Phantom Ranch was designed by famed Grand Canyon architect Mary Coulter in 1922. With an eye for blending into the natural environment, Coulter wanted to be sure it reflected the Canyon and used materials found within. The main lodge and cabins are built of wood and stone that is native to the area.
There are very few options for lodging at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, Phantom Ranch being the most notable. The other options include camping and some lodging can be found on the Havasu reservation land, but Phantom Ranch is going to be your best bet at the bottom of the canyon both for its character and access to some of the most impressive natural views in the world.
Lodging consists of rustic cabins and a dormitory-style setting. Both are cooled in the summer and heated in the winter. It might sound trivial, but with beastly hot temperatures at the bottom of the canyon in the summer and downright frigid in the winter, the temperature control offered at the lodge is a coveted amenity.
It should be noted the dormitories segregate gender, so men bunk with men and women bunk with women. Each dorm consists of 10 bunk beds, one shower and a restroom.
The cabins are, obviously, a more private, but costlier option. Each one is furnished with a bunk bed, bedding, sink and toilet. Shared showers are located in a centralized location. Many rafting trips overnight here and because it is conveniently located at the bottom of the two popular trails, round trip hikers and mule riders take advantage of the temperature controlled space after a long day.
The Phantom Ranch Canteen is a popular stop for canyon dwellers as it carries a variety of sundries and beverages. This is also where meals can be purchased, but must have been reserved ahead of time. Be prepared to spend a lot more for your can of Pringles, though. After all, a mule had to carry that down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon for you to purchase.
- On-site convenience store and place to purchase meals (pre-reserved)
- Temperature control
Overall, those who stay at the Phantom Ranch are grateful for a bed, food and air conditioning after hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Let’s be honest, if you are travelling to the bottom of the Grand Canyon the mere scenery and quiet, gorgeous environment is enough to make you forget you’re sleeping in a bunk bed with very minimal amenities.
Good tips from reviewers include taking the early breakfast because the hustle and bustle of early risers is going to wake you up anyway and bringing along a good pair of ear plugs is a good idea to combat snoring in the dormitories.
Who is it good for?
Phantom Ranch is appropriate for everyone who can get down here. If you need your privacy, bring a tent and find a secluded spot along the Colorado River. The dorm rooms don’t give you much chance for alone time.