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Phantom Ranch
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Reviews (421)
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All reviewssteak dinnerstewcornbreadsouth kaibab trailbunk bedsfamily stylebright angel creekmule ridethe cantinafellow hikersbunk housetrekking poleschocolate cake for dessertin advancewake up calltop bunklong hike
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Reviewed 3 June 2014

Went with a bunch of friends, it was my first trip to the Grand Canyon. We spent a night by the South Rim, so we got an early start for our hike down. The hike itself was fantastic, with postcard-like views at every turn. By the time we reached the bottom, we were definitely ready to dump off our packs, get washed up and relax in the shade. Considering how remote it is (supplies are dropped in by helicopter/ carried by mule), it's impressive that they have AC and hot showers and the food was good and plentiful (they alternate steak and stew, with salads and sides). Breakfast was what you'd find at a typical hotel restaurant and was actually much better than what we had at the top. I've read some of the other reviews and it is ridiculous to compare a place at the bottom of the Grand Canyon to any regular hotel restaurant due to the remote location and inherent difficulty in transporting supplies in and out, as well as storing food for any length of time. The folks who run and operate Phantom Ranch do an admirable job in creating a homey feel and welcoming those who venture down to the bottom of the canyon. You likely won't get a cell signal (I didn't) and there is no internet, tv or other electronics that predominate most of our lives. This is an escape from that- not the place for anyone who is looking for any of that-- but, rather an escape from the 24/7 connected wireless life that most of us have adopted. Considering only 1% of the total number of people who visit the Grand Canyon actually hike down to the bottom, it's a self-selecting crowd of hiking and nature enthusiasts, so I don't even know why that would be an issue. They have board games and cards in the lodge where you eat for those who feel so inclined. There is a beach about a mile from the lodge, though the rangers warn against going in the water. Besides being extremely cold, the currents of the Colorado River are very strong. That said, you can dip your feet in by the edge and we saw people fishing (catch-and-release). Boats/rafts stop at that beach, also. So, the accommodations range from those who bring their own tents and camp, to dorms to cabins. We stayed in the dorms which have bunk beds (eight people per dorm) and and shared bathroom. It does get hot at the bottom so they keep the AC on and I personally found it to be too much. When I mentioned this to the staff, they adjusted it so it cycled less frequently- problem solved. Also, I would highly recommend bringing earplugs, without which I'd have had a difficult time falling asleep. The odds are someone will be a loud sleeper (snoring), not to mention people getting up to use the bathroom, etc. The Park Rangers have a station right next to Phantom Ranch and they offer free presentations twice a day. My friends and I really enjoyed learning about the wildlife found in the canyon and the rangers also shone a black fluorescent light on some rocks so we could see some scorpions-- very cool. We spent three nights at Phantom Ranch and I really enjoyed the experience. The staff obviously love being there and are very helpful, as well as pleasant to talk to. I was particularly impressed with Andrea; the entire staff was great-- and was nice enough to help us celebrate one of our group member's birthday while we were there. To anyone venturing down the the canyon floor, I recommend Phantom Ranch and hope to return myself before too long.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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13  Thank 769Eric
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2014

Note - this place is rustic. Accommodations are minimal and space is small. That being said - we loved it! You have few choices at the bottom of the canyon, camping or the Phantom Ranch. Space fills quickly and reservations are an absolute must - 13 months in advance! Our party, with two couples, shared a 4-bunk cabin one night, which had a toilet, cold water sink and air conditioner (so appreciated in 100 degree temps!). Showers for cabin guests are housed in separately for men and women, and were very clean, with fresh towels, and soap/shampoo. We had to move to shared dorms the following night. There are separate dorms for men and women, accommodating ten with five sets of bunks, a sink, toilet, shower and these are air conditioned as well. I preferred the cabin, but they are very difficult to get.

Phantom has a separate building which serves as reception, gift shop, lobby, game room, bar (yes - cold beer and wine are available after a long day's hike!), restaurant and post office (with official mule-carried stamps - you have to send yourself a postcard). There is no access to the building when the space hosts two breakfast and two dinner seatings, so when it's hot, (and it often is), you need to hang out in your bunk, find some shade or hang out in Bright Angel Creek.

I'll have fond memories of Phantom Ranch for life!

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
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4  Thank Karen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014

Hiked the 10 miles from South Rim to Phantom Ranch. Stayed overnight at Phantom Ranch in the Dorm. Food for dinner and breakfast was plentiful, and surroundings were very nice. Dorm is a bunch of bunk beds, very close together. 2 folks in our dorm were very loud sleepers, so not an optimal experience. Would consider the camping option next time. The hike down was not too bad, did it in under 6 hours for our family of 4 (2 college age kids). The hike up was a challenge after the 1/2 point from Indian Garden. Did it in 7 hours total. The weather was wonderful in our 2 days, but got really hot the next days (don't know if I could have hiked 10 miles in extreme heat). Nice views of the canyon, but you need to be in pretty good shape to make this hike down and back up.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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3  Thank SharonPatel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

Accommodations in the Phantom Ranch cabins are generously described as primitive. Food is repetitive and the dining experience is a monument to OCD. There is no TV, your phone won't work and there's a good chance you're tired and hurt somewhere. But if you don't love it after hiking from the rim of the Grand Canyon, your hormones are seriously out of balance.

Hats off to the staff. Virtually everything available at the Ranch is hauled in by mule. Staff hikes in. And hikes out. And stays cheerful in the face of a relentless onslaught of fatigued hikers, rafters and mule riders.

Hats off to the builders and improvers. Structures are old but everything works, from heat & air in the cabins to hot water in the shower building. Sheets are clean and toilets flush.

And head bowed to the magnificent experience. Filled with the canyon and the river during daylight, and a billion stars at night, your stay at Phantom Ranch will be perfect.

Room Tip: Call 13 months in advance to have a chance at reserving a private cabin, else you are doomed to a dorm.
  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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9  Thank Cardinalis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

Exhilarating rush when you finally make it to the bottom! There is a wonderful sense of community here. The beef stew and lemonade were wonderful and definitely hit the spot after the hike. Really a special place. My only wish is that we could have stayed longer... like forever!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank D K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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