This was my 8th hike to Phantom Ranch.
The Grand Canyon is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Views from the rim are spectacular at any time of year and in any weather. However, there is absolutely nothing like hiking into the canyon to see its rocky wonders and the majestic river that carved it.
The payoff is staying at Phantom Ranch which is comprised of rustic cabins that can accommodate 4 people or up to 10 people, a campground and a charming canteen that provides hearty breakfasts and family style dinners. Wine and beer are available for purchase along with snacks, tshirts and hats. They also sell hiker's lunch, snacks, a few first aid items and some hiking supplies.
Prices for meals are high, but keep in mind all supplies and waste are packed in and out by mule train only.
Cash and major credit cards are accepted but if computers are down you would not be able to purchase items.
All cabins have bunk beds with sheets, pillows and bedspreads. Male or female dorms have hot showers, toilets and sink. The cabins are heated but no A/C. The cabins are open to groups, families, couples, etc that are made up of coed groups. These buildings have sinks and toilets but the showers are located in a separate building. These showers are quite nice, too.
Phantom Ranch staff members tend to be people-friendly folks who provide great service. I have stayed there 8 times and I would say I've only met grumpy staff one time.
The canteen is open for early breakfast at 5:30-6:30, late breakfast 7-8, general gathering from 8:30-4, early dinner from 5:30-6:30 and late dinner 7-8. It reopens for socialization from 8:30-10pm.
All meals and accommodations must be booked in advance through Xanterra concessions (go to NPS website for the Grand Canyon). We make our reservations 13 months in advance of our trip.
What do I dislike? Nothing.
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