Phantom Ranch & Indian Gardens

The dining hall and administration building for Phantom Ranch.

Phantom Ranch is the only accommodation other than campgrounds in the Canyon.  The ranch capacity is very limited with most of the rooms reserved for mule riders so reservations are hard to get. 

Meals at Phantom Ranch are outstanding.  Of course we were starving, so I'm sure that adds to the appeal.  Guidelines say you are supposed to consume twice as many calories in this environment and the ranch meals certainly give you the opportunity to do that. 

You can buy dinner, breakfast, and a sack lunch, separate from your lodging.  There are two seatings for dinner and breakfast.
Peggi and I took the mule trip in 1970.  I think this was the cabin we stayed in.
The last time I was at Phantom Ranch, August 1970.
If you are not on the mule trip your lodging consists of a bed in the men's or women's bunkhouse. There are 10 bunks in each house and one toilet and shower. There are two doors and very small windows. To say the least accommodations are meager.

When we arrive the cabin was hot and dark.  My advice is prop open both doors and keep them open all night if you can, but keep vulnerable things off the floor.  There is also a shower house for the mule riders.  Bunkhouse people aren't supposed to use them but what are they going to do?
We had a good time at the Ranch.  Dinner and breakfast hit the spot, we had a ranger talk about the condors, and socialized with some interesting people.

Next morning we were on the trail again heading up to Indian Gardens. 

The footbridge was built to convey a water pipeline, which serves the South Rim, across the river
The trail follows the river downstream for a few miles.
It's hard to believe that just downstream the placid river turns into some of the biggest runnable whitewater in North America.

These pictures are from our 2007 raft trip.  You can view the entire photo journal on Meg & Tony's Page of Travel and Adventure.

Mike and Charlene are on the right side of the bench.  Peggi is behind them in the blue hat.  I'm underwater.
The trail turns up a side canyon along this creek and begins the climb out of the inner gorge.
This picture looks down on the trail and the side canyon near the top of the inner gorge.
When we emerged from the inner gorge we were at Indian Gardens.  Mike and I made camp in a nice shaded spot. 

Rangers do come around and check permits, so don't plan on camping without a permit.
Last time I was at Indian Gardens was with Adam and Bill in 1992.

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