Thunderbird Lodge

Thunderbird Lodge is very similar to its Kachina Lodge counterpart because of its appeal to families, relative lack of history but with bigger rooms and more amenities than many other historic lodges offer in the area.

Its 1960’s architecture may remind some visitors of college dormitories with its flat roofs and metal staircases. While the building itself looks vintage, the hotel has been renovated and offers modern conveniences like flat screen TV’s and popular single serve coffee makers.

Half of the rooms at Thunderbird Lodge offer partial views of the Grand Canyon, so be sure to seek those out if you are particular about the views. Most of the more expensive guest rooms upstairs offer these views.

All in all, the rooms are considered basic but clean and comfortable. All rooms are can accommodate those who desire two queen size beds or one king size bed and special arrangements can be made for handicap accommodations including roll-in showers.

While there no restaurant option onsite, Bright Angel Lodge is just a short walk away, as is the art museum and Bright Angel trailhead.


  • Flat screen TV’s with cable
  • In-room safe
  • Refrigerator
  • Full bath
  • In-room coffee
  • Triple sheeted beds

The Scoop

The pecking order of hotel status seems to be Kachina Lodge is the less attractive sister to El Tovar. The same goes with Thunderbird to Bright Angel Lodge. And, just like with Kachina Lodge, Thunderbird does not have an onsite restaurant or lobby – both can be found at Bright Angel Lodge. Check in at Thunderbird must take place here, as well.

Most guests rate Thunderbird in the “Very Good” range and cite its proximity to the Grand Canyon and wildlife viewing as its greatest assets.

Who is it good for?

Room size seems to be a repeating issue at hotels in and around the Grand Canyon so Thunderbird’s slightly larger rooms make it an ideal choice for families.

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