Planning on a trip to the Grand Canyon?  Book your hotel months – or up to a year – in advance…OR be like us and call the night before hoping for a cancellation.  Sure enough, there was a cancellation for a room with a window view overlooking the canyon!  We stayed one night at the Thunderbird Lodge and loved it!

Staying in the park itself will cost more, but I think it’s worth it.  If you’re interested in staying outside of the park, most people will stay in Tusayan, which was our backup plan.  Staying in the park was incredibly convenient.  We didn’t have to worry about the drive, parking issues in the morning, or driving back at night after a hike.  The view from our room was also a partial view of the canyon!

Although we weren’t able to spend the night down in the canyon itself, take a donkey ride down, or white water raft (which is really expensive by the way!), we were glad we came to hike for the day.  I had only been to the Grand Canyon, North Rim when I was really young.  My mother still remembers the trip as a fairly big waste of time…”just rocks” as she called it.  In all fairness, I think we drove there from Vegas, and drove back the same day…which is quite a bit of time in the car… in the desert…and in the scorching summer.  This time, the weather was surprisingly warm and windy.

On our way to the Grand Canyon, we stopped and saw a dust…whirlwind thing? I had never seen one before in real life! It lasted awhile!

View from the ledge outside our lodge.

Filling up before our hike.

I found this cool tree!

Richard found his own interesting tree.

Before the sunset.

Reaching the end of the path.

Watching the sun go down.

Random deer at the end of the night.

Although we only had time for one trail, Richard wants to eventually make it back so we can do all of them.  Each trail has designated viewing points, but it is also fun to stop on your own at spots along the cliffs.  Next time, we will definitely be bringing a picnic of sorts to soak it all in.

Entrance Fee:
-$25 per Private Vehicle
-$12 for Individual on foot, bicycle, motorcycle
Admission is for seven days and includes entrance to both the North Rim and South Rim.

There are also free entrance days every year! Check out their website.