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Route 66: The Grand Canyon Caverns & Inn, a Motel With Deep Roots

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While the pandemic forces most of us to stay quietly at home or in the immediate neighbourhood as the year comes, mercifully, to a close, Auto123 revisits (virtually) some of the memorable spots found along the mythical road known as Route 66. Today, our third stop, as we linger at a must-see stop along the way, the Grand Canyon Caverns & Inn.

See also: The History of Route 66, the Mother Road of America

Towards the end of Route 66, in Arizona, a portion of the route diverges from the main road for a short desert crossing. The reward for going off on that tangent is a motel that offers the deepest room-for-the-night on the planet.

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1961 Pontiac Tempest
Photo: D.Rufiange
1961 Pontiac Tempest

Located in relative proximity to the Grand Canyon, the motel takes the official name Grand Canyon Caverns & Inn and has the distinction of offering the deepest room on the planet. Literally. As in, the room is situated 200 feet underground, within a cave. It will cost you between $800 and $1000 to spend the night and be warned, the unit is normally reserved far ahead of time for approximately 100 evenings per year. When we arrived on site, our schedule didn’t really give us permission to stop, but since the place was full of old cars, we made an exception... one more.

The Cavern Suite at the Grand Canyon Caverns & Inn
The Cavern Suite at the Grand Canyon Caverns & Inn
GM TDH 5303
Photo: D.Rufiange
GM TDH 5303

On the grounds of the Inn, many old vehicles are placed here and there to provide entertainment and atmosphere. Seeing one of this generation of buses, two things came spontaneously to mind: the city of Montreal circa the 1960s-1970s, and the movie Speed.

Ford Falcon
Photo: D.Rufiange
Ford Falcon

Most of the vehicles used as decorative objects on the motel grounds are in poor condition. This confirms what we were told in a few places along Route 66, namely that many business owners buy finished antique cars in order to sprinkle them about. That atmosphere, again…