What is Phantom Ranch all about?

By Krystal • October 10, 2019

You may have heard about a mysterious lodge located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Phantom Ranch is a “bucket list” destination for hikers around the world. The lodge was designed by Mary Colter and built in the 1920’s. Due to the remote location, food and other supplies are packed in from the South Rim by mules. Guests hoping to visit can only get to the ranch by a mule ride, a grueling rim to rim hike, or a whitewater rafting trip. For being such a desirable place to stay, the accommodations are modest. Guests have the option to stay in dorms or cabins with other hikers. Perhaps most surprising is how difficult it can be to obtain reservations! It isn’t unusual to hear of people trying for years without success. There is a reason snagging a reservation is often referred to as “winning the lottery!”

Will we stop here on our river trip?

Unfortunately, it’s not likely we will visit Phantom Ranch. It is almost a mile from the Colorado River and we’d rather take you to spend time at the natural wonders that the canyon has to offer. There are so many incredible places in the canyon that we can easily visit by raft, but are difficult or near impossible to access on foot. Wouldn’t you rather hike to a magnificent vista, explore intimate slot canyons or sit next to a tranquil waterfall?! These side hikes are often a highlight for our guests.

Phantom Ranch really deserves more than just a quick visit so you can fully experience the canteen with family style meals and the rustic dorms and cabins. It does require a strenuous hike in and out of the Grand Canyon, so if a rim to rim hike sounds up your alley you can try for reservations on your own or go with experienced guides from REI Adventures.