‘It’s the best time to go’: Historic Jacob Lake Inn welcomes visitors to the North Rim this fall and winter

Rustic Southwestern accommodations at Jacob Lake Inn, Jacob Lake, Arizona, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Jacob Lake Inn, St. George News / Cedar City News

CONTRIBUTED CONTENT — For nearly a century, the proprietors of Jacob Lake Inn have welcomed guests with home-like comfort in charmingly rustic surroundings. Take a scenic drive to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park and experience what it was like to travel when the journey was every bit as important as the destination.

Historical photo of Jacob Lake Inn during the 1940s, Jacob Lake, Arizona, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Jacob Lake Inn, St. George News / Cedar City News

Jacob Lake Inn has been family-owned and operated since it was founded by Harold and Nina Bowman in 1923. Today, the fourth and fifth generations of the family continue their tradition of friendly service, comfortable beds, excellent meals and helpful information about this unique area.

“It’s just a pretty place to get up and be away from everything,” said Julie Langi, who owns and operates the inn alongside her husband, Keli.

Emerging from the towering ponderosa pines of the Kaibab National Forest, Jacob Lake Inn is known as the “Gateway to the Grand Canyon,” welcoming visitors to the North Rim approximately 30 miles away. A worthwhile trip for those who enjoy the road less traveled, the North Rim is visited by just 10% of all Grand Canyon tourists. Its overlooks and trails offer dramatic views that rival the beauty of the South Rim, only without the crowds.

The accommodations at Jacob Lake Inn reflect the property’s rich Southwestern heritage. Guests can choose between hotel rooms, motel rooms or historic cabins. All lodgings have private decks and views of either the garden or the surrounding forest.

Jacob Lake Inn features a Navajo-inspired restaurant serving American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as a bakery offering scrumptious cookies made with a time-honored family recipe. Almost every item on the menu, including the bread, is made from scratch on-site. Don’t miss the Grand Bull Sandwich, quite possibly the best burger west of the Mississippi, and the Kaibab Jagerschnitzel, with a taste as distinctive as its name.

Sunset view of Cape Royal on the North Rim, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Jacob Lake Inn, St. George News / Cedar City News

The gift shop is among the finest of its kind in the Southwest, Langi said. The Bowmans and their descendants have been trading with local artisans for nearly 100 years and have gained a reputation for their extensive inventory of authentic Native American art, including weaving, pottery, jewelry and baskets.

The inn also has a service station with gas available 24/7. The country store provides basic travel necessities and grocery items along with snacks, drinks, beer and wine.

Driving from Southern Utah to the North Rim is an adventure in and of itself. The road winds through meadows, forests, and this time of year, visitors may be lucky enough to see buffalo roaming.

The North Rim closes seasonally due to its elevation of roughly 8,000 feet. The lodge, campground and general store have already suspended services for the remainder of 2022, but the area will remain open for day use, including hiking, through Nov. 30. Jacob Lake Inn, however, welcomes guests all year long, and visiting during fall and winter is an unforgettable experience.

“In my opinion, it’s the best time to go to the Grand Canyon because of the slower pace,” Langi said. “You might go out to some of the viewpoints and be the only person there.”

Native American art on display in the Jacob Lake Inn dining room, Jacob Lake, Arizona, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Jacob Lake Inn, St. George News / Cedar City News

After the road to the North Rim is closed on Dec. 1, adequate snowfall allows for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and backpacking. There’s also a sledding hill nearby.

As they look ahead to the property’s 100th anniversary, the owners and employees of Jacob Lake Inn continue to follow the same philosophy that has made it a destination beloved by visitors from around the world: “Travelers are our guests and are welcome in our home.”

The Langis are fourth-generation owners, and now they’re bringing their children into the family business. Their kids go to school in St. George and spend summers working at Jacob Lake Inn, continuing the family legacy – a legacy of hard work, friendly service, excellent products and a love for the Kaibab Plateau, the Grand Canyon and the red rock desert they call home.

Written by ALEXA MORGAN for St. George News.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

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