it’s right next to the river so it’s easy go take a dip and cool off. running water in front of the store and the store serves beer and food. can’t beat that when hiking for days.
Hiked from Bright Angel Trailhead to Phantom Ranch in one day. After Indian Gardens Campground trail has a couple of areas that are less obvious of direction but overall is easy to follow to campground. Campground requires a permit from NPS, and typically needs to be reserved about 6 months in advance. There are fees required for permit. A permit can be difficult to obtain. There are many camp sites with some close to the river and some away. Campsites are overall smooth and free of rocks, and maintained. All campsites have 2 ammo boxes to hold food, a picnic table, a small concrete square for cookstove, and a stand to hold packs off the ground.The squirrels are bold and will go after ANY food left out. It is necessary to remove all food and plastic bags from packs and put in ammo boxes. Most sites have trees for shade. There are bathrooms with toilets, sinks, and running water. A sink to lightly wash dishes, and water to fill up water bladders and bottles. There is a Cantina a short walk across the bridge with pricey food that requires reservations, drinks for purchase, some necessities, souvenirs, and books and boardgames to use at the Cantina. Staff is helpful and friendly. There is a special Junior Ranger program specific to Phantom Ranch. Mules can be ridden down from the top, and there are cabins and dormitories that you can stay in with a reservation. There are two rivers nearby the campsites and a few small hikes nearby.
We stayed at Phantom Ranch when we hiked into the Grand Canyon and it was the highlight of our trip! It’s tucked away in the bottom of the canyon and you can dip your toes in the river after a long day of hiking!
We spent 2 nights down in Phantom Ranch at the beginning of Feb. I had never hiked the Grand Canyon before and didn't know what to expect. We hiked from the south rim down Kaibab and were really lucky to have amazing weather. It was pretty amazing to hike for hours and then end up at this tiny community (Phantom Ranch) down at the bottom of the Canyon. Phantom Ranch consists of several small buildings, including a canteen which serves as a store, mess hall, and from 8-10pm, bar. There are also small cabins you can rent but we stayed in one of the shared bunk houses with 10 beds, toilet, shower and sink. You will have a set meal time for breakfast and dinner (no lunch) and it is family style dining. Breakfast is at 5:30a.m. or 7:00a.m. and dinner also has 2 seatings, I think at 5:30 and 6:30. You have to have all of these meals reserved in advance. It was super fun to get to know fellow hikers and share a meal of stew and chocolate cake (which I guess is the standard meal there) and then play games and drink beer for a few hours. We were lucky enough to be there during a full moon so one night we walked about 10 minutes down the path to get to a sandy beach right on the Colorado River - didn't even need our headlamps because the moon was so bright. During our day down at Phantom Ranch we lounged around the picnic tables in front of the canteen, reading, and also hiked up to a ridge that overlooked the Colorado and part of the Kaibab trail that we had hiked down the day before.
There is plenty of potable water at Phantom Ranch so you can fill up your water bottles before you start your hike out. You also need to carry your trash back out with you. Trash from things you buy at Phantom Ranch can be left there.
We hiked out via Bright Angel trail which I loved! not as steep as Kaibab with beautiful turns and beautiful pockets.