Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking

From: $3,099

per person dbl occ

Dates: May-Oct - see all dates

Total Days: 7

Activity Level: 3-4

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

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Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

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Price:

2014

REI member: $3,099

Non-member: $3,400

Single supplement: $749

Trip Dates:

2014*

Rim-to-Rim —
  • May 24–30 Sold out
  • Jun 2–8 Sold out
  • Jun 8–14 Sold out
  • Jun 15–21 Sold out
  • Sep 5–11
  • Oct 6–12

Or, book a
private departure.


* Addtitional 2014 dates will be released on a monthly basis from June to October.

Group Size: 4-12

Activity Level: 3-4

Activities:

  • Hiking

Accommodations:

Hotel, 4 nights; Phantom Ranch Cabins or Dorms, 2 nights

Trip Highlights

  • Hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim, with a stop at the famous Phantom Ranch
  • Walk back in geological history among the vastness of the Canyon
  • Enjoy freshly-prepared meals, comfortable accommodations, and expert guides
  • Explore the canyon's depths and relax on the banks of the Colorado River

For even the most seasoned adventurer, a full traverse of the Grand Canyon from the North Rim to the South Rim is the ultimate canyon hiking experience. REI makes it easier than ever with full shuttle vehicle support, outstanding meals, and professional guides so we can cross the abyss carrying only a day pack.

We hike nearly two billion years into the Earth's geologic past, through the vastness of the canyon's wilderness, then emerge again on the other side having spent two nights at renowned Phantom Ranch. On our layover day at Phantom Ranch, we enjoy opportunities to discover the seldom explored labyrinths of the canyon's depths and relax on the banks of the raging Colorado River. Our time below the canyon rim is book-ended by two very comfortable nights at a lodge, followed by a celebration of our accomplishment on the South Rim. Join us and discover why hikers the world over hold this legendary hike in the highest esteem.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Meet in Phoenix for our Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hiking Adventure.
  • Day 2 - Travel past the Vermilion Cliffs to arrive at our lodge.
  • Day 3 - Hike the Ken Patrick Trail, with vistas from Point Imperial and Cape Royal.
  • Day 4 - Descend into the canyon on the North Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch.
  • Day 5 - Explore hidden depths of the park on the Clear Creek and River Trails.
  • Day 6 - Climb to the rim via the Bright Angel Trail through Indian Gardens.
  • Day 7 - A final hike and a stop in Grand Canyon Village ends our adventure.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Meet in Phoenix for our Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim Hiking Adventure.

    Our trip begins today in Phoenix, Arizona. Arrive into Phoenix by 3 p.m. and transfer independently to our hotel (Embassy Suites Phoenix – Scottsdale). We'll meet our guides and the other trip members in the hotel lobby at 4:30 p.m. and then head to the Paradise Valley REI store for a group orientation. We will get a rundown of the trip itinerary, gear check, and packing tips. This is also a good opportunity to pick up some last minute items, even if it is just camera batteries or soap! We will enjoy dinner and drinks at the store while we get to know each other in eager anticipation of our adventure. Dinner included.

  • Day 2 - Travel past the Vermilion Cliffs to arrive at our lodge.

    Today we shuttle from Phoenix to Grand Canyon North Rim with some interesting stops along the way. We break at Cameron Indian Trading Post, which was established in 1916. It is now a famous showplace for fine Native American art and Southwest art. After crossing the Colorado River near Lees Ferry (the launch point for rafting the Grand Canyon), we stop for lunch at the base of the Vermilion Cliffs. Days end will find us settling into comfortable accommodations at Grand Canyon's North Rim. All meals included.

    Hiking: 0-2 miles; Terrain: Mostly flat, well-maintained trail along the rim.

  • Day 3 - Hike the Ken Patrick Trail, with vistas from Point Imperial and Cape Royal.

