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“Hike of a lifetime. Thankful for the bed and hot meals”
Review of Phantom Ranch

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Phantom Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Chesapeake, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Hike of a lifetime. Thankful for the bed and hot meals”
Reviewed 29 December 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, travelled solo
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9 Thank twothumbsup4us
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Melbourne, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
304 reviews
86 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 160 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 December 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, travelled 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 21 November 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, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
15 Thank MamaMona01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silver Spring, MD
Level 4 Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 November 2011

We hiked down Nov. 8 and left on the 10th. Snow at the top and dry on the bottom. Temps were 40's - 50's. PERFECT hiking conditions, except for the mud after we left the snow portion on the SK trail, but we passed the section quickly. We stayed in the dorms as a cabin was not to be; however, it did not lessen the experience of enjoying the bottom of that great big whole in the ground. The dorm was kept clean and all us gals were very considerate of each other. My hubby managed in the dorms as well, but he would have much preferred a cabin. You are hardly in your dorm at all, so bascially,we felt that it didn't matter much in the end. We ate 2 dinners. The steak dinner was okay. The stew dinner was excellent. Breakfast was perfect. Lots to eat and lots of fun to eat family style too. The lunches have a lot to be desired, but at least we didn't have to think about schlepping too much food with us from the rim; not sure what they could do to improve the lunch. The overall experience is so unique and wonderful. We are not campers and this gave us the opportunity to relish being at the bottom without any care in the world. I just wish it wasn't the most dificult reservation in the world to snag!! We hope to return again.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
4 Thank gailcharisse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dallas, Texas
Level 6 Contributor
817 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 383 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2011

We hiked down & up the south rim (South Kaibab down & Bright Angel up) at the end of Sept. I'm glad we didn't do it any earlier in the season b/c when we got to the bottom it was HOT! (Mid 90's full sun)
We stayed one night at Phantom Ranch in Cabin #10. We lucked into a cabin vs the dorm. I called 13 months out & was actually the 1st call of the day so maybe that had something to do with it.
We did the 6:30 hikers stew dinner (which was good) and actually bought 2 lunches (1 for when we got down the 1st day ~ which tasted pretty darn good after hiking down) & 1 for the way back up.
Hopefully you're lucky enough to get a room here b/c it's worth it! What a way to see the Grand Canyon!

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank BrussoDallas
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
Region: United States > Arizona > Grand Canyon National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 13 Speciality 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 
Also Known As:
Phantom Ranch Hotel Grand Canyon National Park
Phantom Ranch Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch

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