Romantic Grand Canyon Winter Weekend
The most romantic time to visit the South Rim is during the winter, when crowds are light and the possibility of being snowed-in beckons. El Tovar offers a special romance package from late November to mid-February. Or reserve one of the historic cabins at Bright Angel Lodge. Some have fireplaces or rim views.
If you want to impress your sweetie with a romantic candlelight dinner, make reservations for El Tovar’s elegant dining room.
After breakfast the first morning, pick up a picnic lunch at the General Store deli and spend a few hours exploring the overlooks along the West Rim’s Hermit Road. Weather permitting, you can hike the Greenway to The Abyss (the mile-deep plunge is sure to have you snuggling closer), then warm up with some hot chocolate at Hermits Rest.
Rumor has it that the architect of this fanciful structure, Mary Colter, liked to steal away for a few moments of solitude along the rim close by. If it’s not too icy, you might try looking for her special perch or hiking a short distance down nearby Hermit Trail.
Winter sunsets arrive early, often painting the canyon walls in brilliant orange, pink, and lavender, thanks to the sun’s low angle. Hopi Point is the most popular sunset spot; opt for Maricopa Point or Mohave Pointt if you’d prefer to avoid a crowd.
After watching the show, you can return to the village and warm up by your cabin’s fireplace. No fireplace of your own? There’s usually a blaze going in El Tovar’s Rendezvous Room, and the lounge is a cozy spot for a hot drink. After dinner, bundle up for a moonlight stroll along the Rim Trail, spend some time in the art gallery at Kolb Studio, or attend a program at Shrine of the Ages.
Sunrise or sleep in? If you decide to greet the dawn from somewhere other than your window, grab a quick bite at the Canyon Coffee House in Bright Angel Lodge, and hop the shuttle to Yaki Point. You may be the only ones to enjoy the sunrise from this beautiful overlook, but perhaps you’ll find a fellow traveler to snap a photo of you and your sweetie. Return to the village for a hearty breakfast or early lunch.
Afterward, stroll along the rim to Hopi House, designed by architect Mary Colter in 1905. Inside this historic structure is the canyon’s finest collection of Native American jewelry, perfect if you want to buy a memento of your special weekend. Spend the rest of the day exploring the East Rim by car, watching sunset from Lipan Point or the Desert View Watchtower, another Colter creation. To the west, inner canyon temples and buttes fade to blue and purple as golden light strikes the colorful hills and valleys of Unkar Delta and the sheer limestone walls of Marble Canyon—a dramatic finale for your weekend.
© Kathleen Bryant from Moon Grand Canyon, 5th Edition