    After breakfast today we will stretch our legs and learn the Canyon's natural history on an easy hike and scenic drive. Our first views of the Canyon will be from the highest point in the national park, aptly named Point Imperial. The best views of the Grand Canyon are from its rim. From here, we begin our trek along the stunning Ken Patrick Trail, which follows the canyon edge with magnificent views into Marble Canyon, Mount Hayden and beyond. If trail conditions do not allow us to hike the Ken Patrick Trail, we will hike the Widforss Trail which offers outstanding views into the deepening canyon. Following our rim hike, we will shuttle out to the remote peninsula of land leading to Cape Royal, which offers yet another fantastic vantage point. The remainder of the day will be spent preparing for the challenge awaiting us below. All meals included.

    Hiking: 6 miles; Terrain: Maintained but rocky with an elevation gain/loss of a few hundred feet as we traverse the rim. Elevation at the North Rim is over 8,000 feet.

  • Day 4 - Descend into the canyon on the North Kaibab Trail to Phantom Ranch.

    Get ready to burn off that big breakfast! Today's descent is 14 miles and 5,700 feet into the grandest of canyons through nearly every biological life zone in North America. As we drop from the alpine to the desert, each step takes us thousands of years back in geologic time through ancient oceans, deserts, lakes, and swamps. With mind-blowing vistas, 100-foot waterfalls, green spring-fed oases, plus fascinating trail design and workmanship, the North Kaibab Trail is a national treasure. At trails end we find Phantom Ranch nestled on the banks of Bright Angel Creek just before its confluence with the mighty Colorado River. Phantom Ranch, a former hunting camp founded in 1903, is our home for the next two nights. All meals included.

    Hiking: 14 miles; Terrain: Maintained rocky and occasionally steep trail descends from 8,241 feet at the trailhead to approximately 2,500 feet at Phantom Ranch for a total elevation loss of nearly 6,000 feet.

  • Day 5 - Explore hidden depths of the park on the Clear Creek and River Trails.

    A day in the very bottom of Grand Canyon is all yours with the canyon walls blocking out the rest of the world affording a feeling of tremendous peace and tranquility. Today we have the option to hike the beautiful Clear Creek Trail and River Trail. Many participants choose to use this day for relaxation, cheering on the river rafters, socializing with other adventurers, or stretching out in the shade with a book and a cold beer. Photography and bird watching opportunities abound in this lush green riparian habitat fenced in by sheer walls of red rock. Your guides will be available all day to share with you the secrets of one of the world's most special places. All meals included.

    Hiking: 3-5 miles; Elevation gain/loss: up to 1,000 feet.

  • Day 6 - Climb to the rim via the Bright Angel Trail through Indian Gardens.

    The rising sun finds us preparing to conquer the canyon. Our exit is the classic trek on Bright Angel Trail. 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. This hike is a tremendous challenge, so welcome the advice of your guides as they will provide you with helpful hints, strategies, techniques, and their insider knowledge of the keys to a successful ascent. With proper preparation, hydration, and diet the entire group will soon be high-fiving and hugging on the rim. We walk just a few more steps to our lodge perched right on the rim of the canyon. Tonight we celebrate our shared accomplishments at a lodge near the canyon's rim before retiring to our rooms for some well deserved rest. All meals included.

    Hiking: 10 miles; Terrain: Maintained trail with a 4,300 foot elevation ascent.

  • Day 7 - A final hike and a stop in Grand Canyon Village ends our adventure.

    A final hike and a stop in Grand Canyon Village ends our adventure. For those who can't get enough of the canyon, the fantastic Rim Trail awaits. We can hike one way along the rim. This is a great way to stretch your legs and get a birds-eye view of the route you traversed in the days prior. Other interesting cultural sites include Hopi House and the many interpretive centers. Following this relaxing morning, we drive to Phoenix, AZ arriving by approximately 4:00 p.m. Please do not schedule a departing flight prior to 6:00pm. Transfer to the Phoenix airport is on your own. Lunch included. Breakfast is on your own.

