Xanterra South Rim Provides Accommodations, Restaurants and Activities in Grand Canyon National Park
The Grand Canyon has been one of the world’s premier tourist destinations for more than a century. While the canyon is certainly a geologic wonder that truly must be seen to be appreciated, it is at its best when visitors take time to walk its trails, ride a mule and understand its native peoples.
Lodges, retail shops, restaurants and other concessions such as mule rides and motorcoach tours at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park are operated by Xanterra South Rim, LLC.
The company manages seven distinctly different hotel properties, the only lodging in the park, 11 restaurants and 11 retail shops. Many structures have become recognized for their historic significance and are famous in their own right.
In addition to in-park operations, Xanterra operates Grand Canyon Railway, with round-trip train transportation from Williams, Ariz. to the park, and The Grand Hotel in the gateway community of Tusayan, Ariz.
Grand Canyon National Park Lodges’ history dates back to the 1880s when renowned restaurateur Fred Harvey partnered with Santa Fe Railroad to build a rail line from Williams, Ariz. to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Harvey later convinced the Santa Fe to build the El Tovar hotel and was a major influence on civilizing the West.
In 1968, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, then called Amfac Parks & Resorts, purchased the Fred Harvey Company.
Xanterra operates these year-round facilities:
El Tovar Hotel. Long considered the crown jewel of the Grand Canyon hotels, El Tovar features 78 rooms fashioned after European hunting lodges. El Tovar was constructed in 1905 by the Santa Fe Railroad using native stone and Oregon pine. It offers a gift shop, dining room, lounge and sightseeing tours. Guests at Kachina Lodge check in at El Tovar.
Kachina and Thunderbird Lodges. These identical lodges feature a total of 104 rooms. Both lodges are located on the South Rim in the Grand Canyon Village historic district.
Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins. Overlooking the rim of the Canyon, the lodge features 37 rooms and 50 cabins. Bright Angel was designed in 1935 and constructed of log and native stone. The lobby displays a dramatic wooden thunderbird the architects called the “bright angel of the sky.” The lodge offers two restaurants, gift shop and lounge. Mule rides depart from the lodge. Guests at Thunderbird Lodge check in at Bright Angel Lodge.
Maswik Lodge. A 278-room facility located a short walk from the South Rim at the southwest end of Grand Canyon Village. Named for a Hopi Kachina who is said to guard the Grand Canyon, Maswik features a gift shop, cafeteria, lounge, rooms with private baths and sightseeing tours.
Yavapai Lodge. The largest lodging complex in Grand Canyon National Park. Nestled amid a piñon and juniper forest near the Canyon, Yavapai features 358 rooms. Yavapai is within walking distance of the Canyon View Information Plaza visitor center.
Phantom Ranch. Dormitories and cabins located on the floor of the Canyon and accessible only by mule, foot or river raft. The only lodging located in the inner gorge.
To reserve rooms, go to www.grandcanyonlodges.com or call toll-free 1-888-297-2757 or 1-303-297-2757 from outside the United States.
El Tovar Dining Room. Located in the El Tovar hotel. An extensive menu with elegant fare and chef’s specials served in a warm, inviting setting. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For dinner reservations, call 1-928-638-2631.
Arizona Room. Located just east of the Bright Angel Lodge this restaurant features hand-cut steaks, poultry and seafood in a casual Western setting. A full bar is available. Open daily at 4:30 p.m. Closed January and February.
Bright Angel Restaurant. An informal dining room with bar service featuring Southwest-inspired meals. Open year-round for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meals are served on a first-come, first-served basis, a wait list is available.
Bright Angel Fountain. Open seasonally 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. May through September. Located near the Bright Angel gift shop and trailhead, the fountain features hot dogs, sandwiches, ice cream beverages and snacks.
Maswik Cafeteria. This cafeteria-style dining in a food court setting is open year-round for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Yavapai Cafeteria. This cafeteria-style dining room features items ranging from soup and grilled items to fried chicken dinners, pizza and more. It is open March through December for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Hermit’s Rest Snack Bar. Located west along the South Rim eight miles from the Grand Canyon Village historic district, Hermit’s Rest is accessible by only shuttle, bicycle or hiking March to December. In the winter it is open to private vehicles.
Desert View Trading Post Cafeteria. Located 26 miles east of Grand Canyon Village at Desert View. this self-service cafeteria offers hot and cold sandwiches, pizza and more. It is open year-round.
Tours and Activities
Xanterra and its predecessor, the Fred Harvey Company, have been providing mule trips in the Grand Canyon for more than 100 years. Today these long-eared taxis take riders to Phantom Ranch for overnight trips and along the rim for shorter day trips.
Guests enjoy comfortable, narrated motorcoach tours to various parts of the park. Among the highlights are stops at historic buildings and spectacular overlooks with scenic views. Sunrise and Sunset Tours complement the Hermit’s Rest, Desert View and Combination Tours.
Grand Canyon Railway
This family-friendly train trip from Williams to Grand Canyon National Park takes approximately two hours and 15 minutes and runs 65 miles through ponderosa pine forests and scenic desert landscapes. The train offers a variety of classes of service and is an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. For information visit www.thetrain.com or call 1-800-THE-TRAIN (1-800-843-8724).
Grand Canyon Grand Hotel
This 121-room hotel located in Tusayan just outside the entrance to the park was built in 1998 and features an indoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, gift shop, coffee shop, restaurant and lounge featuring nightly entertainment. Room reservations for the Grand Hotel may be made online at www.grandcanyongrandhotel.com or by calling 1-928-638-3333.