I have had the pleasure of staying at Phantom Ranch 4 times and I have loved it every time. It's about a 3-4 hour hike down from the South Rim on the N. Kaibab Trail, depending on your conditioning and how many stops you take for photos as each switchback seems to offer even better views than the last. If you want a cold beer, make sure you are down well before 4, as the Cantina closes at 4 to get ready for the first dinner seating. Stew is excellent and so is the steak. I have not had the vegetarian chili. Love the family style seating and meeting people from all over the world who have come to hike the canyon. You can easily hike down, spend the night and go back out the next day or continue on to the other side, but I have found 2 nights at Phantom makes for a more relaxing trip and provides time to sit on the beach and watch the rafts go by, explore the Phantom Ranch are or hike up to Ribbon Falls. Dorms are fine, but prefer the cabins. Reservations need to be made a year in advance, unless you get lucky and happen to all on a day when someone has cancelled. I think October and April are the best months, but they are also the highest in demand.
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