    Hiking: 0-3 miles optional; Terrain: Maintained trails with minimal elevation gain/loss.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Note on Accommodations

At Phantom Ranch, all lodging is dormitory style, divided by gender. Couples traveling together will be split during our two nights at Phantom Ranch, with men in the men's dormitory and women in the women's dormitory. All minor children must be traveling with at least one adult parent or guardian of the same gender due to the dormitory rooming requirements. Minor children will not be allowed to stay in the dormitory of the opposite gender, nor will they be allowed to stay in the dormitory of the same gender without an adult parent or guardian to accompany them.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

Four nights in hotels (double occupancy) (three nights on South Rim Loop departures), two nights in Phantom Ranch Dormitories in Grand Canyon; guide leadership; van transportation from Phoenix to the Grand Canyon and return; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; beverages including coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate; park fees, camping fees and local taxes.

Not Included

Flights to/from Phoenix, AZ; airport transfers; one breakfast; alcoholic beverages; guides gratuities; excess baggage charges or insurance of any kind.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3-4]. Trip members should have some previous hiking experience and be in good physical condition. We recommend a conditioning regimen beginning at least 2-3 months prior to departure, which includes hiking (preferably), walking or some other form of cardiovascular exercise (swimming, cycling) in order to prepare for the activity level of this adventure. Both the ascent and descent to/from Phantom Ranch of over 4,000 feet is challenging to even very fit hikers. There are some steep sections and exposed overlooks on the various trails we hike. The most difficult hikes are mandatory to complete the itinerary. Our guides will be sure to brief trip members on the vigorousness and exposure of each hike prior to setting out. Minimum age requirement is 14 years.

Weather

During most months the canyon receives very little or no precipitation. However, please be prepared for a stray rainstorm or even snowstorm particularly in the winter months. July and August have sporadic afternoon thunderstorms and there is also a rare possibility of winter storms on the rim occurring during the months of March and April. You should mostly plan for warm, sunny days and chilly nights. The South Rim of the canyon is located at approximately 7,000 feet while the North Rim is located at about 8,000 feet. Phantom Ranch located at about 2,500 feet in elevation. It is common for there to be a temperature difference between the rim and Phantom Ranch of 30 degrees or more. This wide temperature range means you'll need to have layers of clothing available and your gear list is designed to help you with selection. On May dates, expect daytime highs at the Rim in the 50's or 60's as highs at Phantom Ranch creep into the 80's and 90's. Summer dates (June – August) will bring temperatures on the North Rim in the 70's and in the 80's on the South Rim, but temperatures at Phantom Ranch should be expected to top 100 degrees, while in the fall, daytime highs at Phantom tend to recede into the 90's or 80's while high temperatures on at the rim drop into the 60-70 degree range. Average nightly lows will be about 30 degrees cooler than the daytime highs indicated above.

Single Travelers

If you specifically request single accommodations (hotels only), you will be asked to pay the full single supplement fee. If you wish to share accommodations (hotels only), we will assign you a roommate if one is available. Please be advised that there are a limited number of single rooms available on most departures. Accommodations at Phantom Ranch are dormitory-style and single rooms are not available.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Gear Checklist

Provided Gear
  • Trip leader first-aid kit
  • Traction devices for footwear (Seasonal)
Official Papers
  • Photo identification
  • Airline tickets
Luggage
  • Duffel bag or soft-sided suitcase (medium-size and sturdy, wheels and retractable handle are fine)
  • Daypack 40-65 liters to carry your camera, water bottles, lunch, change of clothes (for two nights at Phantom Ranch), toiletries, etc.
  • Luggage tags and luggage locks
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket or poncho (lightweight, waterproof and breathable)
  • Rain or wind pants (waterproof and breathable)
Clothing
  • Midweight down or fleece vest
  • Lightweight thermal underwear top and bottom (synthetic or wool)
  • Hiking pants
  • Hiking shorts
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks (synthetic or wool)
  • Liner socks
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Wool or fleece gloves
Footwear
  • Hiking boots (sturdy, midweight, broken-in, aggressive tread)
  • Water-sport footwear for wading through creeks, wearing at the Ranch, etc. If sandals, should have ankle straps. No flip-flops.
Travel Accessories
  • Three (3) one-quart water bottles or hydration system
  • Flashlight or headlamp, and spare batteries/bulb
  • Soap and shampoo (biodegradable recommended)
  • Baby wipes
  • Toilet paper (small amount for trail use)
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit
  • Personal first-aid kit, small
  • Several Ziploc plastic bags for wet clothes and trash
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera, film/memory card(s), spare batteries
  • Small binoculars
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Games and toys, frisbees, cards, etc.
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Trekking poles (highly recommended)
  • Swimsuit
  • Ear plugs
  • Insect repellent
  • Soap for hand-washing laundry
  • Wash cloth (towels are provided)

