Xanterra, the concessionaire on the South Rim, has a special service that allows you to have your duffel or pack carried from the South Rim/Phantom Ranch to Phantom Ranch/South Rim for a fee. This service must be reserved and paid for in advance.
The duffel service operates 7 days a week most of the year. The schedule is slightly more limited in the middle of winter. The service must be reserved and paid for in advance. Please visit their site or contact them for their exact schedule, confirm rates, and to make reservations. Please do not contact me for more information or to make reservations! I am simply providing this information as a service. However, since Xanterra often changes their page URLs, I would appreciate being notified if the links become broken. Thank you!
As of this writing in May of 2013, each duffel:
- has a weight limit of 30 pounds
- cannot exceed maximum dimensions of 36″ x 20″ x 13″
- costs $66.79 each way
- will operate 7 days a week
Duffel bags are placed into grain sacks for packing on the mules. Gear must be packed inside each duffel with nothing attached to the outside, such as walking sticks, fishing poles, canteens, etc. Count on your gear getting dusty and dirty!
They do not carry external frame packs. Gear can be transferred to a duffel and the empty pack and frame carried in or out by the hikers.
Please note: You do not need to have your gear packed into a separate duffel bag measuring the dimensions above—you can put them into stuff sacks or something similar. If you are camping at Bright Angel Campground, I do recommend having your gear either packed into a good sized daypack or hiking in with one to pack once you get down there. It is extremely awkward and uncomfortable to hand carry large and/or heavier items the distance from Phantom to your campsite! It is much easier to put them on your back to carry down!
If you plan on packing food in your duffel, there are some things you have to be very careful of.
- There are mice and squirrels in abundance in both duffel locations, and they WILL try to get to the food packed in your backpacks and/or duffels!
- If you are packing food, pack it in very sturdy plastic containers or an Outsak.
- Be aware that your pack may be chewed on, so you may not want to use your nice, new packs for this purpose!
- Xanterra has limited space for pack storage and does not guarantee protection from the critters.
In-bound duffel procedures
In-bound duffels mean duffels that are being taken down to Phantom Ranch. They must be presented at the Xanterra Livery Barn by 4:00 P.M. the day prior to the day they are to go down to Phantom Ranch. (Late Duffels are not encouraged. Duffels can be delivered to Phantom Ranch or to the boat beach (if rafting out).
Out-bound duffel procedures
Out-bound duffels mean duffels that are being taken out of the canyon up to Grand Canyon Village. They must be presented at the Phantom Ranch Loading Dock no later than 7:00 A.M. on the day they are to be taken up out of the canyon. The weighing, measuring and loading occurs only at Phantom Ranch. Recycled grain bags are provided for guests without their own duffels.
Duffels may be claimed between 3:00 P.M. and 4:00 P.M. at the Xanterra Livery Barn the day they are brought up from the canyon or between 9:00 A.M. and 4:00 P.M. the following day.
Late duffel procedures
- Late pickup of duffels coming up from Phantom Ranch is accommodated between 4:00 P.M. and 8:00 A.M.
- Delivery of late duffels going down to Phantom Ranch must be arranged for prior to midnight the day/evening prior to delivery at Phantom.
- A $10 additional charge (late fee) will be collected for late duffels per call (not per duffel).
- Guests should call the Xanterra switchboard at (928) 638-2631 so the operator can arrange for an employee to handle the late duffel request.