Grand Canyon Village

History, lodging, trailheads and souvenirs—all on the edge of one of the world's most magnificent views.

Grand Canyon Village, located on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, is where most visitors head to admire the canyon. Sites and attractions add a bit of entertainment to the Grand Canyon's splendor.

Overnight at historic El Tovar

While there are several overnight accommodations available, the most famous (and elegant) El Tovar, which overlooks the canyon from its position directly on the rim. Opened in 1905, the lodge fell under the ownership of the hotel and restaurant enterprise, the Fred Harvey Company. The company's reputation for high standards helped change traveler perceptions of the Grand Canyon (and the larger Southwest) from "the Wild West" to an upscale adventure destination. Today, El Tovar is considered the crown jewel of national park lodging. Stay in one of the hotel's 78 guest rooms, wander the lobby to learn a bit more about its history, and enjoy a meal with a view at the El Tovar Dining Room.

Grand Canyon Railway Depot

Many visitors in the early 1900s traveled by train from the East Coast and Midwest to see the fabled Grand Canyon for themselves—illustrated on postcards and written about by early explorers. In those days, the train brought tourists to the Grand Canyon Railway Depot, from which the Grand Canyon and El Tovar were just a jaunt away. Today, it still operates as a working depot, connecting visitors to the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, a popular option for families planning longer stays in northern Arizona.

Bright Angel Trail

Many of the Grand Canyon's most famous hiking trails begin at Grand Canyon Village, including the most popular hike into the canyon: the Bright Angel Trail. While experienced hikers plan months ahead to hike Bright Angel, day trippers can walk the first mile or so for a taste of the experience. The scene changes quickly as you descend, from the bustling village to a quieter environment. Be warned: It takes twice as long to hike out as it does to hike in, and don't dare attempt this hike if temperatures are high.

Mary Coulter's buildings

Mary Colter was the chief architectural designer and interior decorator for the Fred Harvey Company in the village's early stages. She designed eight buildings for the canyon, including Phantom Ranch in the North Rim and several at Grand Canyon Village: Hopi House, Lookout Studio, Bright Angel Lodge, and the employee dormitories. Each building took inspiration from the Grand Canyon's landscape, and many were declared National Historic Landmarks in 1987. At the east entrance to the park, Colter's Desert View Watchtower is worth a side trip to see the 70-foot stone wonder perched on the edge of the canyon.

Set up camp

Surrounded by such natural beauty, many visitors prefer to turn their Grand Canyon getaway into a camping trip. Mather Campground inside Grand Canyon Village is open year-round and features tent sites and pull-through RV sites. Trailer Village just outside of the village is a popular destination for RV travelers. South Rim visitors also find many campsites and cabin options in nearby Williams.

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