While researching places to stay in Arizona during our hiking and camping road trip, I came across a cabin you could rent that was in the Grand Canyon area but not actually in the busy part of the park. I decided to book 2 nights there as I knew I didn't want to camp in the busy campground more than the one night (just for the showers) yet we wanted to stay in the Grand Canyon area because we planned on visiting some of the lookout points over the next couple days.
If you've been following our Road Trip story so far, then you already know we ran into a huge glitch with this reservation as well. You have to call ahead of time to get the code to to get into the cabin. No problem. Except when I called, the office had shut down due to lack of funding for staffing. Because they were low staffed, they shut the office down until the following week... long after we would be gone.
My two nights reservations were made months ago and paid in full. But unfortunately there was no other numbers to call; no one else I could call. The reservation system is through the government's main site for the whole country and all they do is take your reservation and money; they had no way to help. In the end, it took a lot of work on my part but I tracked down the code to use for our reservation and we were able to get in. Whew! Or we would have been 'homeless' again - for the second time on this trip.
Since all water has to be trucked into the site by the employees, there was no drinking water replenished since the people before us had left; but thankfully they hadn't used all of it and there was 1 container left. We knew the next people staying after us also would not have fresh drinking water if they hadn't brought any themselves so we mostly used our own that we had brought, and left half the container for them. (Assuming they were able to track down the code to get in. I have no idea. Perhaps they weren't able to due to the office being closed and missed their reservations... I have no way of knowing.) The water in the kitchen is also trucked in, and not knowing how much water the previous guests had used and how much would be left before the employees came back to work and filled it, we also conserved that water and tried to use as little as possible.
The cabin is quite bare so you need to bring your own... well, everything. Except the kitchen had bowls and pans, silverware, etc. and because past guests leave many things, there was a pretty good assortment of kitchen items. We opted to use our own though.
Although the cabin has gas lights, there is no electricity and no bathrooms. The bathroom is in the outhouse - but it's a vault toilet, so it's not quite as rustic as an actual outhouse. It does smell like an outhouse though...
Loved this old desk in the bedroom area; except we didn't really touch it and certainly didn't sit at it or use it. The cabin doesn't have anyone to clean it; it's cleaned by the current guests for the next guests. So it's under layers of dust and grime. I'm sure it's home to plenty of spiders as well; but I wasn't about to check too close.
I just love how these pictures make it look so lovely! It's actually pretty dirty and has a lot of spiders and mice - This room looks so welcoming but in reality we didn't use the living room at all; we walked into it to take pictures but that's about it.
This cabin looks like it offers solitude, but it was fairly busy in that area. It's near a very popular hiking trail as well as a busy road that had more traffic than I anticipated. Since it's listed as a historic cabin in a recreation area, there are groups of people that come to see it, and even have picnics on the grounds. They expect the cabin to be 'open' to the public to tour. That gets awkward!
I wish the places listing this as a recreational area also mentioned the cabin is a private rental! We had people drive up early one morning and start to peek in the windows and walk in the door on us. I had to tell them the cabin isn't actually to the public to walk through - and that we were privately renting it. I'm glad we weren't in the middle of dressing or anything when they showed up and started to look in the windows and walk through the door! There is a guest book on the kitchen table; apparently this sort of thing happens to most of the people that stay.
We enjoyed the quiet compared to the campground the night before. We played horseshoes, ate dinner and then sat on the porch, eating some Reese's Pieces before heading in to bed for the night.
Bring a flashlight so you can find the bathroom in the middle of the night!
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