Phantom Ranch at the Bottom of the Grand Canyon

A comfortable oasis nestled tucked beside Bright Angel Creek on the north side of the Colorado River, Phantom Ranch is the only lodging below the Grand Canyon Rim.
Publish date:

If you are looking for a unique experience powered by your own feet (or of those of a mule you are riding on top) in the Grand Canyon's South Rim, look no further than Phantom Ranch.

Located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, it is tucked in beside Bright Angel Creek on the north side of the Colorado River and is the only lodging facility below the canyon rim. The ranch can only be reached by mule, by foot or by rafting the Colorado River and is a popular stop-over point for hikers and mule riders traveling to the bottom of the canyon via the famous Bright Angel or Kaibab trails.

Getting to Phantom Ranch

It's not an easy hike. If you take the South Kaibab trail, it is a 7.5-mile hike, which takes 4-5 hours to get to the ranch, depending on your speed. If you hike on the Bright Angel trail, it's 10 hours and 4-6 hours to get to the ranch. Getting back to the top of Grand Canyon's rim takes even longer since the entire route is uphill. Heat can and has been a safety hazard hiking to and from Phantom Ranch because of the time you need to spend on the trail to get there and back. In addition, temperatures rise as you get closer to the Colorado River, so if your timing is off, you can end up hiking in life-threatening heat.

Hikers rest outside a cabin at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Hiker rest outside a cabin at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

Phantom Ranch's Accommodations

Designed by architect Mary Jane Colter in the 1920s, Colter used native stone and wood as part of her design. There are four dormitories: two for males and two for females. Each dorm has five bunk beds, a restroom and a shower. The ranch provides towels and bedding for each guest. There are cabins you can stay in, as well. While the cabins are variable in size, they can fit between two to 10 people, but the prices are based on double occupancy. There is a central location that houses showers, hot water sinks, bath towels and liquid soap.

To take a mule trip to and from Phantom Ranch, you can book these through the same central reservations offices you make your Phantom Ranch reservations. See details below.

The Phantom Ranch Cantina serves breakfast and dinner, but you must make reservations in advance if you would like meals at Phantom Ranch. The Canteen also sells snacks, beverages and sundries.

For more information:
Reservations (888) 297-2757 or (303) 297-2757

If you want to stay at Phantom Ranch, make your reservations early. Reservations open for dates 13 months prior and you have to call the central reservation office in Denver (which follows mountain standard time) to reserve your spot. The central reservations office is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.daily. It's first-come, first-served, so be sure to time your call at 888-297-2757. It's open year-round.

One last piece of advice. Don't forget to reconfirm your reservation two days before your hike. This is required. To reconfirm, please call the Bright Angel Transportation Desk at 928-638-3283.


Grand Canyon Lodge at the North Rim

Grand Canyon Lodge and Cabins at the North Rim

Grand Canyon Lodge-North Rim is located in Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona at Bright Angel Point. The only lodging on the North Rim.

The El Tovar Hotel at night on the Grand Canyon's South Rim.

7 Grand Canyon South Rim Hotels - How to Choose

Personalized guide to help you decide where to lay your head from historic lodges to modern motels inside the national park

El Tovar Hotel and Restaurant at the Grand Canyon's South Rim.

South Rim | El Tovar Hotel

The premier lodging facility at the Grand Canyon. The Hotel has hosted such luminaries as Theodore Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and Western author Zane Grey.

A bull elk at the Grand Canyon

Yavapai Lodge Wants to Keep the Grand Canyon Grand

When you stay at the Yavapai Lodge in Grand Canyon National Park, you’ll be experiencing a piece of the park’s history, but you’ll also be actively participating in its future.

Thunderbird Lodge. Courtesy photo

South Rim | Thunderbird Lodge

Thunderbird is a contemporary lodge. Located on the Canyon rim, half of the rooms at the Thunderbird Lodges have partial canyon views.

Bright Angel Lodge in the Grand Canyon. NPS photo by Micheal Quinn.

South Rim | Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins

A National Historic Landmark. Designed by famed architect Mary Jane Colter. Just a few feet from the Canyon rim, it's the check-in point for mule rides.

The Caboose Suite at the Canyon Motel. Photo by YouTube

10 Eccentric Places to Stay Near the Grand Canyon

Don’t let your road trip to the Grand Canyon sound just like your neighbors’ vacation. Set your trip apart - stay at unusual lodging along the way.

Kachina Lodge. Courtesy photo

South Rim | Kachina Lodge

Kachina is a contemporary lodge located on the Canyon rim. Half of the rooms at the Kachina Lodge have partial canyon views.

Smiling rider takes a mule along Bright Angel Trail to Phantom Ranch

Ride a Mule into the Grand Canyon

Explore the depths of the Grand Canyon on popular trails like the Bright Angel and South Kaibab trail on a mule. Trips start from South or North Rim.