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“Considering where you are...it's 5 Star!”
Review of Phantom Ranch

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Phantom Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Bozeman
Level 5 Contributor
81 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Considering where you are...it's 5 Star!”
Reviewed February 1, 2012

I've stayed at Phantom Ranch several times in both the dorms and the cabin. Prefer the cabin. Skip the lunch and pack in your food for the hike out. Other reviewers have said the same so trust us it's really horrible...what are they thinking? Dinner is great because you're hungry and someone else cooked it. Breakfast is great too. (don't forget to tip them!) The staff there is always friendly, the place is clean, the beds are not heavenly but you won't notice. It's all about the hike, the scenery and the fun people you meet along the way. Put this one on your bucket list.

Every time I've hiked this it's either been January or February and in fact one time, Kaibab Trail was closed for the first time in the history of the Park due to snow. (We tried the trail while it was still open and the trail was completely drifted in on the upper switchbacks, the snow was waist deep - scary). If you hike during these months be sure to have yak tracks or kahtulas because the trails are almost always icy and/or snowpacked at the top.
Bring an extra battery for your camera!

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
7 Thank glacierhiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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394 reviews from our community

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Milan, Italy
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed January 28, 2012

We did the mule ride and stayed two nights in a cabin at Phantom Ranch. Booked it 12 months in advance.
The cabin and the canteen were quite comfortable and quite clean, the organization is very tight (they ask you to leave the canteen at 6:10 if you are in the 5:30 dinner group), the pack lunch is not so yummy... but all these aspects are really not important, because you are in one of the most amazing place in the world.
The bottom of the canyon is just magic and Phantom Ranch is the only "facility" you can experience it: this make Phantom Ranch a wonderful place to be.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Barbara_Andrea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
317 reviews
69 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 195 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2012

Phantom Ranch provides separate bunk houses for men and women. They also have a limited number of cabins. If you do not want to camp at Bright Angel Campground, Phantom Ranch is an excellent option. The housing is modest with showers and toilets available for guests. The meals served at Phantom Ranch are awesome. The breakfast, steak dinner, and hiker's stew dinner are huge and tasty. My wife and I purchase sack lunches to hike out of the Canyon. Some people do not like the sack lunch, but we found it to be plentiful and good.

Room Tip: Book your stay with Xanterra.com as far in advance as possible. Phantom Ranch is popular and is ful...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank joelikes2travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Level 4 Contributor
34 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2012

We enjoyed a 2 night stay at the Phantom Ranch. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable! The dorms were very clean and comfortable. Food was also excellent, especially the beef stew! We will be back!

  • Stayed January 2012
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Helpful?
2 Thank FireflySweetTea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chesapeake, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed December 29, 2011

I'm truly thankful for the option to use Phantom Ranch when I planned my solo hike. Made my trip in 22-23 Sept 2010. Didn't need to pack much other than water (3 liters) and snacks since I knew I'd sleep in a bed and was buying my meals. Started down S. Kaibab trail at 0530 under a setting full moon. Temp at rim trailhead was 40 F. Arrived at PR canteen around 0930, temp 95F. Even though I'd trained to do this, it was physically wearying to my 50 yo frame. Greatly refreshed by a couple of lemonades in the A/C. First to arrive so I got to choose my bunk in one of the dorms. Soaked my hot, weary feet in the ice cold Bright Angel Creek then took a hot shower and a nap before anyone else arrived. Not too impressed by the sack lunch. I could do better toting that one down with me. Hiked back to the Colorado River in the afternoon, temp 110F. Took another short nap in the air conditioned dorm and then hiked close by that afternoon until the mulesters arrived. Enjoyed some of the Ranger program and waited for the call to a steak dinner. Enjoyed talking with the folks at the dinner table that came from all over the country and the world to be one of the few staying there together that evening in the oasis at the bottom of the canyon. Beautiful weather allowed an unrivalled visibility of the stars and moon in the clear night skies. Spent an hour in the canteen that evening enjoying a couple of cold brews and the company of my fellow travelers. Too soon it was time to go to bed. Reveille around 0445 and ready for a hot breakfast before heading up the Bright Angel trail around 0530. Found a companion to hike along with and we arrived at the south rim trail head around 1230. A once in a lifetime experience and I relish the thought of doing it again!

