800-715-HIKE 9-4:30 Every Day     Wildland Wires Sign Up!     Wild. Blog Trek & Travel

Winter Phantom Ranch Tour

Highlights

  •   Wonderful canyon solitude
  •   Often perfect hiking temps
  •   Backcountry lodge accommodations
  •   Hiking with light backpacks
  •   The most famous trails in the Canyon
  •   Explore the Colorado River
  •   Layover day for Exploring the Canyon
  •   Wonderful lodge & picnic meals

Description

From our perspective, winter is the best time of year to hike the Grand Canyon, especially to Phantom Ranch (for tours every other time of year check out our regular Phantom Ranch Tour.) The ability to hike in comfort and have the most iconic parts of the Canyon mostly to ourselves is a novelty not found any other time of year. The most popular and scenic hiking trails in the Park are quiet and serene; the rims can be snowy and chilly, but inside the Canyon just a mile or two the temperatures are very often perfect for hiking; and the snow-dusted rims contrast with the rich colors of the canyon walls to make for breathtaking photography. Watch a video about why winter is a great time to hike to Phantom Ranch.

We hike the two most spectacular trails in Grand Canyon: South Kaibab down and Bright Angel back up, taking us past jaw-dropping views, fascinating natural and cultural history, desert oases and the Colorado River. Our accommodations at Phantom Ranch are heated and include wonderful lodge dinners and breakfasts. The 3-day itinerary also includes a layover day to explore the Inner Gorge and Colorado River.

Please Note: the Phantom Ranch dorms are closed through at least 2021 due to major repairs on the water treatment system. For this reason we are unable to operate this tour until further notice. We are sorry to relay this disappointing news. There are many other great Grand Canyon hiking tours that we recommend considering.
We're Here to Help!
 
Inn-based Hiking Tour
Difficulty:
Solitude:
December-February
South Rim, AZ
3 days
17mi / 27km
3-Day Tour: $1170
2-Day Tour: $1005

Taxes & Fees

Travel to South Rim

  Private Trips

  See Trip Dates


Trip Dates & Booking

Click on a date to register.
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
  • Available to Book
  • Going Fast
  • Request a Reservation
Don't see your dates? Call us!
We may be able to add new trip dates.
800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle to the South Kaibab TH: 15 minutes
  • Hiking Mileage: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation Loss: 4,800 feet
  • Accommodations: Phantom Ranch Lodge

This famous Grand Canyon hiking tour begins on the South Kaibab Trail, a popular hiking route that offers spectacular views both up and down the Grand Canyon. It's seven miles of well-maintained hiking to Phantom Ranch. The scene surrounding the Ranch is one of the most charming in the Park as it’s situated at the bottom of the Grand Canyon near the Colorado River and adjacent to Bright Angel Creek. The stream-side setting makes for a true oasis in the desert.

Day 2 (3-day Itinerary Only)
  • Hiking Mileage: 0-7 miles day hiking
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: < 1,000 feet
  • Accommodations: Phantom Ranch Lodge

This is a layover day and a chance to relax and absorb the magic of the Canyon or go on a memorable day hike. Catch up on that book you’ve been wanting to read, spend quality time with your family exploring the area, or join your guide for a customized day hike. Hiking options include an off-trail trek up a side canyon with cascades, pools and oases; a breathtaking hike paralleling the Colorado River a thousand feet above it on the Clear Creek Trail; or a relaxing walk on the River Trail.

Final Day
  • Hiking Mileage: 9.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 4,500 feet

Today we’ll pack up and make an early departure for the South Rim. Hiking on the Bright Angel Trail along the Colorado we’ll arrive at Pipe Creek after a couple miles. From here we’ll continue our hike up Pipe Creek to Garden Creek and Indian Gardens - a spring that watered seasonal Havasupai garden plots for centuries. From Indian Garden it's a 4.5 mile hike to the South Rim, where we’ll look back over our route and contemplate this once-in-a-lifetime Grand Canyon adventure.




Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • 1-2 nights of lodging in the dorms at historic Phantom Ranch (Lodging Details)
  • Dinners and breakfasts at Phantom Ranch, lunches prepared by your guide
  • Use of a day pack, trekking poles and Microspike crampons during winter months
  • Phantom Ranch mule service to transport extra clothes and personal items (maximum 10 pounds)
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Grand Canyon hiking guide
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

Dinners and two breakfasts will be eaten at Phantom Ranch. Meals at Phantom Ranch are served family style and may require that the group eat at different times. Dinner options will be determined by what is available at time of booking and may include vegetarian chili, steak dinner or beef stew. If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions please discuss with Adventure Consultant prior to booking.

We provide the first breakfast and lunches for the trip. For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables. In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Microspike crampons when necessary
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are three 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

Unless we tell you otherwise, you will meet your guide and group in the lobby of the Bright Angel Lodge at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon at 5:00 PM the evening before your trip begins. For Private Phantom Ranch Tours your guide can meet you at your hotel in Tusayan or at the South Rim at an agreed upon time.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's rendezvous time and location at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 4 and 7 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will be back to the South Rim normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time) on the final day.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 6-7 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 8 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Grand Canyon

The weather in the Grand Canyon varies tremendously from the rim to the canyon floor, with as much as a 30 degree Fahrenheit difference. For this reason, the Canyon is truly a year-round hiking destination. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). Read below for average high and low temperatures at the South Rim and the Canyon bottom:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
     
 
Month
South Rim
Canyon Bottom
 
 
hi
low
hi
low
 
 
Dec-Feb
41°
18°
60°
38°
 
 
March
51°
25°
71°
48°
 
 
April
60°
32°
82°
56°
 
 
May
70°
39°
92°
63°
 
 
Jun-Aug
82°
53°
108°
75°
 
 
September
76°
47°
97°
69°
 
 
October
65°
36°
84°
58°
 
 
November
52°
27°
68°
46°
 

Accommodations

Phantom Ranch

Phantom Ranch Lodge

1-2 nights

The historical significance and backcountry location of this amazing, rustic lodge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon offers guests an unforgettable inn-based hiking experience!
(10-bed gender-specific dorms, bathrooms, showers, heat, A/C)

Sign Up for Wildland Wires

Get updates about new trips, Wildland news, special discounts and more!

Similar Trips

Phantom Ranch Hiking Tour

Phantom Ranch Tour

Inn-based Hiking Tour

2-3 days
Phantom Ranch Rim to Rim Hiking Tour

Phantom Ranch Rim to Rim

Inn-based Hiking Tour

3 days
Grand Canyon Mule-assisted Classic

Mule-assisted Classic

Mule-assisted Hiking

3 days