Lodging and campsites within Grand Canyon National Park book out months in advance, and you’re limited to often-crowded hotels and campgrounds. But if you don’t mind a short drive to the park, you can find an Airbnb with character and plenty of solitude not far from the canyon’s edge. Here are some of our favorites.
The best part about sleeping inside a dome tent? A clear window on the roof lets you stargaze from bed. This heated dome (from $180), 35 minutes from the South Rim, sleeps up to four in a king bed and twin trundle and has solar-powered outlets. You won’t be doing much cooking here, though it does come with a mini fridge and a propane grill. A separate bathhouse is located outside.
The Safari Tent
You’ll have views of Arizona’s San Francisco Peaks from this deluxe safari tent (from $130), 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon. There are outlets for charging your phone and a wood-burning stove, but there isn’t running water in the coldest winter months. If you’re traveling with friends, they can book a second tent (from $120) a short distance away on the same property that comes with its own wood-fired hot tub.
The Shipping Container
We get it: a windowless shipping container may not be ideal. But if you only need somewhere to sleep, this renovated container house (from $78) is one of the closest Airbnbs to the Grand Canyon, at just 15 minutes from the south entrance. The amenities are minimal at best and the uninsulated container will be chilly on winter nights, but if close to the canyon is what you’re after, you’ve found it.
This 1970s-era two-bedroom A-frame (from $183) outside of Flagstaff, Arizona, is small (just 755 square feet) but has plenty of open grounds and is surrounded by 1.5 acres that neighbor Coconino National Forest. The place comes with loaner mountain bikes and travel guidebooks; you’ll get cell service here but no Wi-Fi. The only downside: it’s a full 90 minutes to the Grand Canyon, but you’re close to all the amenities of Flagstaff.
The Tiny House
Cozy is the best way to describe this 100-square-foot off-the-grid tiny house (from $104), 30 minutes from the park’s gateway on an acre of private land filled with juniper bushes and views of the Milky Way. This little pad is best suited for one or two people max. You’ll spend most of your time around the outdoor fire pit, but there’s a wood-burning stove to keep the indoors warm.
The Earth Home
Called a hogan, a sacred home for the Navajo people made from mud and wood, this earth home (from $150) is a truly unique sleeping experience. It’s 30 miles from the Grand Canyon on a plot of Navajo Nation land, where you’ll get a taste of traditional life. There’s no running water or electricity—just you and the coyotes and antelopes. The hogan stays naturally cool in the summer and, thanks to a wood stove, warm enough in the winter.
The Log Cabin
You’ll reach this three-bedroom log cabin (from $215) by driving two miles down a secluded dirt road from Highway 64, the main road into the Grand Canyon’s south entrance. It’s about 45 minutes to the South Rim from the cabin and just 15 minutes to the town of Williams. The place is perfect for families—it comes stocked with kid-friendly plates and games—and small groups. Inside, you’ll get knotty pine walls and a renovated farm-style kitchen. Outside, you’ll be treated to a hot tub and fire pit.
As far as yurts go, this four-bed tent (from $269), 40 minutes from the Grand Canyon, is as stunning and enormous as they get. It’s 700 square feet and sleeps up to eight people. You’ll find a wood-burning stove, a camp-like kitchen, and total solitude, but don’t expect Wi-Fi or electricity. There’s no running water in winter, but you’ll love the outdoor shower in summer.
This off-the-grid vintage camper trailer (from $122), 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon down a bumpy dirt road, is essentially camping. While there’s no electricity, no running hot water, and a composting toilet, there are upgrades like cozy bedding, board games, and a wood-burning stove. The hosts provide breakfast fixings. Come prepared for a rustic camping experience and a million-star view from the palatial deck.
The Ranch House
Previous guests have called this one-bedroom private suite at a working alpaca ranch (from $125), 50 minutes from the South Rim, one of their favorite Airbnb experiences ever. Your hosts, Rob and Donna, live and work on the property and are happy to give you a tour of their ranch, where they raise alpaca and turn the animals’ fiber into yarn. Ask for fresh eggs for breakfast from the resident chickens.
The Farmhouse Loft
You’ll have the upstairs loft in this quaint one-bedroom farmhouse (from $149), located a half-hour from the canyon. The bedroom is separated from the main living area by, fittingly, sliding barn doors, and the loft comes stocked with Grand Canyon guidebooks to help steer you toward the right hike. The Grand Canyon Railway passes by the 12-acre property where the house is situated.
Lead Photo: Courtesy Airbnb