Phantom Ranch has extreme demand for reservations and typically sells out very quickly under the current reservations process in which we begin accepting reservations on the first of each month for the same month of the following year. We recognize that because of the extreme demand there are challenges with securing reservations at Phantom Ranch. As a result, we will be changing the reservation process and converting to an online lottery system beginning with stays January 2019 and beyond.

Below is a high level outline of the process to help everyone prepare for this change that will require action up to two months earlier than under the current reservation process.

Effective with stays of January 2019 and beyond, Phantom Ranch will utilize a lottery system for random selection of the bed space (cabins and dorms).

  • Lottery entries will be required between the 1st and 25th of the 15th month prior to the desired stay month.
  • Lottery submissions will be processed, lottery winners notified and reservations guaranteed within the 14th month prior.
  • Any unsold/unclaimed inventory will be released to general availability for reservations following the current 13 month reservation window.


  • Month of Stay: January 2019
  • Lottery Submission: November 1-25, 2017
  • Lottery Processing and Notification: December, 2017
  • Unsold inventory to General Availability: January 2, 2018 (normally on the 1st of the month, January is on the 2nd due to the New Year’s Day holiday)

Reservation Schedule

The below grid provides a schedule for the first complete year of the lottery with key dates of the lottery process, based upon the month of stay at Phantom Ranch.


Month of Stay Lottery Submission Lottery Processing and Notification Unsold Inventory Released for General Sale
January 2019 November 1-25, 2017 December 2017 January 2, 2018
February 2019 December 1-25, 2017 January 2018 February 1, 2018
March 2019 January 1-25, 2018 February 2018 March 1, 2018
April 2019 February 1-25, 2018 March 2018 April 1, 2018
May 2019 March 1-25, 2018 April 2018 May 1, 2018
June 2019 April 1-25, 2018 May 2018 June 1, 2018
July 2019 May 1-25, 2018 June 2018 July 1, 2018
August 2019 June 1-25, 2018 July 2018 August 1, 2018
September 2019 July 1-25, 2018 August 2018 September 1, 2018
October 2019 August 1-25, 2018 September 2018 October 1, 2018
November 2019 September 1-25, 2018 October 2018 November 1, 2018
December 2019 October 1-25, 2018 November 2018 December 1, 2018

We are in the process of developing the actual system and finalizing additional details. Please check back for updates and additional details on the lottery system as we get closer to November 2017.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q: Why the change to the reservation process?
  • A: Phantom Ranch has extreme demand and the current system is essentially a phone lottery where guests are continually redialing trying to get through on the first of each month. The new lottery system will simplify the reservation process for our guests where they will have almost a month to enter their lottery submission and then wait to hear if they were selected.
  • Q: Why do I have to submit my request so far in advance?
  • A: The schedule is based upon our existing window of accepting reservations up to 13 months in advance. With a month allotted for the submission period and a month for processing, notification, guaranteeing, etc., it bumps the lottery schedule out two additional months. This allows guests to know if they were successful in securing beds at Phantom Ranch in time to reserve the before and/or after rooms when those reservations are accepted.
  • Q: Is there a fee to enter the Phantom Ranch lottery?
  • A: There is no fee to enter the Phantom Ranch lottery. Payment will only be required once reservations have been made.
  • Q: What portions of Phantom Ranch are included in the lottery?
  • A: The Phantom Ranch lottery will be for bed space only. For Hikers, the lottery will be for either Hiker Cabins or Hiker Dorms. Meals and duffel service can be added at the time of guaranteeing the bed space reservation. Overnight mule rides to Phantom Ranch include meals, but will also be included in the lottery since they involve bed space for the overnight stay.
  • Q: Does the lottery system apply to mule rides to Phantom Ranch?
  • A: Yes, overnight mule rides to Phantom Ranch will also be part of the lottery system.
  • Q: What will the process be if I’m reserving for 10 or more people?
  • A: Groups of 10 or more hikers will need to submit a request following the same schedule as individuals.
  • Q: Are there restrictions to how many people and/or nights that I can reserve?
  • A: Non-group reservations of Hikers at Phantom Ranch will be limited to one reservation per month, per person for a maximum of 4 nights and a maximum of 9 people in the reservation. Group reservations are limited for 10 to 20 hikers, for a maximum of 2 consecutive nights March to October or 3 consecutive nights November to February.
  • Q: How will the lottery winners be determined?
  • A: A computer program will randomly select the lottery winners and then we’ll match the request to availability inventory.
  • Q: What is the deposit policy for Phantom Ranch?
  • A: Phantom Ranch requires a deposit equal to the full amount of the reservation. Lottery winners will be provided 10 days to guarantee the reservation with the deposit. Reservations booked from remaining inventory within the 13 month reservation window require full payment at the time of reservation.
  • Q: What is the cancellation policy for Phantom Ranch?
  • A: Phantom Ranch will have a 45 day cancellation policy under the new lottery system. Reservations cancelled at least 45 days prior to the arrival date will receive a full refund of the deposit. Reservations cancelled within 45 days of the reservation arrival date will forfeit the deposit.