GRAND CANYON

Grand Canyon's Phantom Ranch reopens reservations for 2023. Here's how to book

Michael Salerno
Arizona Republic
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Grand Canyon visitors will have a new opportunity to reserve stays at Phantom Ranch, the rustic lodge at the canyon bottom that's so difficult to get into you need to enter a lottery to get a chance.

Xanterra Travel Collection, the concessionaire at Phantom Ranch, announced this week it would reopen reservations for cabin stays at the ranch from May to next January, as well as overnight mule rides to the bottom of the canyon rim from now through next January.

Reservations for Phantom Ranch were paused since January 2022 in anticipation of several National Park Service infrastructure projects. But delays on those projects allowed officials to reopen cabin and mule ride bookings. The hiker dormitories — small bunkhouses that hold 10 people each — are not available this year.

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How to get Phantom Ranch reservations in 2023

Reservations for hiker cabins at Phantom Ranch can be made for May 2023 through January 2024.

A limited number of overnight mule rides are available on select dates in January, with more available from February through January 2024.

Xanterra will begin accepting reservations for Phantom Ranch cabins and mule rides on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Reservations can be made online starting at 12:01 a.m. MST at http://secure.phantomranchlottery.com, or by phone with a reservation agent starting at 7 a.m.

Xanterra also plans to open reservations for cabins and mule rides in February 2024 starting on Feb. 1 and in March 2024 starting March 1.

High demand is expected, so be patient when placing your reservation.

Is it typical to reserve Phantom Ranch with little advance notice?

No. Phantom Ranch is such an in-demand experience that Xanterra normally requires 14 months' advance notice.

And since there's so little space available, people must enter a lottery to get a chance at a reservation. Lotteries run for 25 days each month; winners are selected and notified the next month that they can book their reservations.

The lottery schedule will resume in February for cabin stays and mule rides in April 2024.

Why were Phantom Ranch reservations closed in 2022?

Xanterra paused reservations in January 2022 for mule rides as of January 2023 and hiker cabins as of May 1, 2023. It anticipated the park service would begin work on major infrastructure projects such as the Transcanyon Waterline Project, which would affect its ability to offer services at Phantom Ranch.

This month, Xanterra reopened a limited number of reservations based on the most recent park service updates, which stated the projects are "delayed and currently in the contracting phase."

For complete information on Phantom Ranch, go to http://www.grandcanyonlodges.com/lodging/phantom-ranch.

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Reach the reporter at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @salerno_phx.

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