Deal Time: The Big Canyon in Winter

Kachina and Thunderbird Lodges have cold-weather discounts afoot.

SNOW, SHADOWS, SILENCE: If you've read a brochure or two or ten about the Grand Canyon, you've likely read how winter is one of the prime times to visit, what with the fewer crowds and the settling of the hubbub and the enjoying of mostly silent times, depending where on the rim you go to enjoy those mostly silent times. The scene painted is tranquil; a few animals scurry into burrows, and heavy clouds hang in the distance, and a fire burns inside the Bright Angel lobby (along with a few pairs of random wet mittens that always seem to hang along the fire screen). We're into all of this, and it is 100% true, and not just brochure-speak, but here's our counter-point on the topic, and if you love "The Hobbit," tell us if you concur. The Grand Canyon in winter can be, at times, less bunnies hopping about in the snow drifts and more dramatic Tolkien-type landscape. It looks like something painted for a fantasy novel cover, when the moon is out, and if Frodo and his pals shuffled by, outside El Tovar, we wouldn't be surprised in the least.

WHICH MEANS... that any deal launched in the wintertime is a basically a trip into the world of an adventure novel, or at least the gorgeous setting. Yep, it is that way in the summer, but snowflakes do cast a spell. And lest we go and get all brochure-y, here's the upshot: Xanterra has a deal on for South Rim stayovers at Kachina and Thunderbird Lodges. A pair of motorcoach tours and two breakfasts at Bright Angel are part of it, and it starts at $179. Code? ESCAPE. Yeah, that's even a little genre fantasy novel right there. We will not and shall not dissuade you from visiting the big bowl in the warm months, but if you're into that whole epic thing, snow clouds and frosty breath do give it a fairyland feel. If you're into fairyland feels, that is, and aren't you? Good. There's only one correct answer for the open-hearted, whimsy-loving traveler to give on that matter.

For all the details on the 2014 Canyon Winter Escape Package, click here, aspiring adventurers.

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