Phantom Ranch can only be reached by mule, by foot, or by rafting the Colorado River and is a popular stop-over point for hikers and mule riders traveling to the bottom of the Canyon via the famous Bright Angel or Kaibab trails.
Phantom Ranch from the Tonto Trail - Grand Canyon National Park - Photo by ski3pin
Phantom Ranch, the hotel on Bright Angel Creek just off the Colorado River, is a fine place to visit. One can arrive there three ways: by burro, by foot, or by boat. I've beed through three times over the years but only by foot.
Although I've never spent the night at the Ranch, I have always dropped into the bar for a brew when spending the night in the nearby campground.
In summer it can be very, very hot at this low elevation so plan on soaking in the cold creek that flows from a huge spring way to the north. In winter, this cam be a pleasant, spring-like spot to be.
Take care! The walk DOWN here by any trail is neither short nor easy. And the NPS strongly suggests that you not try hiking back up on the same day.
I'v been to Phantom Ranch only by boat on day 8 of a 16 day Grand Canyon river trip. Even for veteran boaters Phantom Ranch is a great respite from the river with a flush toilet, a mirror to check the beard growth, ice cold lemonade and the chance to send postcards to loved ones back home. It's a truly an amazing experience to pop out there and get a small taste of civilization and realize that you are only half way through with your trip!