Phantom Ranch

Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Cabin
Photo Credit: Grand Canyon NPS

A Timeless Look

The exteriors of Inn History Grand Canyon were inspired by the Phantom Ranch cabins located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The rustic cabins and main lodge were built using wood and native stone. The cabins blend well with the natural beauty which surround them. This same style was mimicked in a modern way here at Inn History Grand Canyon.

Phantom Ranch is the only lodging below the canyon rim. It’s located on the north side of the Colorado River near Bright Angel Creek. The cabins can only be reached by mule, on foot, or rafting the Colorado River. Phantom Ranch was designed by Mary Colter. Learn more about Mary at QR Code #4 (located under the television, on the right-hand side of the console).

The hike to Phantom Ranch is approximately 7.5 miles down the South Kaibab Trail (average hiking time is 4-5 hours down) and 10 miles on the Bright Angel Trail (average hiking time down is 4-6 hours). A good rule of thumb is for every hour it takes to hike down, it will take two to hike up. Summer temperatures can reach 120° F (49° C), while winter conditions can be icy and treacherous.

Accommodations are extremely hard to secure. A lottery system is used by the National Park Service for guests to reserve a place to stay. This needs to be done well in advance to your Grand Canyon trip. To reserve a spot or learn more, click here.

Celebrities to Common-folk

Phantom Ranch was an exclusive resort. Movie stars, authors, and celebrities came down to relax in the wild west. In the 1930’s a swimming pool was dug by the Civilian Conservation Corps so guests could take a refreshing swim.

Thanks to the back-to-the-land mindset many city folks had adopted in the 60’s and 70’s, there was an influx of hikers that took to exploring the area. Until that time, the common person didn’t hike into the Grand Canyon: it was only reached by riding a mule!

By 1972, it became apparent that hikers were the future. Dorms were put in for hikers, and the swimming pool, which could not cope with the increased capacity, was filled in.

04742 GrandGrand Canyon Historic- Phantom Ranch Poolside c. 1940
Photo Credit: Grand Canyon NPS
Grand Canyon Historic- Phantom Ranch Guest Cabins c. 1950
Photo Credit: Grand Canyon NPS
Phantom Ranch. "A game of hearts makes the evening interesting at Phantom Ranch." Group of 8 guests sitting around playing cards at table in the dining hall. Fireplace behind. Circa 1950, NPS photo by George Grant. Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collection, P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
Photo Credit: Grand Canyon NPS

A Place to Gather

Our office is inspired by the Canteen at Phantom Ranch, a cherished oasis nestled at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It’s only accessible to visitors hiking by foot, hiring a mule, or rafting along the Colorado River. This historic Canteen, operated by the National Park Service, offers a welcome respite for weary hikers and adventurers. 

It’s a place of camaraderie, where travelers can share stories and experiences while enjoying refreshments in a rustic, Old West setting. Phantom Ranch guests can enjoy hot meals served family-style with other travelers. In addition to food and beverages, the Canteen also stocks essential supplies, souvenirs, as well as offers mule mail services for sending postcards with a unique “mailed from the bottom of the Grand Canyon” postmark. Phantom Ranch and the Canteen are a testament to the human spirit and the enduring allure of the Grand Canyon.