Phantom Ranch FAQs

What sleeping accommodations are available at Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground?

  • Phantom Ranch is a concession-run lodging and dining facility. The premises include dormitories and eleven rustic cabins. The dorms are separated by gender, and each has ten bunk beds, a shower, and a restroom. There are two sizes of cabins available; the large cabins sleep ten in bunk beds, and the smaller cabins sleep four in two sets of bunk beds. Each cabin is furnished with all bedding, a cold water sink, toilet, liquid soap/shampoo, and towels. Shower facilities are located in a separate central shower building. You do not need a permit to stay at Phantom Ranch.
  • Bright Angel Campground is a 30-site facility run by the National Park Service. There are two available sizes for sites. The majority of the sites are “party” campsites which are for parties up to six people. There are only two “group” sites, and these are for parties of seven to eleven people. A stay at Bright Angel requires a permit for your group. Each permit gives you the right to use “one” campsite in the size reserved and reflected on your permit. A permit is required to stay at Bright Angel campground, and a ranger or NPS volunteer check permits daily to ensure compliance.

Do I need to bring bedding and towels for if I stay in the dorms or cabins?

  • No, bedding, towels and washcloths are provided with lodging at Phantom Ranch. They also have liquid soap in the showers. You only need to bring your own personal hygiene products such as toothbrush, toothpaste and shampoo.

Are there restrooms and showers in the cabins and dorms?

  • There is a restroom and cold water sink but no shower in the individual cabins. A central shower building is available for those staying in the cabins.
  • Each male and female dorm has a shower and restroom.

Can I cook in the cabin or dorms?

  • No, if you will not be eating in the Canteen, you will need to bring your own food. If your food requires cooking on a backpacking stove, that stove will need to be placed outside to do the cooking.
  • Be careful with food storage as mice are prevalent at Phantom Ranch. You won’t have a problem unless you leave food out.

How far in advance can reservations be made?

  • For Phantom Ranch, reservations are accepted for stays up to 13 months in advance. On the first of each month, they begin accepting reservations for the entire month of the following year. For example, on September 1, 2007, reservations through September 30, 2008 are accepted.
  • For Bright Angel Campground, reservations for permits are taken for four months PRIOR to the month you are trying to reserve. For more information and a calendar guide, visit the Permits page.
  • Both Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground are extremely popular, making it very difficult to get reservations. Neither accommodation accepts real-time online reservations.

How do I go about making a reservation?

  • Phantom Ranch reservations are best attained by calling their main office at 888-29PARKS (888-297-2757). Xanterra, the concession that runs Phantom Ranch, does have an online form available on their website, but be aware that this is only a request for a reservation and it could take days to hear back from them—and very likely with a message that you didn’t get the reservation.
  • Bright Angel Campground reservations require a permit that is acquired through the Backcountry Office. Permits requests can be attained in person, via snail mail, or fax. Visit the Permits page for complete information.

What meals are served at Phantom Ranch?

  • Breakfast and dinner are served, and there are two seatings for each meal. The times for breakfast seating vary with the season. Reservations are required and MUST be reserved in advance of your descent.
  • The summer season goes from April 1st through October 31st.
    • Breakfast served at 5:00 AM and 6:30 AM
    • Steak dinner served at 5:00 PM
    • Hiker’s stew and vegetarian chili dinners served at 6:30 PM
  • The winter season is November 1st through March 31st.
    • Breakfast served at 5:30 AM and 7:00 AM
    • Steak dinner served at 5:00 PM
    • Hiker’s stew and vegetarian chili dinners served at 6:30 PM

Can I send mail to/from Phantom Ranch?

  • Letters and postcards can be mailed to and from Phantom Ranch. Packages are no longer accepted in either direction.
  • Stamps are usually available for sale at the Phantom Ranch Canteen, as are large postcards that require regular (not postcard) stamps.
  • Postcards purchased at the Canteen are stamped “Mailed by mule from the bottom of the Grand Canyon” on them. A rubber stamp is also available to stamp your own postcards and items and located near the mail bag.
  • Don’t forget the addresses of those you wish to mail to!

Can I send my pack on a mule?

  • Yes, Xanterra, the South Rim concessioner offers a duffel service to and from Phantom Ranch.
  • There is a 30 pound limit per duffel.
  • The service is available  from the South Rim only!
  • Find more details on the Pack Hauling/Duffel Service page.

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