The Classic Phantom Ranch Hiking Trip

ArizonaGrand CanyonPhantom Ranch
Tour Length
4 days, 3 nights
Guide Type
Moderate to Advanced

This is the classic Grand Canyon hiking tour and a perfect introduction to one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders. Start in Grand Canyon National Park’s South Rim and enjoy famous views, colorful galleries, historic buildings, wildlife, and ponderosa pine forests. Descend the South Kaibab Trail with your professional guide and arrive in Phantom Ranch – the only lodge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Two nights spent here allow for an extra day to explore the depths of the Grand Canyon, see the Colorado River, and enjoy the Phantom Ranch canteen. Ascend the Bright Angel Trail on Day 4 and take in the canyon’s overwhelming scope and beauty as you look back on what you have accomplished.

The dorms and food at Phantom was great and the lunches and snacks provided by AOA were great! Thank you for making this a trip of a lifetime!Carla

What's Included

Tour Price Includes

  • Reservations in the Phantom Ranch dorms Nights 2 and 3
  • Meals starting lunch Day 2 through lunch Day 4
  • Professional Wilderness First Responder certified guides

Permit & Land Use Fees Include

  • Grand Canyon National Park commercial fees

Not Included ​​​​​​​

  • Personal insurance and expenses
  • Transportation to and from Grand Canyon
  • Grand Canyon National Park entry
  • Lodging Day 1 or Day 4
  • Meals on Day 1, breakfast Day 2, dinner Day 4
  • Gratuities to AOA Guides

Upgrades + Additions

This trip is designed so that you can make it your own. Lodging on the first night is up to you. If you choose to purchase our Lodging Package, we take care of the hassle for you. This trip begins at Grand Canyon National Park. You are responsible for your transportation to and from Grand Canyon. We do offer transportation for an additional fee with our Transportation Package. See details below.

Lodging Package – $450 pp

  • South Rim hotel lodging Nights 1 and 4 (shared accommodations)
  • Dinner Day 1
  • Pre-hike breakfast Day 2
  • Celebratory dinner at El Tovar Day 4

Upgrade to solo accommodations Nights 1 and 4 – additional $289 + tax.

Transportation Package – $242 pp + National Park Entry Fee: $8*

This option requires you to meet at 8:00am in Scottsdale on Day 1

  • Ground transportation from Host Hotel in Scottsdale/Phoenix area to Grand Canyon National Park on Day 1.
  • Ground transportation from GCNP back to Host Hotel (ETA: 4:00pm) on Day 4.
  • National Park entry fee
  • Lunch Day 1, Lunch Day 4

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of service

Non-Participant Package – $700

  • $450 – South Rim Lodging Package only (inclusions described above)
  • $250 – Transportation Package only (inclusions described above)

Can be combined or purchased separately.

Limited to one non-participant per hiker. Only available in partnership with a hiker already booked on the trip who also has a lodging and/or transportation package.

Gear Rental

  • 30 to 40 liter daypack rental ($25 per pack)
  • Trekking poles (complimentary upon request)

Other Additions

  • 3-liter Camelbak reservoir/bladder purchase ($35)


Upgrades can be added when registering on the phone or via email.

Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (8.05%).



  • TOUR PRICE $ 1295 pp 1295 pp
  • +Permits & Land Fees $ 53 pp* 53 pp

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure

Do you have five minutes to save $25? Learn about our 25for5 promotion on our Promos & Discounts page! (Seasonal discounts may apply)



Select Month

April 8-April 11
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April 16-April 19
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April 18-April 21
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April 25-April 28
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Grand Canyon’s South Rim is the canyon’s most popular destination for sightseeing, hiking along the rim, shopping for unique souvenirs, and visiting museums and galleries that help explain Grand Canyon history. This trip begins in the early evening on day one. Our group will gather today to meet one another and get a rundown of our adventure from your guide. After this introduction, the guide will host an optional dinner at one of the rim restaurants before we retire to our rooms to prepare for our big hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon tomorrow.