Room Tip: Get there as early as possible (first come, first served).
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled solo
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Helpful?
9 Thank twothumbsup4us
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
304 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
Reviewed December 22, 2011

We did the mule ride and stayed overnight in a cabin at Phantom Ranch. We were absolutely overwhelmed by the services available for such a remote location... lights and extra power points in the cabins, a double bed, and a toilet and sink within our cabin - we were expecting a lot less! We did a couple of small walks and saw some mule deer, and some amazing sights. The dinner and breakfast were served family style, which is not our thing, and meant that I was left with a slightly rarer steak than I would normally eat, but the food was tasty and there was plenty of it. Overall, an incredible experience that I would recommend to everyone!

Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
6 Thank zanzibar138
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ortonville, Michigan
Level 5 Contributor
59 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
Reviewed November 21, 2011

We visited with a group of 20 (10 in a Group cabin: recommended); 4 gals in Womens, 6 guys in the Men's dorms. Stayed two nights. Breakfasts and dinner were acceptable (can you say BACON!! The best!). Lunches...maybe pack your own; and supplement with stuff you can buy at the canteen. The bagels were stale; and most of the lunch food was not all that nutritious; just calories.
Bathrooms shared by the 4 person cabins and group cabin had great showers; not so much in the dorms. (I was the 'coordinator'; so got to see it all!). The dorms got a 5am Mandatory wake up call each am; even if half of the dorm didn't get breakfast until 7am (so get a 4 person or Group cabin if you don't want to awaken at 5am!). Bring earplugs.
Bunks were comfortable enough; everything was clean enough. Cabins were plenty warm. Bring a headlamp/flashlight for night. You ARE staying in a 90year old facility; at the bottom of a huge hole!!
Service was friendly; but a bit 'militant'. I imagine they need to be the 'time police' due to the masses. Don't forget to tip them. They don't make much.
Postage was available to mail postcards.
The location was spectacular. For those only experiencing one day at the Canyon bottom, I would skip the River loop; and take the North Kaibab trail (assumiing you came down from the South Rim) as far as you wish; then turn around. It's an easy, flat hike along the canyon bottom, with a different view at every turn (go to RIbbon Falls if you have a few days down there to recover before the climb out unless you're in really great shape).
A big recommendation: spend more than a day at the bottom of the Canyon; so you can experience it; do some day hikes; and rest before the climb out (which cannot be underestimated!), Another suggestion: get a cabin.
The Rangers were super friendly (Emily especially); and helpful. You can check out books at the Ranger station; so Don't bother to pack in your own book. Plenty of decent reading there.
The mule duffel service was a God send for our group (and We TRAINED!! for 33 weekly hikes beforehand!). It was worth the money. Like I said, Don't underestimate the Canyon!
Water was tasty enough; and no need to worry about digestive problems from the water (maybe gall bladder/digestive issues from fatty foods, but not the water!).
In November, we had terrific weather, No scorpions, No snakes, No bugs, didn't even see mice! Just a cute grey fox, some cute birds, a dozen mule deer; and the Aspens and Cottonwoods in peak yellow colors! Mother Nature was with us; as well as the 'Good Weather Fairy'!
One last word: plan to pack out your trash.
All in all, we had a fabulous trip; and would highly recommend it!!!

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
15 Thank MamaMona01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Phantom Ranch

Property: Phantom Ranch
Address: North Kaibab Trail, South Rim, bottom of Grand Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ 86023
Location: United States > Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Grand Canyon National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2 star — Phantom Ranch 2*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Phantom Ranch is a historic oasis nestled at the bottom of Grand Canyon. It is on the north side of the Colorado River tucked in beside Bright Angel Creek. Phantom is the only lodging below the canyon rim. The Ranch can only be reached by mule, by foot or by rafting the Colorado River. Overnight accommodations at Phantom Ranch consist of dormitory spaces and cabins. Cabins and dormitories are heated in winter and cooled during the summer months. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Phantom Ranch Hotel Grand Canyon National Park
Phantom Ranch Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch

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