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing (including hiking boots) and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed. Pack your camera and film in your carry-on, too.
  • Winter temperatures on the south rim of the canyon can be quite cold and windy, but we will spend the vast majority of our time in the milder inner canyon. Since we must carry all layers that get shed, be mindful of weight and compressibility when selecting warm layers.
  • To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather, but once it becomes wet it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics (Capilene, MTS or Thermax)
  • Trekking poles add two additional points of contact to aid in balance on steep terrain with loose features. They also reduce the amount of shock absorbed by the knees when you are descending. They are not required for the trip, but are highly recommended.
  • Make sure hiking boots are broken-in. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic (not cotton). Test your sock combination before you go on the trip. Add blister treatment to your personal first-aid kit, just in case.
  • Stuff sacks are great for sorting gear. Use different sizes/colors to differentiate contents.
  • Snacks: Plenty of food and snacks will be available at all times during the trip.

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresGrand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking
 
4.7

(based on 12 reviews)

91%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Exceeded expectations (10)
  • Guides (10)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (10)
  • Well organized itinerary (9)
  • Accommodations (8)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Avid adventurer (6), Casual adventurer (6)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Active adventures (10), Destination (10), All the details planned for me (9), I liked the itinerary (9), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (7)

      Reviewed by 12 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Wonderful Experience From Start to Finis

      By Ron B

      from Fort Worth, TX

      About Me Casual Adventurer

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Accommodations
      • Exceeded Expectations
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Well Organized Itinerary

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking:

          Anyone who talks about walking and hiking has to take the Rim to Rim Grand Canyon. It is one of the iconic walks in the world and for a good reason. The scenery is beautiful, your body is pushed each step both up and down, and when you finish, you have a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Our group was wonderful. We encouraged each other, helped each other, and celebrated each others accomplishments. Chris, our guide, was outstanding. He gave us hints and tips and invaluable help, from doctoring blisters to ensuring we drank enough water, to pointing out little known facts about the trails and the Canyon. For me taking this trip, and finishing it was the dream of a lifetime.

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I have always wanted to do the Rim to Rim Grand Canyon hike, and finally got someone to hike with me
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • Making it to the to the end at the South Rim, and feeling a HUGE sense of accomplishment
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • It is tougher than you might imagine. Walk a lot with a heavy pack beforehand, and listen to the advice of your guide!!

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Perfect Rim to Rim

          By LaurieHikes

          from Ohio

          About Me Casual Adventurer

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Guides
          • Well Organized Itinerary

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking:

              This trip was great: guides were exceptional and the other participants were enthusiastic even when weather didn't cooperate. Come physically prepared and ready to see incredible parts of the Canyon. You won't be disappointed.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • We had wanted to hike Rim to Rim Grand Canyon for a couple of years. Guided trip offered historic, cultural, geologic information in addition to safety support.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • Views from the North Rim descent were incredible!

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Terrific trip!

              By Tom K

              from San Rafael, CA

              About Me Avid Adventurer

              Pros

              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

              • Phantom Ranch Bunk House

              Best Uses

                Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking:

                If you're not in shape, or can't get in shape by the departure date, don't do this trip. You don't want to be that guy that holds everyone back. The two long hikes are not a problem if you're in reasonable shape, but understand that you'll be hiking for 7-9 hours each of those two days in weather that can be very hot, so you have to be ready for it. But it's worth it!