On your own – ask your guide for suggestions


On your own


On your own (Lodging Package: one of the South Rim’s lodges, usually Kachina or Thunderbird)

Phantom Ranch cabin in the Grand Canyon

Today’s descent is 7 miles and 4,780 feet into the grandest of canyons. Our route takes us down a ridgeline affording jaw-dropping 360-degree views of a labyrinth of amphitheaters, temples and buttes. The trail begins with a series of switchbacks to breathtaking Ooh-Aah Point before we resume our descent another 1,200 feet, traveling back 40 million years in the geologic record to Cedar Ridge. From here we traverse the Tonto Plateau before dropping into the inner gorge. The last part of our hike takes us along the Colorado River and over a suspension bridge until, at trail’s end, we find Phantom Ranch nestled on the banks of Bright Angel Creek just before its confluence with the majestic Colorado River. Phantom Ranch was founded in 1903 as a hunting camp and named by local architect Mary Jane Colter after nearby Phantom Creek. It is the only lodge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and is our home for the next 2 nights.


7 miles (trailhead is at 7,100 feet – Phantom Ranch is at approximately 2,500 feet – TOTAL elevation loss of nearly 5,000 feet)


Breakfast on own, lunch and dinner included


Phantom Ranch same-gender dormitories

Phantom Ranch cabin in the Grand Canyon
Hikers sit in stream on Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch trip

Today we plan to hike the beautiful Clear Creek and River Trails. However, many participants choose to use this day for relaxation, cheering on rafts as they pass by, socializing with other adventurers, or stretching out in the shade with a book and a cold beverage. All our meals will be at the famous Phantom Ranch Canteen. Enjoy the solitude or mix with other intrepid canyon hikers in the very bottom of Grand Canyon as the steep walls block out the rest of the world, affording a feeling of tremendous peace and tranquility. Photography and bird watching opportunities abound in this lush riparian habitat. Your guides will be available all day to share with you the secrets of one of the world’s most special places.


3‐6 miles


All meals included


Phantom Ranch same-gender dormitories

Hikers sit in stream on Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch trip
Hiking tour group climbs cliffside Grand Canyon trail over waterfall

The rising sun finds us preparing to conquer the canyon. Our exit is the Bright Angel Trail, a classic Grand Canyon trek. After crossing the Colorado River, the trail snakes its way up out of the inner gorge to the shady oasis of Indian Gardens. Here we will refuel and refill with water before tackling the steep ascent up Jacob’s Ladder through the Redwall layer. While always a tremendous challenge, your guides will provide you with helpful hints, strategies, techniques, and their insider knowledge of the keys to a successful ascent. This afternoon we celebrate our accomplishments at the Bright Angel Trailhead before bidding a farewell to the canyon and the memories we’ve shared.


10 miles (Phantom Ranch is at approximately 2,500 feet –Grand Canyon Village is at 6,800 feet – TOTAL elevation gain of 4,300 feet)


Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on own


On your own (Lodging Package: one of the South Rim’s lodges, usually Kachina or Thunderbird)

Hiking tour group climbs cliffside Grand Canyon trail over waterfall

Nitty Gritty

AOA’s adventures might challenge you, but we don’t want them to surprise you, these Nitty Gritty details can help you decide if this the right trip for you.

Comforts of Home

Cell service: This area has very limited cell phone service, you should expect to be unreachable by phone. There is electricity available at Phantom Ranch but we recommend bringing a small portable battery to charge your phone for photos.

Accommodations & Meals

On this trip we stay at historic lodges which can be rustic. The restaurants in national park lodges often have slow service at meals. In the canyon we stay in the Phantom Ranch dormitories. These are gender-segregated rooms with comfortable bunks for 10 people. You may wish to bring earplugs for optimal sleep. Phantom Ranch does not manage for all dietary restrictions, but with advance planning AOA is always able to supplement food for guests.

Age & Group Size

Minimum Age: 12
Max Group Size: 9

Hiking & Weather

Hiking: This trip is very challenging. Hiking into Grand Canyon from the South Rim requires you to hike downhill continuously for 7 miles. Only 2 days later, you must hike uphill continuously for 10 miles.

Weather: Weather on this trip can vary wildly from snow on the rims during spring and fall to extreme triple-digit heat in the canyon. It’s possible you could begin hiking into the canyon in the snow during colder months and during the warmer months it’s possible you may experience extreme heat in the inner canyon. We will help you prepare for any possible conditions that may arise.

Trip Ratings

Challenge 4 | Comfort 2 | Solitude 4 | Participation 1