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Yellowstone Hotels & Lodges - Canyon

Copyright 2009 by Robert V. Goss. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced
or utilized in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by an
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Click Here for Map of Canyon Area - 1930 Haynes Guide

Canyon Hotel

1st Canyon Hotel
This crude wooden structure was located in thick timber above Lower Falls, near the current Brink of Lower Falls parking lot. It was built in 1886 by the Yellowstone Park Association (YPA). This building housed the office, dining room, kitchen, and lobby. About 70 guests could be housed in nearby tents. It was permitted by the Army for the 1886 season only, but remained in use until a larger hotel was opened in 1890.
Photo courtesy of Montana State University, Haynes Photo Collection


2nd Canyon Hotel
This hotel was located on the hill above the Grand Canyon, near where the current Xanterra horse operation is operated.  The building contained 250 guest rooms and featured steam heat.   It was in operation until 1911 when it was incorporated into the construction of the new Canyon Hotel.

Photo courtesy of YNP Photo Archives, Number YELL 147588


3rd Canyon Hotel
This grandiose structure opened in 1911 with 375 rooms that accommodated 500 guests. It incorporated the 2nd Canyon Hotel into its floor plan, located on the left end of the hotel.The hotel was designed by Robert Reamer and construction continued through the winter of 1910-11.The cost was over $750,000 and was financed by the YP Hotel Co. and Harry Child, who obtained loans from the Northern Pacific RR.  Capacity was expanded to 600 guests in 1922 and a new wing was added in 1930-34. The perimeter was reported to be one mile long, and orchestras played nightly in the expansive lounge area. The hotel closed down after the 1958 season and guests were forced to stay in the new Canyon Village Lodge cabins.This magnificent building burned down in 1960 during demolition.   
Detroit Publishing Co. Postcard, #71062 - Canyon Hotel - Yellowstone Park

Newspaper article from The Anaconda Standard, Aug. 4, 1911 
Aug. 3 - The formal opening of the New Grand Canyon hotel in Yellowstone park, which marks the opening of this $700,000 structure, was celebrated last night by a ball, in which the guests of the hotel, campers in the park, fisherman, hotel employees and everybody else within a radius of 50 miles joined in. The hotel is unique among all the resort hotels in the world and the mammoth lounging room
is the most striking feature. This room, 185 feet by 95 feet in dimension, is finished in natural birch and furnished with large upholstered and willow pieces of original patterns, designed by Mrs. H.W. Child.  The hotel, which has been under construction for more than a year, was opened, except for the lounging room, when the park season began, June 15. It was built under incredible difficulties and every pound of material within this great structure, which stretches along the mountainside for 700 feet and is full five stories in height, was brought in by freight wagon and sleds from Gardiner, 40 miles away, and for several months, through snowdrifts 10 to 12 feet in depth, with the thermometer far below zero for weeks at a time. The hotel has 450 rooms and 75 bathrooms.  Robert C. Reamer, the architect, spent a year studying the great resort hotels in Europe and this country before making the plans, but found nothing suitable for the canyon, and built the new hotel after ideas of his own. Mr. Reamer was architect for the Old Faithful Inn and the Lake Colonial hotel in the park. The hotel sits on the side of the mountain, in absolute harmony with the natural scenery, within half a mile of the canyon of the Yellowstone.


 Alternate view of the 2nd Canyon Hotel
FJ Haynes #1890 - YNP Archives 14322

 1941 aerial view of 3rd Canyon Hotel. The new hotel was added to the 2nd hotel.
located on right end of the building.

YNP Archives 114981
Click Here for a color ca1950s aerial of hotel
 The 100' x 200' Lounge featured polished hardwoods, french plate glass, pillared porches, a stage for the orchestra that provided music for dancing.
YNP Archives 88972 

 "Grand Canyon Hotel Office"
Haynes Post Card #10150

 "Grand Canyon Hotel Tea Room"  where guests could enjoy scenic views, relax and chat with friends, or listen to the orchestra in the nearby lounge.
Haynes Post Card No. 217

 "Grand Canyon Hotel Entrance Incline"
Haynes Post Card No. 220
 Original brass key tag from the Canyon Hotel  Disastrous fire on August 8, 1960 spelled an ignoble end to this once magnificent structure. The hotel had been shut down after the 1958 season and guests were forced to use the recently-built, modern style Canyon Lodge cabins.

    Click Here for a 1915 Canyon Hotel Breakfast & Lunch Menu Click Here for a 1938 Drink Menu from Canyon Lodge. Most Beer, Wine and Booze was 35-50 cents a drink. Quarts & pints of liquor were also available.

Canyon Lodge

 The log Canyon Lodge was built on the Shaw & Powell Camping Co. site, located near the current Uncle Tom's Parking Lot. New tent cabins were erected in 1923-24 and the log lodge building was greatly expanded in 1925. It was operated by the YP Camps Co. until 1924 and by the YP Lodge & Camps Co. until 1936. At that time the vaious lodging companies were combined into Yellowstone Park Company. The lodge and cabins were closed down in 1957 with the opening of the new Canyon Village. The area was later cleaned up and rehabilitated and only a few relics can now be found in that area. Many of the cabins were moved to the Lake area.
Haynes, Inc. postcard, #15040 - Grand Canyon Camp, Main Building, Yellowstone Park (ca1915)

 Interior view of the expansive Canyon Lodge Lobby, featuring log construction and decorative lights accented with small logs.
YNP Archives 114925

[Interior view of Canyon Lodge Cabin.
Haynes Postcard - No date]

[Basic floor plan of Canyon Lodge]
 When Canyon Lodge was closed ca1957, many of the structures were moved to other locations in park, while some were demolished, and others were sold off, as was the case of the old Lodge Lobby, which was disassembled and moved to Nevada City (Virginia City), Montana by Charlie Bovey as part of his historic restoration/recreation of a historic Montana mining town. This sign is posted on the old log lodge building.  The interior has been recreated into a blacksmith shop.

 New Canyon Lodge
This modern new lodge opened in 1957 under the provisions of the Mission 66 plan, mandated by the Interior department. YPCo financed the construction to the tune of 5 million dollars and 500 boxy, flat-roofed cabins were eventually built. The lodge building featured a lounge, coffee shop, cafeteria, gift shop, and modern decor. The lodge is still in operation and is run by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Quite a few of the original cabins have been demolished, while many others have been remodeled. To provide additional guest rooms, Cascade Lodge was built in 1992 containing 37 rooms and is located in the cabin area. Dunraven Lodge was constructed nearby six years later and features 44 rooms.
Right: Haynes Studios, Inc. postcard, #K57157 - Canyon Lodge Administration Building and Main Lodge (circa late 1950's)

   As shown in this post card view, the interior of the new lodge was apparently designed with the 1960s mod look in mind. The interior has since been toned down and remodeled to present a bit more relaxing appearance.

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