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Solitude Close to the Well-Trod Path

September 30, 1990|JAMES T. YENCKEL

Getting there: The North and South rims of the Grand Canyon can be reached from Las Vegas and Phoenix, both of which are served by most major U.S. airlines. Train service is available to the South Rim from Williams, and bus service from Flagstaff and Williams.

Where to stay: To avoid the heaviest crowds, the first choice would be the North Rim:

--Grand Canyon Lodge: About 280 rustic cabins are clustered around a gorgeous old lodge. Two-person cabins cost $45 to $60 a night. For reservations, contact TW Recreational Services, P.O. Box 400, Cedar City, Utah 84720, (801) 586-7686.

--A Park Service campground has 82 sites with showers nearby, but no hookups for recreational vehicles. Cost is $6 per night plus a reservation charge. Ticketron handles reservations: (900) 370-7070.

--Kaibab Lodge: Rustic-looking and very inviting lodge in a broad meadow six miles north of the Grand Canyon, open mid-May to mid-October. Accommodations are in 24 small cabins. Rates for two: $40-$55 a night. For reservations: (800) 525-0924.

There's no escaping the crowds at Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. Still, it is a jumping-off place for rim and inner-canyon hikes:

--Grand Canyon lodges: Six park lodges offer accommodations, from basic cabins to luxury hotel rooms. Rates for two range from $40 a night at Bright Angel Lodge to $90-$300 a night at El Tovar, the luxury hotel. For reservations: Grand Canyon National Park Lodges, P.O. Box 699, Grand Canyon, Ariz. 86023, (602) 638-2401.

For more information:

--Grand Canyon National Park, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, Ariz. 86023, (602) 638-7888. The Park Service can provide a listing of outfitters offering rafting trips through the Grand Canyon.

--Kaibab National Forest: N. Kaibab Ranger District, Box 248, Fredonia, Ariz. 86022, (602) 643-7395.

--Comprehensive trail guides and maps are sold at both the North and South rims.

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