The original Grand Canyon Lodge was designed in 1928 by Gilbert Stanley Underwood, considered the creator of “parkitecture.” He set the lodge right on the rim, with its foundations rising up out of the limestone cliffs, so visitors’ first view of the canyon was framed by the large windows across the lobby.
It’s a grand entrance for a grand lodge. Guest accommodations, then and now, are outside the main lodge building in cabins scattered among the ponderosa pines. The lodge was a jewel on the Union Pacific Railroad’s Loop Tour, which included Bryce Canyon , Zion National Park , and Cedar Breaks National Monument .
In early September 1932, a fire that started in the lodge kitchen spread quickly, burning the main building and two nearby cabins to rubble. In June 1937, the lodge was rebuilt using the same floor plan but with steeply sloped roofs to shed heavy North Rim snows, and hidden steel beams to replace the original pine logs.
Grand Canyon Lodge, operated by concessionaire Forever Resorts, is a National Historic Landmark. It is the center of visitor activities on the North Rim , with an air of Western hospitality that extends not just to the lodge’s guests but also to the canyon’s guests.
Even if you’re not staying in one of the lodge’s cabins, you can enjoy a meal in the dining room, attend a program in the auditorium or on the veranda, or find a cozy spot for your morning coffee and paper in one of the sunroom’s deep leather chairs.