You have questions about the Phantom Ranch lottery, we have answers. Below you will find some of the most frequently asked questions we have received about the new process. Don’t see your question on the list? Feel free to give us a call at 888-29PARKS and one of our Central Reservations agents will be happy to answer any question you may have.

  • 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: Lottery winners will be selected via a computer program we designed specifically for this lottery. Winning submissions will then be processed to compare requests to available inventory and make reservations when matches are found.
  • 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 canceled at least 45 days prior to the arrival date will receive a full refund of the deposit. Reservations canceled within 45 days of the reservation arrival date will forfeit the deposit.