The Grand Canyon Lodge: The Most Underrated National Park Lodge

Photo of the Grand Canyon Lodge

The Grand Canyon Lodge is the center of activity on the less crowded North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Though it often seems forgotten, it provides some of the best views of any national park lodge.

The Grand Canyon Lodge: The Oldest National Park Lodge

The Grand Canyon Lodge and Cabins 

The lodge itself has one of the very best views of any national park lodge I’ve ever seen. It literally sits on the edge of the canyon.

Grand Canyon Lodge

The hotel’s Sun Room will provide immaculate views of the canyon through the tall windows. 

Grand Canyon Lodge

If you’re staying at the lodge, however, you’ll stay in a cabin nearby. Some of these cabins have canyon views and some don’t. 

Grand Canyon Lodge

Dining Room 

Grand Canyon Lodge

This has to be one of the best national park dining rooms I’ve seen, rivaling Ptarmigan Dining Room in Glacier or Jackson Lodge in Grand Teton. Imagine sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon while eating! Not even the South Rim’s El Tovar can offer that (close, but not quite). 

Outside Deck 

Grand Canyon Lodge

The north rim is so chill that you can easily grab an Adirondack chair, drink from the rough rider saloon, and soak in the views of the Grand Canyon. 

Brighty the Donkey 

The lodge has a statue of Brighty the Donkey. This statue honors a well-known donkey who frequented this area in the early 1900s. He was famous enough that he became the subject of a book and a movie! People rub his nose for good luck. 

He has quite a story that I feature in my audio guide for the North Rim!

Roughrider Saloon 

Grand Canyon Lodge

Named after Teddy Roosevelt, who liked to hunt in this area (another story I tell in the audio guide), the saloon is a place to grab a drink before relaxing on the deck. 

Post Office 

Grand Canyon Lodge post office

There’s a post office here in case you got amnesia and woke up thinking it’s 1990 again!  A fun way to send that postcard to your friends or family.

Visitor Center 

Grand Canyon Lodge

A small visitor center is available in a nearby building. Get your maps, Jr Ranger book, get your passport book stamped, and ask questions. 

Gift Shop 

A little gift shop is here for the mementos of your visit to the Grand Canyon. 

Bright Angel Point 

Grand Canyon Lodge viewpoint

From the lodge, it’s a short walk down a paved path to Bright Angel Point for some spectacular views of the Grand Canyon. 

Grand Canyon Lodge bright angel point

Mule Rides 

Grand Canyon Lodge mule rides

Mule rides on the north rim are operated by Canyon Trail Rides. If you’ve reserved a ride, check in at the desk inside the lodge. A shuttle will pick you up at the lodge and take you to the mule pen, where you’ll ride along the rim of the canyon or go partially into the canyon, depending on the tour you choose. Rides from the north rim do not go all the way to the bottom of the canyon. For that, you’ll need a south rim ride. 

Not sure which area of the Grand Canyon to Visit?

Download our Free Quick and Easy Guide to the Grand Canyon’s 4 Areas!

The Campground 

The only North Rim campground is located near the lodge, though there is another campground at Jacob Lake (link).

The Deli 

The lodge also has a small deli to grab some quick food. There aren’t a lot of options for food at the North Rim. 

Additional Resources

Planning a vacation shouldn’t be stressful. We created a step-by-step itinerary for the Grand Canyon so you can visit the best places at the right times.

Not only that, but we’ll tell you about the park while you drive with our audio guide!  Stop planning and start having the vacation of your dreams now!


GRAND CANYON GUIDE: To read or watch all of our content about the Grand Canyon, check out our Grand Canyon Homepage

AREAS: The Grand Canyon is divided into 4 areas: The South Rim, North R, Grand Canyon West, and the East Side of the Grand Canyon (Page, AZ). Learn about the 4 areas of the Grand Canyon with our Free Printable

THINGS TO DO: There is much more to do than hike and look at viewpoints.  Explore Antelope Canyon, ride a mule, or take a ride on the Grand Canyon Railway

WHERE TO STAY: Learn all about where to camp or stay when visiting the Grand Canyon.

WHERE TO EAT: Check out the best places to eat and get groceries at the South Rim

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO: Discover the best and worst times to visit the Grand Canyon

WATCH: Enjoy videos of the beautiful Grand Canyon while learning our best tips for visiting by watching our Grand Canyon YouTube Playlist


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