                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                • Active Adventures, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                • The itinerary looked fun and interesting and we really enjoy the fellow travelers that REI trips attact, and their great guides.
                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                • Guides Megan and Seth. Don't get me wrong, the hiking is spectacular, but these two are superstars and among the best guides we've ever had anywhere in the world. Fun, super-knowledgeable, entertaining.....just terrific companions.
                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                • Recognize the accommodations at Phantom Ranch are less than comfortable for many. The bunkhouses are very small, every bed it taken, and the snoring can get pretty loud. But, it's a small price to pay, and most folks are so exhausted at the end of the day that it's a non-issue anyway.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Can't wait to get back to the canyon!

                By jec1721

                from Rockville, MD

                About Me Casual Adventurer

                Site Member

                Pros

                • Accommodations
                • Activity Level
                • Exceeded Expectations
                • Group Camaraderie
                • Guides
                • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking:

                    The guides on your trip will make it such a unique experience, they have great knowledge on the area. Be realistic about traveling in a group. This means people of all different hiking speeds, attitudes, ages, etc. Being able to go with the flow is a valued trait in a group setting! Everyone is looking for something different on their trip, so keep that in mind. Meeting people from all over the country, and sharing the hiking experience with them, is really special. The hike is a challenge, so know what you're getting into. There is only one way out of the canyon and that is on your own two feet!

                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                    • The Grand Canyon was a place we had never been to and we wanted to experience all of it by hiking rim to rim.
                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                    • Knowing that a small minority of people go to the North Rim and an even smaller minority hike rim to rim was a great achievement! The comraderie from all hikers and campers in the canyon is unparalleled. Being down at Phantom Ranch was also a highlight, it is stunning to look up at the South Rim from the bottom.
                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                    • Invest in a hydration pack! It was HOT and I was skeptical of the amount of water the guides told us to bring, but I drank every bit of what they recommended. I would have gotten dehydrated if I didn't have a 3L reservoir that I could easily sip without stopping to take out a water bottle. Pack very light down to Phantom Ranch, everyone is dirty & grimy, wash clothes in the creek if necessary.
                     
                    5.0

                    Be sure you are in good shape!

                    By fit n active

                    from Chicago, IL

                    About Me Avid Adventurer

                    Pros

                    • Accommodations
                    • Activity Level
                    • A great challenge
                    • Exceeded Expectations
                    • Guides
                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                    Cons

                    • Heat intensity

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking:

                      As mentioned above do not underestimate the heat. It is intense and will zap your energy. I was unable to go in a cooler month like May or Sept.
                      It was fun to meet new people from all walks of life and share enthusiasm for hiking and the outdoors. Staying at El tovar the last night was a fabulous ending.

                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                      • I liked the amount of time spent in the canyon. Since I figured I would only be doing this once in my life I wanted the entire Rim to Rim experience.
                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                      • Being inside the canyon and having a stunning view at every turn. Also, it was a big challenge and I was thrilled to complete it without any harm to myself!
                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                      • Be in good shape!!! This is not for people who work out only occasionally. It is a hard hike both going in and going out. If you choose to go in June be prepared for the heat. You must drink a great deal of water and eat properly. Do whatever the guides tell you to do and you will accomplish this feat.
                       
                      5.0

                      GC R2R: Would do it again in a heartbeat

                      By CactusDog

                      from Alexandria, Virginia

                      About Me Casual Adventurer, Love to hike the SW

                      Site Member

                      Pros

                      • Accommodating
                      • Accommodations
                      • Activity Level
                      • Comfortable
                      • Food
                      • Guides
                      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                      • Well Organized Itinerary
                      • Well-planned and managed

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking:

                          I would do this trip again or another REI trip in a heartbeat. GC R2R was well-structured, well-managed, and tailored to accommodate everyone in the group, who ranged from 12 to 70 years old. The itinerary was very enjoyable and the guides knowledgeable about the science, history, and culture of the places we visited. They always made sure we had what we needed to be comfortable, whether it was a pit stop, first aid, Diet Coke, or chocolate. I felt as though I was in capable hands.

