like the previous reviewers, you need to have reservations to stay at the ranch. i looked for a reservation, they were full, put my name on the lottery list, and got a spot the next day. Super lucky we were. Hike down not bad, about 4 hrs down, and hike up not too bad about 4 1/2 hours. Its was 123 when we arrived at the ranch before 10. we left south rim at 530. we soaked in the stream alongside the ranch which was a much needed cool down. food was good, the mess hall was filled with hikers from all over the world. dorm rooms were cooled by a swamp cooler. bunks were clean, showers were cold, and bunkmates were full of info and funny stories.