Bright Angel Lodge was designed in 1935 by esteemed Grand Canyon area architect Mary Coulter, the architect of most historic Grand Canyon buildings. Bright Angel Lodge oozes authenticity and western flare. Just like El Tovar, Bright Angel Lodge is a Registered National Historic Landmark.
Bright Angel Restaurant, a family-style restaurant is open on premises for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Arizona Room also offers Southwestern cuisine for lunch and dinner.
An aspect of Bright Angel Lodge that attracts visitors who aren’t even guests at the hotel is the old-fashioned ice cream foundation, which is open during the summer months. If you are planning on making the trek down into the Canyon (and staying at Phantom Ranch), the tours leave just outside the lodge. Bright Angel Lodge is also the check-in point for Grand Canyon Mule Rides.
Guests have a choice between rooms and cabins. While the lodge rooms cannot guarantee a view, the cabins boast stunners. The rooms are very basic and do not offer things like television or high speed Internet. They are lodge-style and some do not include a private bathroom, so if that is a necessity for you, be sure to book a room that has one. Most rooms only have one bed.
Two cabins are worth singling out: The Buckey O’Neill Cabin and the Red Horse Cabin. Built in the 1890’s and named after one of Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, Mary Coulter memorialized Buckey O’Neill with this cabin designation. This is one of the cabins offering canyon views and a cozy atmosphere.
The Red Horse Cabin is very old and is steeped in history. This cabin was originally built in 1890 and moved to Red Horse Ranch in the early 1900’s to be used for lodging at the Bright Angel Trailhead. Later, it was used as the Post Office for Grand Canyon Village! Mary Coulter saved the cabin from demolition in 1935 and remodeled it, making it suitable for guests once again. Xanterra South Rim, LLC, the proprietors of the hotels at the Grand Canyon, rehabilitated and restored the cabin, implementing accommodations today’s guests would desire.
- On-site restaurant
- Old fashioned ice cream fountain (summer months only)
- Gift shop
- History room
- Transportation/tours and activities desk
While rooms are small and amenities scarce, it’s the canyon most people come for and most can put up with a little bit of “roughing it” for the sake of proximity to the Canyon. Besides, the views from Bright Angel Lodge can’t be beat. Guests have said booking can be difficult, (it is one of the most popular lodging properties in and around the Grand Canyon, after all) so be sure do so well in advance.
Who is it good for?
Due to the fact most rooms only have one bed and are a bit on the small side, Bright Angel Lodge might not be ideal for families as they would need to either pay for more than one room or pile into one. This lodge is better suited for couples or adults traveling in pairs or in groups.
Families should, however, check out the lodge for its historical significance, dining options and access to trailheads and wildlife viewing opportunities.