times over the years. There isn't as much to do here as on the south rim but has its own areas of tranquility that I enjoy. I love to sit on the terrace of the lodge, relax and enjoy the views. The viewpoints aren't as easy to reach as they are on the south rim. There is one walk from the lodge that is paved, Bright Angel Point. Know that it is downhill to the overlook but an incline back to the lodge - saw several huffing and puffing and stopping for a short rest. If you are lucky enough to secure a reservation at their reservation, be sure and request a table by the window. Good views into the canyon.
As with all federal buildings, a mask is currently required when you go inside.
E765HYkristyb from: St. George, Utah
Trip Type: Friends getaway
Published Date: Oct, 8, 2021 Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2021 Rating: 1
We stayed in the frontier cabin. They are not updated. You can hear EVERYTHING on the other side of the wall. There are mice, woke us up in the middle of the night trying to get into our sack of food. We paid $200+ for this room, not worth $125.
AirplaneJoey from: Carmel, New York
Published Date: Oct, 4, 2021 Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2021 Rating: 3
The North Rim Lowdown
Disclaimer: The 2021 season for the north rim is almost over, so some aspects of our stay may not apply in 2022. But, here it goes: we are glad we came here once but probably wouldn't return. We had no complaints about our room itself (western cabin), save for one thing: the partial rim view that we paid extra for. Our room looked at, well, trees, with the tiniest view of the wall of a side canyon. I would call this nothing but an additional money grab of an already expensive stay. The much coveted full rim view cabins are next to impossible to get, and even they seem to have views obstructed by trees. In fact, one of them is awkwardly situated right next to the lodge's shared porch where you can get the same view for free. All of the western cabins have great private porches with rockers. The main lodge has no rooms; it just houses the dining and public areas, and sunset on the porch in an Adirondack chair sipping a cocktail is truly an experience to savor (and you don't need to be staying here to enjoy this). The 2021 dining situation is truly a disaster. We were sat for our reservation 30 minutes late, and had to wait forever for mediocre overpriced food, some of which had to be sent back because it was cold. Worse, checking in for dinner was beyond chaotic, with people crowding around in multiple lines, ordering takeout, and bribing the maitre'd (who had no organizational skills) to get a table. Worse, breakfast at the deli (the only option) was extremely overpriced, had barely edible burritos, and was missing common breakfast staples (like yogurt). I understand the challenges in the hospitality industry with COVID, but it could be handled so much better (in fact it IS handled better by their sister property at Bryce Canyon). Nonetheless, it is a once in a lifetime experience; you can't experience this kind of majestic scenery and historical ambiance just anywhere, so I would still recommend a stay here, especially after dining facilities are back in full operation. For us, we will try the Kaibab Lodge next time, which looked mighty inviting from the road into the park, and come here for sunset and drinks.
- Rooms: 4
- Sleep Quality: 5
- Service: 3
Happytraveler655 from: Houston, Texas
Published Date: Oct, 1, 2021 Travel Date: Sep, 1, 2021 Rating: 1
Another reservation system fail for Forever Resorts
Online reservations opened this morning. Even though bookings were only offered for the month of June 2022, their reservation system was totally overwhelmed - again - and no June 2022 reservations can be processed until an unknown date in the future. I have loved Grand Canyon Lodge for many years, but can say nothing positive about the concessionaire, only the history and location. WHY does the National Park Service keep extending the Forever Resorts contract ?? I was just there in September 2021 and can testify to the sad condition of the cabins & lodge as well.
- Sleep Quality: 3
- Cleanliness: 1
- Service: 1