We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

Calgary, AB
Level Contributor
276 posts
108 reviews
Save Topic
Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

I am hoping to get some guideance from those in the know.

I am planning an overnight trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon. We will be travelling to the South Rim. This will be our first time visiting the GC. We are a family of four, including two teenagers 14 & 15.

Lodging:

Today I noticed that the Maswik Lodge has rooms available for March 28th. Previously when I checked the GCNP Lodges website they all showed full. I guess this is because there is a no-charge cancellation policy as long as you cancel prior to 2 days of your stay.

I know this question is subjective, however I am currently looking at a Standard 2 Queen South or Standard 2 Queen North room. The south room is $99.12 (tax in) and the north room is $186.39 (tax in).

The main differences appear to be the size of the room (although sqft are not listed on the website), small refrigerator (North only), alarm clock (North), iron/iron board (North), in-room safe (North), and ceiling fan & AC (North).

The refrigerator may be the only advantage that would be of importance to us. From what I have read on reviews, AC is not important (I would think less for the end of March).

Is their anything else I am missing for the price difference. Seems like a no brainer for the South room, but just want to make sure.

Dining:

I see that the Maswik Lodge is renovating its dining facilities. Since we are only going to eat dinner one night at the GC, what would be the most memorable experience for us? Would this be the El Tovar Dining Room?

I am leaning towards the Bright Angel for breakfast or lunch on our second day.

If we choose to eat out rather than stopping at a store to get food for lunch, we would not require a fridge in our room either.

Sight Seeing:

My kids have not seen the Hoover Dam so we will either stop there on the way to the GC or on the way back. Are there any advantages one way or the other? Since we would be traveling on Monday and Tuesday, would the traffic be less at the Hoover Dam?

Is there any other must see stops that we should consider in our trip to and from Las Vegas to the GC? Not sure route 66 would be worth taking.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
59,210 posts
236 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

Take the room that best fits your budget and sleeps your party. But take it ASAP or it will disappear. You'll be glad for blankets. A/C is never needed.

El Tovar is the nicest place for dinner and my favorite meal there is breakfast.

http://www.monumentvalleyview.com/

Evanston, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
4,928 posts
155 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

My advice: don't wait for us to reinforce your decision. In the time it takes to deliberate, both Maswik rooms could get grabbed up.

Regarding the dining, El Tovar would indeed be a memorable experience. These days it's more about the historic atmosphere than the meal itself, but still worthwhile IMO. Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner. Guests of other hotels can make these up to 30 days out by calling 928-638-2631 x6432. Breakfast and lunch are good too and do not require reservations. If you go for lunch, try to get there before the train arrives at 11.45 AM. Once the train pulls in, hundreds of people flock to the rimside restaurants, so you could end up waiting hours for a table at that point.

Another good option for dinner is the Arizona Room, which features a steakhouse-style menu and a really good wine list. It's situated right on the rim as part of the Bright Angel Lodge complex and serves lunch and dinner. It doesn't take reservations, though, it's first come-first served.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFE3m6-xGNI

Phoenix, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Phoenix
Level Contributor
6,584 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

Agreed - grab your room right now, if it's still there. Doesn't matter which one, really, and no you won't need a/c in March. A fridge is nice, but it's easy to grab a cooler with ice, and keep it in the car.

I recommend breakfast at the El Tovar dining room. They have a great selection of Southwest inspired items, and the portions are generous for hungry hikers.

Calgary, AB
Level Contributor
276 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

Thanks to all for your quick feedback!

I have booked in at the Maswik. I actually booked two rooms and will make the final decision tonight as to which one to keep. I understand that if everyone did this it would make it incredibly hard to find rooms.

I think I will book dinner at El Tovar's. With two teenagers we will not be early risers so we will likely be eating brunch. However, great tip on eating before the train arrived.

I called to speak directly with the company that handles the rooms reservations just to see if they had any openings at El Tovar for the one night stay. They recommended calling each day leading up to my stay as people will generally cancel around 48 hours before the stay. Since we will be in Las Vegas enjoying ourselves, I probably won't bother.

We want to expierence the GC in the two part days we will be there for. Is it recommended just to do self-guided tours or find something more organized? I ask as I did a self guided tour at the Tulum ruins in Mexico and felt I did a disservice to my family ;)

Sedona, AZ
Destination Expert
for Sedona, Arizona, Monument Valley
Level Contributor
59,210 posts
236 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

The GCNP is easy to self tour. The most significant feature is that your time is your own so you can spend as much or as little time at each stop. Remember there is nothing that you need to rush to see or do at the GCNP. I would however, encourage you and your teens to make an effort to get up before sunrise and stroll out to the rim. Few moments in life are as powerful as experiencing sunrise at the Grand canyon. The sun's light fills the canyon and literally paints the walls with beauty.

