Visiting the Grand Canyon has always been on my bucket list and finally I can cross it off. Yep, I got lucky enough to visit this magnificent place in March and as you can imagine, it did not disappoint! After doing the typical tourist things like touring the visitor’s center, hiking along the South Rim and enjoying some amazing views, I set out to explore the fireplaces in the park.
The El Tovar Lodge
The El Tovar Hotel, considered one of the most elegant hotels west of the Mississippi, opened in the early 1900’s. Located at the end of the railroad line, this historic property sits on the south rim of the Grand Canyon providing the breath-taking views. The hotel was built from local limestone and Oregon pine cost $250,000 to build. Several fireplaces throughout the property provide warm, cozy spots for guests to relax after a long day sightseeing.
The cream colored stone fireplace in the main lobby sits off to the side surrounded by a sitting area providing a cozy spot where guests can relax after a long day sightseeing. The fireplace looks plain and simple, with a black wrought iron screen doors and arched opening. A dark brown rustic wood mantel sits at the top while cast iron pots and fireplace tools sit on the hearth. When watching the dancing flames and listening to the real wood crackle and pop as it burns, it’s easy for your mind to wander back in time and imagine guests sitting in the the same spot years ago.
The formal dining room looks elegant with large stone fireplaces located at at each end of the room. Both stone fireplaces have a pair lighted sconces in the place of a mantel and local artwork that sits in an alcove at the top. Rustic chandeliers hang throughout the room giving off soft lighting, adding to the intimate feel of the space.
Upstairs, a sitting area with a small cozy white stucco fireplace gives off a southwestern vibe providing guests a place to relax and enjoy a cup of coffee after dinner. Gas logs burn behind a metal screen inside the arched firebox opening.
The Hopi House Gift Shop
The Hopi House, located outside the El Tovar, was built in 1905 and serves as a gift shop and provides a peek into the lives of Native Americans who once lived and worked in the building. They could be seen in the workroom making jewelry, pottery, blankets and other items to sell. In the evening, they would dance and play traditional music, a tradition that continues today during the summer months. A few stone fireplaces are scattered throughout the property providing a glimpse of how these Native Americans lived.
Bright Angel Lodge
Like the El Tovar Hotel, the Bright Angel Lodge and its surrounding cabins is located along the Grand Canyon South Rim. This historic lodge was designed in 1935 by Mary E.J. Coulter, a famed southwestern architect. Originally the historic property was a hotel. Then it became a camp and finally it was transformed into a lodge. All the changes were made to accomodate the rising number of visitors after the arrival of the train in 1901. The fireplaces on the property are rich with history, each one with a story.
The stone fireplace in the lobby features huge rocks from the area and burns real wood. A beautiful piece of local Native American artwork hangs over the top adding interest and a pop of color.
The “geologic” fireplace in the History Room was designed by Coulter to feature all the rock layers of the Grand Canyon from river cobbles to the youngest stone strata on the rim. The hearth is made of flat river bottom rocks and each layer builds up from there.
The Yavapai Lodge
The Yavapai Lodge, conveniently located about a half mile from the visitor’s center and a mile from the south rim trail, consists of 16 buildings and a main lodge with a cafeteria. A cozy wood burning fire pit provides a place for guests to gather in the evenings and meet some new friends.
A gas fireplace made of stone sits inside the main lodge. It has a small sitting area for guests to sit and relax with a drink or play a game of checkers before dinner. A rustic mantel and built -in shelves accent the light colored stone and compliment the wooden ceiling beams.
Seeing all these beautiful fireplaces made me glad I visited the Grand Canyon in March when it was still chilly enough to enjoy the coziness of a warm fire!