National Park Guide

How to Get a Reservation at Phantom Ranch - Grand Canyon’s Most Epic Travel Destination

Phantom Ranch Overview

*Phantom Ranch Updates - for the most up-to-date information, please check the official Phantom Ranch Lodging page.

  • As of December 2023, Phantom Ranch is currently open. 
  • From December 1, 2023 - April 14, 2024, a portion of Bright Angel Trail will be closed due to construction on the park’s water pipeline system. Mule rides to Phantom Ranch during this time are canceled.

Visiting and staying overnight at the Grand Canyon’s historic oasis, Phantom Ranch, is on every adventure traveler’s bucket list…and for good reason too! As the only lodging at the bottom of the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Phantom Ranch allows visitors and hikers to experience the canyon’s beauty and serenity after hours.

My 3-day, 2-night adventure in Phantom Ranch in November 2023 is hands-down one of the most rewarding and unique experiences I’ve had. Being able hike below the Grand Canyon rim to stargaze below the rim in an International Dark Skies Park was MOVING, with some of the biggest and brightest stars I’ve seen! And the Milky Way performed for us too. But what I truly enjoyed was being able to indulge in the beauty and remoteness that comes when you’re at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. With no service and no distractions, you could just truly live in the moment without a single worry. 

But because of the extreme demand to stay at Phantom Ranch by adventurers all over the world, getting reservations to stay here is incredibly hard. Not only does getting a reservation requires advanced planning and flexibility, but also luck. 

In this ultimate Phantom Ranch travel guide, you’ll find:

  • A step-by-step guide on how to enter the Phantom Ranch lottery and make a reservation
  • How to make last-minute reservations to stay at Phantom Ranch
  • Tips on how to increase your chances of getting a reservation to visit Phantom Ranch

For everything you need to know to plan your trip to Phantom Ranch, check out my "Ultimate Phantom Ranch Travel Guide"!

A long silver bridge across an emerald green river, surrounding by orange canyons
One of my favorite things to do at Phantom Ranch is relaxing by the vibrant Colorado River! Here's a picture of Silver Bridge, which hikers take to get to and from Phantom Ranch from Bright Angel Trail.

How to Get a Reservation To Stay At Phantom Ranch

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How much does it cost to stay at Phantom Ranch?

Spending a weekend in Phantom Ranch is on the more expensive side when it comes to outdoor adventures, but it’s worth it. To hike to and spend 3 days and 2 nights at Phantom Ranch in November 2023, our group of 4 spent a total of $1,013.46 ($253.37/person). Here’s the breakdown of the Phantom Ranch prices we paid (including taxes):

  • Phantom Ranch Cabin for 4: $266.18/night
  • Steak Dinner (Night 1): $70.19/person
  • Beef Stew Dinner (Night 2): $50.09/person

For a detailed cost breakdown of Phantom Ranch prices and how much it costs to go to Phantom Ranch, check out my ultimate travel guide “The Ultimate Phantom Ranch Travel Guide - How to Visit the Grand Canyon’s Hidden Gem”

A plate of steak, potato, and corned bread that you can purchase at Phantom Ranch
Our incredible steak dinner at Phantom Ranch, which is well-worth the cost. I highly recommend reserving either the steak or beef stew dinners...both were divine!

How to Make Reservations to Stay at Phantom Ranch

Advanced reservations are required to stay at Phantom Ranch at the bottom of Grand Canyon National Park. Emphasis on “advanced reservations” because you’ll need to start planning your trip to Phantom Ranch at least 15 months before your desired trip dates!

Because Phantom Ranch is on every adventure traveler’s bucket list, demand is EXTREMELY high, and getting a reservation is incredibly difficult. It takes persistence and luck to be able to get a reservation for Phantom Ranch. Here’s how to make a reservation to stay at Phantom Ranch:

  1. Enter the Phantom Ranch lottery 15 months before the month of your desired stay. 
  2. If you win the Phantom Ranch lottery, you will be notified the following month after you’ve entered the lottery and your reservation to Phantom Ranch will be confirmed.
  3. Any unsold or unclaimed reservations will be made available to the general public to book. 
A schedule of dates for the Phantom Ranch lottery reservation system
The Phantom Ranch lottery schedule for 2024, courtesy of Xanterra Travel Collection.

Tips for Entering the Phantom Ranch Lottery

  • Check out the Phantom Ranch Lottery Schedule to figure out when you need to submit your lottery entry for your desired trip date.
  • There is no fee for entering the Phantom Ranch lottery
  • When you enter the Phantom Ranch lottery, you’ll specify your desired arrival date, number of nights to stay, total number of guests in your group, and a secondary date for your trip.

How Early Should I Make Reservations to Stay at Phantom Ranch?

You must enter the Phantom Ranch lottery for a chance to make a reservation 15 months in advance.

Can I Get Last-Minute Phantom Ranch Reservations?

If you are not having any luck winning the Phantom Ranch lottery or looking for last-minute reservations, you can check the General Phantom Ranch Availability. These reservations are any unsold or unclaimed availability left after eligible lottery winners book their reservations.

Tips for Increasing Your Chances to Visit Phantom Ranch

  • Visit during the Grand Canyon off-season, summer or winter. Due to the extreme temperatures, I do not recommend hiking to Phantom Ranch (or hiking in the Grand Canyon in general) during summer.
  • Be flexible with the range of dates you want to visit
  • Keep an eye out on the General Phantom Ranch Availability for any last-minute openings, especially if you live within driving distance of Grand Canyon National Park
  • If you've hiked and made it to Phantom Ranch, swing by the canteen side window where guests check in to see if there are any available cabins for that night. When I was last down there, a hiker asked about availability for that night and there were a few spots!

How long should I stay in Phantom Ranch?

I highly recommend spending at least 2 nights in Phantom Ranch so you have enough time to experience and explore the best that the bottom of the Grand Canyon has to offer. From wildlife watching to stargazing, to relaxing by the Colorado, there are so many things to do below the Grand Canyon rim. 


Hiking to and staying overnight at Phantom Ranch is not only the best way to explore Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, but it’s one of those unique and rewarding lifetime adventures! Although it’s extremely difficult to get a reservation to stay at Phantom Ranch, with some advanced planning and luck, you can make this trip happen.

A black bridge spanning across the orange canyons above an emerald green Colorado River.
Spending an afternoon at Boat Beach by Phantom Ranch is my favorite way to relax, especially after the hike into the canyon. We also so an incredible Grand Canyon sunset!

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about the author
Molly Chhiv
What's up, my dudes! I'm a weekend adventurer and blogger based in the U.S. that found my self-confidence, independence, and limitless potential through the outdoors. So much so that I quit my engineering job to do more fulfilling work in the outdoor industry!

But real talk: the outdoors can be intimidating. So I'm on a mission to empower you to find your confidence to adventure more. From beginner hiking tips to learning how to travel on a budget, I've got you. Whatever your adventure and whatever your skill level, I'm here to HYPE YOU UP!

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