I just realized that I gave you a non related link in my previous reply. Use the GCNP park website to learn about the GC and to help plan your time there.

http://www.nps.gov/grca/index.htm

Mesa, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Tempe
Level Contributor
2,035 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

You may want to take a look at El Tovar's menus online - www.grandcanyonlodges.com/el-tovar-421.html

You don't need a guide. I would recommend walking a short ways down Bright Angel trail and walking the rim trail to Yavapai Point. IMO the new geology displays are fascinating.

Phoenix
Destination Expert
for Phoenix
Level Contributor
2,550 posts
330 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

Bright Angel provides a good meal but there is no comparison to eating at El Tovar. Be sure and enjoy the dining room at El Tovar at least once - I recommend dinner.

The Hoover Dam would definitely be of interest to you and your family, but other than than make a beeline for the Grand Canyon. Enjoy every moment you have there.

Book your room NOW.

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

Hoover Dam and the New Bypass Bridge are 30 minutes from Las Vegas in the GC direction off us93. I'd drive to GC directly to spend most of your time there as Acura already said. Maybe a short coffeebreak in Seligman after a 3 hours drive. Seligman is an cute R66 town.

On your way back from GC you could stop at Hoover and the Bridge nytimes.com/2011/… The exit to it is just over the bridge coming from GC at the Nevada side.

Have a great stay at GC.

Tet

Evanston, Wyoming
Destination Expert
for Page, Grand Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
4,928 posts
155 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

Agree that you can enjoy the Grand Canyon on a self-guided basis very easily. There are two main roads that extend from Grand Canyon Village along the rim: the Desert View Drive (aka the "East Rim), which is 26 miles long within the park, but extends out further into the Navajo Indian Reservation (more on that in a minute); and the Hermit's Rest Road (aka the "West Rim," NOT to be confused with "Grand Canyon West"). Each has half-a-dozen named viewpoints of the canyon, each with different perspectives, features, etc.

All of the Desert View Drive viewpoints are open to private vehicles year-round (with one exception, Yaki Point, site of the South Kaibab Trailhead - unless you're hiking, don't sweat it). The Hermit's Rest Road is closed to private vehicles between March 1st and December 1st, however, it is served by a free shuttle line that stops at all the viewpoints every 10 minutes roughly between sunrise and sunset. You catch it at the West Rim interchange, which is an easy 1/4 mile walk from Maswik Lodge. Now, the shuttle service is not necessarily a guided tour: some drivers like to give commentary, others don't, but it's free. You can also use the shuttles to get around to the different hotels and restaurants in the park. Here is a video that describes the park shuttle system ->: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3eV77VC1xA

If you prefer something a bit more educational, you can also do a tour of this area of the park by bus which lasts for 2 hours and is very reasonably priced. You would just purchase your tickets at the tour desk at Maswik.

Now if you have time to take a nice leisurely pace going back to Las Vegas, you might consider touring the East Rim Drive, exiting the park from there, then continuing out to the Navajo Indian Reservation. There are more viewpoints you can stop at (some of which charge a nominal fee to enter), plus the Cameron Trading Post (at the junction of Highway 64 and Highway 89) makes for an interesting cultural/window shopping stop. Or if you're hungry, have a Navajo taco in their on-site dining room. Upon leaving Cameron, you would then get on Highway 89 going South to Flagstaff, then rejoin Interstate 40 to Kingman and Highwy 93 back to Las Vegas. This will add at least 90 minutes to your normal drive time, but the scenery definitely makes it time well spent.

Calgary, AB
Level Contributor
276 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Maswik Lodge & Other Questions

Thank-you all for your thorough responses. I want to further educate myself on the South Rim and will post back any further questions.

We surprised our teenagers with the trip yesterday so they are really excited.

I told them we had to do two things while at the GC, watch the sunset the first and .... watch the sunrise the following day. I have seen some links to websites that predict the sunsets/rises, so I will use the search function to find it again. Since we can walk to the rim from our motel, I am thinking we can always go back an lay down for a bit.

I will use googlemaps to better understand the driving route and potential stops.

We released our expensive room and kept the $99 one. Just happy to be staying within walking distance to the GC!