Staying at the Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge is pricey, although it could be worse – but you have to make reservations extremely early, and when we planned our roadtrip to the Southwest, about 10 months ahead, the lodge was already fully booked, so that was not an option. Instead, we chose Jacob Lake Inn.
According to their website, the Jacob Lake Inn
has been family owned and operated since it was founded by Harold and Nina Bowman in 1923.
The inn is still privately owned by the family, and they offer hotel and motel rooms and cabins in various configurations. We simply needed a bed to sleep in and chose the cheapest, albeit still expensive cabin with a queen bed, no frills, no TV, no internet, and, as it seems, no real heating as well. In fact, there was a large heating unit which looked like it had last been operated in the days of the cold war, emphasized by the presence of a small electrical heater on one bedside.
We didn’t shower – the tiny bathroom reminded us of a refrigerator – and we didn’t even follow up on the offer of a free lecture on Native American culture in the main house in the evening.
The day had been pretty exhausting. No meal at the restaurant for us. Instead, I put on my softshell and track pants before slipping under the blankets. The wooden floor was covered with a padded carpeting, to keep the cold away. The room was reasonably clean. For about a hundred dollars a night it felt a little like a rip-off, especially in the off-season, but then there are not that many options for lodiging up here unless you want to stay at a campground.
It is not a place I would choose for a romantic getaway; but due to its location at the intersection of Highway 89A and Arizona’s Highway 67, 44 miles from the national park, it is a great spot to stay if you want to go to the canyon and not drive about double the distance, and want a launch pad for your next trip – which was exactly our intention.
Jacob Lake has a gas station, a campground, and a bakery famous for its homemade cookies; there is also a tiny gift shop where you can find snacks and drinks. At sundawn, we dropped off our room key, grabbed a few of those (delicious) cookies, and left for our next stop: Zion National Park.
Jacob Lake Inn
HWY 89A & AZ-67
Jacob Lake, AZ 86022