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Phantom Ranch

    Phantom Ranch
 in Grand Canyon


TripAdvisor Traveler Rating:
510 Reviews
Latest TripAdvisor Reviews

  • Tough on the backside, but so worth it!

    by JLSPGB on 2019-12-31 03:48 am

    My husband and I were lucky enough to have our application drawn in the lottery for the mule ride down to Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This was a bucket list experience for us. It was somewhat of a challenge physically with sore backsides and burning thigh muscles on the trip down. But oh my, the views are worth the pain! We often felt like we had gone back in time and were a part of the Old West. When we reached the bottom, we were greeted by the jade green Colorado River in all its glory. The cabins that we spent the night in were constructed in the 1920s and as we laid our tired bodies down for the night, we could see the moonlight peak through the cracks in the timbers of the roof. The accommodations were rustic but adequate for our needs. We were served dinner and breakfast at the Phantom Ranch Cantina and it was top notch fare! Big juicy steaks for supper and the best bacon I have ever had for breakfast were some of the highlights! The trip back up the next morning was much easier on the humans, but the mules did need more rest breaks, which only afforded us more time to admire the views. The guides were professional and patient, and knowledgeable about the history and geology of the canyon as well. If you are not afraid of heights, a little work, and can manage a big animal, go online and enter the Phantom Ranch lottery. I don't think you will regret it!

  • Better than tent camping, highly recommend

    by buckhousept on 2019-12-30 11:31 am

    I started with 3 women I kind of knew, but mostly hiked down/up on my own. Stayed in a dorm with the nicest people, but 10 people does make it tricky to get great sleep. But who cares when the alternative is a tent. It was very cold down there over Christmas break, so needed to sit in the dorm, hike, or sit in the canteen to stay warm. But the trails were not crowded. Weather was around 30 degrees; the moment you quit hiking, you are very cold. I am in very good shape and was not prepared for the soreness that followed the descent down Bright Angel trail in my calves and hips/glutes. That was an interesting surprise! Loved this. Planning another trip. Not for unseasoned-campers and/or people who like to be waited on and helped with everything and/or people who like things clean and perfect: go to a resort. This is not a resort.

  • Exactly what was needed

    by Rim2RimFlagstaff on 2019-12-30 09:05 am

    Having spent many a night below the rim I am always in awe of the ability to either camp or if lucky enough score a dorm room or cabin. Although the cabin was a great stay the dorm was the best. Yes it's not the Ritz nor was that what was wanted. A comfortable bed after a long hike without the need to carry it on my back! To relax with a cold beer possibly the best ever tasted was a great reward. Family style meals for us worked as we enjoyed our stew with travelers from all over the world. Have also had the steak dinner when available. The rangers and staff have always gone out of their way to insure an amazing experience. Please not this trip if fortunate enough to get is not for everyone. A long hike down beats up your knees, ankles and feet but to be lucky enough to have done this multiple times every trip down proves to be memorable. To find a bed, hot meal, shower and a cold beer at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Priceless and worth every sore muscle!

  • Make sure this is what you want

    by peter jan t on 2019-12-28 04:40 pm

    Hiking down the Grand Canyon is a pure hikers dream. Nothing that is said here is meant to diminish even one bit of this truly unique, once in a life time experience. You can only have so many moments in life that you will remember for ever, and the hike itself is one of them.

    Having said this, one has to separate this uniqueness from the service and product that is offered by Phantom Range.

    First of all, all that is commented here is useless as you don't have a serious alternative if you do not sleep in a tent. So, in the end make the best of it.

    But their service simply is poor. Most tour operators describe Phantom Range as a wonderful place, with hot water and a nice bed and a cozy place and so on. However, Phantom Range is no more than a canteen for the camp grounds it in essence is. Yes there are personal cabins, nice to stay, spread around the site. But also dormitories, which they do not easily mention but you sleep in a mens or a women's room, with 6 to 10 beds.

    Phantom Range doesn't have a bar nor a lounge. Nor a place to sit and relax. The total experience is a camping ground experience with a canteen. If it is raining you are lost. If it is cold, it is quite inconvenient.

    The canteen offers room for about 48 people spread over 4 tables. As there are often over 100 people down, they have breakfast, lunch and dinners in shifts. All done in a rush.

    The service is accompanied by a bit misplaced attitude on how "unique" the place is. And how remote. And how happy one should be to be there. Is that a reason for any lack of serious service? Any question asked is met with difficulty. And the 'manager' even keeps quite misplaced speeches on all "of the respect they deserve". Sorry guys, this is still USA, with helicopter service and a 'simple well paid donkey support' that runs daily with all you need. Incomparable with remote areas in Africa, Nepal or some other places, that ask for much more personal effort to keep up running.

    The hike is unique. Please make the stay with you as unique !

    Ps. The price for a cabin is $ 180 per couple and for a dorm place $ 65, a night. Take this in account when a tour company shamelessly charges $ 1200 per person for a 3 days/2 nights trip. Nature comes free ...

    Ps2. The hike has no price!! Truly amazing...

  • 4 days in hiking heaven

    by Ray37364 on 2019-12-24 05:25 pm

    Phantom Ranch (PR) - stayed 3 nights mid-December in 10-man bunkhouse, would do it all again in a heart-beat. A professional guide staying with his group at PR recommended coming DOWN Bright Angel and going UP South Kaibab; reasoning Bright Angel is more gradual descent allowing more control over downward steps so generally safer with less chance of injury, South Kaibab is shorter (about 2 miles) but steeper steps but having more step/balance control when going up. We came down SK in 5 hours but took 8 hours on BA which is slow but both of us were over 70. 3 nights about right, allowing time to hike trails around PR. On arrival, check in at cafeteria, then lay claim to bunk; provided are bunk with sheet, blanket and towel. Bunkhouse had excellent shower (soap, shampoo, conditioner provided), toilet, sink. Power outlets by sink (can be used to charge phone, though no service). Obviously bring ear plugs just in case, didn't need them. Dinner (either steak at 5:30p or stew at 7p) was ample, filling and tasty; served family-style. Breakfast (bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, pancakes) very good. Coffee available outside cafeteria for guests.

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