The most rewarding way to see Grand Canyon
Hiking is one of the most rewarding ways to see Grand Canyon, and is also the most difficult. The walk to the Phantom Ranch is approximately 7.3 miles down the south Kaibab Trail (average hiking time is 3-4 hours down) and 10.3 miles on the Bright Angel Trail (average hiking time down is 4-6 hours, average hiking time up is 6-10 hours). Transportation to the south Kaibab trailhead is available year-round. Hiker shuttle schedule to the south Kaibab trailhead may be obtained at any transportation desk. Taxi service is available 24 hours a day by calling 928-638-2822.
Summer temperatures can reach 120 F (49 degrees C) while winter conditions can be icy and treacherous.
There is a water source at the Kaibab trailhead, but no shade on the South Kaibab trail. Due to the sun exposure and steep grade, plan accordingly when hiking the South Kaibab Trail.
From experience, we suggest the following:
- Always make advance reservations for all meals, including sack lunches.
- Fill your backpack with lightweight and compact items.
- Water should be your heaviest item.
- There is one pay telephone at Phantom Ranch that is credit card and phone card accessible.
- Safeguard your feet by wearing solid footwear and clipping all your toenails.
- Bring moleskin, band-aids and a change of socks.
- Put moleskin on “hot spots “before blisters form.
- In the winter, in-step cramp-ons are recommended – as the trails may be icy. Hiking sticks are also helpful any time of year.
Overnight accommodations at Phantom Ranch consist of dormitory spaces and cabins. Cabins and dormitories are heated and have air conditioning. Bedding, soap, towels, shampoo, and showers are provided for overnight guests. Washcloths are not provided.
Dormitory space: $46.33 per bunk.
Dormitories are separate for women and men. Each has 10 bunk beds, a shower, and restroom. Children must be at least 6 years old to stay in a dormitory. No meals are included. Ten person cabin: $226.26 has 10 bunk beds, a cold water sink, and toilet. Showers are provided at a central location. Maximum occupancy 10 people, no age limits. No meals are included.
Rates are subject to change without notice-prepayment guarantees space not rate. Rates above include tax.
All Phantom Ranch reservations must be made in advance. Space is extremely limited. You can’t have extra people stay under your reservation. People may not double-up in the bunks or sleep on the floors. A camping permit is required to stay at any of the inner canyon campgrounds. This may be obtained by writing to:
Grand Canyon National Park Backcountry Reservations Office
PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
A limited number of dinners and breakfasts are served family style at set times in the Phantom Ranch dining hall. Meals must be reserved in advance. Please check meal times prior to hiking in to Phantom Ranch as times are subject to seasonal changes. Persons staying at the bright angel campground may also reserve meals.
Includes scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, fruit, orange juice, coffee or tea. [times vary]
Sack lunch: $12.66
Ready to Hit The Trail With You; includes bagel with cream cheese and jelly, sausage, apple, peanuts, raisins, pretzels, cookies and a packet of Gookinade. Substitutions may occur when shipment of supplies is interrupted due to weather, trail conditions, or availability. Sack lunches are available for pick-up at breakfast sittings, or night before.
- Steak dinner is served at 5:00 p.m. Sharp.
- 12 oz New York steak dinner: $44.05 Served with baked potato, corn, mixed vegetables, garden salad, cornbread, cake and coffee, tea and iced tea.
- Vegetarian and stew dinners served at 6:30 p.m. Sharp.
- Vegetarian-style dinner: $28.39 vegetarian chili, garden salad, corn, mixed vegetables, cornbread, cake, coffee, tea and iced tea.
- Hiker’s beef stew dinner: $28.39 beef stew with garden salad, cornbread, cake, coffee, tea and iced tea.
Take a Hike . . . But Be Prepared
A prepared hiker is one who has researched the hiking itinerary and knows that the key to survival in the canyon is water and high-energy food. Desert hiking will dehydrate an individual quickly. Possible heat exhaustion and sunstroke symptoms include fatigue, dizziness, vomiting, disorientation and heart palpitations. To help prevent such symptoms from occurring, hikers should drink water and electrolytic replacement sports drinks, and eat high-energy foods. If you drink without eating, you may become sick with “water intoxication” which can be even harder on your body than dehydration.
Food & Beverages on the Trail
Those hiking to Phantom Ranch are reminded that there is no water available on the South Kaibab trail except at the trailhead, but there are three potable water stops on the Bright Angel Trail in the summer [only one, at Indian Garden, is available during the winter].
Phantom Ranch Canteen
Phantom Ranch is located at the base of Grand Canyon, just three-quarters of a mile north of the Colorado River. If you will be hiking or riding a mule into the canyon, please be aware you will be staying at a remote ranch inside a wilderness area. Therefore, goods and services are minimal and run along the lines of necessities, not luxuries. The following food and retail items are delivered by Grand Canyon pack mules and are not always available. If you require items beyond what is listed here, please plan accordingly.
First Aid Items
- Ace bandages
- Muscle-easing salve
- Advil and aspirin
- Sun block
- Lip balm
- Skin lotion
- Pepto Bismol
- Water bottles
- Kodak disposable cameras
- AA, AAA & 9 Volt batteries
- Exclusive Phantom Ranch hats
- Crampons (winter)
- Oreo cookies
- Fig bars
- Plain & peanut M&Ms
- Chewing gum
- Trail mix
- Cliff bars
- Summer sausage
- Hot cocoa
- Herbal teas
- Ice tea
- Beer and wine
- Powdered electrolyte drink mix
Fishing licenses & tobacco products are not available at Phantom Ranch. No sales during meal times. Last call for alcohol is at 3:30 p.m. and a half-hour before closing for the evening. We accept major credit cards and cash. No personal checks.
Canteen Hours of Operation
- April 1 – October 31: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. & 8-10 p.m.
- November 1 – March 31: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. & 8-10 p.m. (winter hours may vary)