by Whitney Rife
Guests saunter down the Grand Canyon on mules to get to Phantom Ranch. Don’t like mules? The lodge can also be reached by foot or raft. Phantom Ranch is the only lodging facility below the Canyon rim, which makes it very popular. Guests must book at least 13 months in advance. Families who want to “rough it” will enjoy the rustic nature of Phantom Ranch. Dorm rooms accommodations and cabins are available. Dorms are separated for men and women, each containing 10 bunk beds. Cabins are small and rustic with bunk beds and private bathrooms. Both are temperature controlled for all seasons. Phantom Ranch Canteen is the gathering place to meals. Meals are cooked with fresh ingredients. Cowboy-style breakfasts offer up coffee and box lunches are provided. Vegetarian meals are also available. Meals are not included in rates and must be reserved in advance with room reservations. Sundries are also provided in this area of the lodge.
Our Editor Loves
- Set below the Canyon rim
- Mule ride to the lodge
- Private, rustic cabins
Tucked somewhere in the inner canyon, it is the only accommodation in the area. It was built in 1922. Rustic, historic, and in the midst of nature - this is what makes Phantom Ranch appealing. The place is clean and provides the bare necessities: bed, toilet, sink with cold running water and airconditioning. The shower stalls with hot water are housed a few feet away. There is a lockbox for food and it's a must use to keep critters away! No wifi available for guests. No cell service.
Food is available at the canteen at specified times. For mule riders like us, it's included in the package. Food is good and is served family style.
I guess all cabins in the national park system are about the same. This one, too, is not a five-star hotel. Dusty, not too clean, it is really a rustic cabin, nothing more, nothing less. It has a toilet and a sink. Shower facilities are separate. There was also a special container to hide food. The bed was comfortable. Well, really, does one need more than that for one or two nights at the bottom of Grand Canyon? The location was very picturesque. Needless to say, no internet, no mobile phone coverage. Meals are served at the canteen and it depends on the personnel as to what they will be serving on that day. Great stop on one's way, nothing more.