                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                          • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                          • Why did you choose this trip?:
                          • I chose this trip for itinerary, the challenge, and the accommodations at Phantom Ranch
                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                          • Hiking down the North Kaibab Trail--something I may never get to do again
                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                          • Pay attention to the activity level, train before your trip, do your research, and go prepared not just in body and equipment but in mind as well

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Second to none.

                          By bmwatx

                          from Austin, TX

                          About Me Casual Adventurer

                          Pros

                          • Accommodations
                          • Activity Level
                          • Exceeded Expectations
                          • Group Camaraderie
                          • Guides
                          • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking:

                              I struggle to find negatives about this trip. My experience was outstanding from start to end. There is considerable windshield time, but I found the logistical aspects well planned, well communicated and (for us) went very smoothly. The facilities along the trail and at Phantom Ranch exceeded my expectations. The accommodations at every point were comfortable. Overall the food served at the restaurants and at the lodges/hotels was unremarkable; however the food and snacks we were served 'on the trail' were above and beyond my expectations. Alcohol was pricy but not unreasonable. As stated above - our guide was first class, I won't reveal his secrets here but we were blown away by the level of service provided to us at every turn.

                              The ~14 miles into the canyon on North Kaibab is long but manageable. Be prepared to get wet at any opportunity (dipping in creeks or soaking clothing at faucets). The final 3-5 miles follows Clear Creek (?) and will provide relief from the oven-like effects of the dark rock of the Inner Gorge.

                              If considering this trip you should understand and appreciate the environment of the dorms at Phantom Ranch. 10 people, many of whom are strangers, sharing a single bedroom and bathroom (sleeping on bunk beds). The swamp cooler and the plumbing are loud but effective. There is a single outlet available for charging GPS devices/phones, etc.

                              The ~10 miles out Bright Angel is full of switchbacks and has its moments of intense grade. All in all it wasn't as strenuous as many in our group thought it may be. While there a multiple stops to fill bottles/bladders and wet shirts, the top of the climb can be quite hot. Be prepared to see many more people on the trail as you approach the rim (and don't expect them to yield the trail). The restaurant and bar at El Tovar overlooks the canyon and provides for a welcome beverage and snack.

                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary
                              • Why did you choose this trip?:
                              • Obtaining reservations at Phantom Ranch was problematic, booking the Ranch as well as both Rims was nearly impossible. Logistically and operationally REI provided a much needed solution.
                              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                              • The group and our guide. As expected, the park was magnificent. Our guide was first class, I won't reveal his secrets here but we were blow away by the level of service provided us at every turn. The culture he created really allowed our group of 7 to gel and by the end of the trip it was like we'd known each other for years.
                              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                              • Follow the checklist but in the days prior to your departure look at weather conditions and forecasts, I found much on the list was unused. Drink water. Wet your shirt and headgear whenever possible (streams are your friend!). Don't spend too much time looking at your feet going up or down the trail, enjoy the views!

                              (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              3.0

                              Phantom Ranch

                              By L E Reagan

                              from Charlotte, NC

                              About Me Avid Adventurer

                              Site Member

                              Pros

                              • Once in a Lifetime Experience

                              Cons

                              • Accommodations

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking:

                                Don't expect the ranch to take care of you. On our second night there, the main water supply broke in two places. The first day was 105 (f) and member of our party was suffering from heat exhustion. Maintainance people came by our cabin to lock the showers closed and I pointed out that our door would not shut. The maintainance people never came back, but the mosquitoes did. Since they did not come back, I could not also point out to them that the fire alarm system was off line. This during red flag warnings and 40 mph winds. With the broken water pipe, no showers (OK) and flushing toilets with a bucket of water (OK). We could refresh in Bright Angel Creek but no soap. We could use soap in shower but door was locked. At meal time, they would not serve water unless you ask for it (again, OK). But then, no coffee at breakfast... come on! If they can supply water in a glass, they can make coffee. Then, the A/C in the dormitory goes out if the water pipe is broken because they are "swamp coolers" (?) and require fresh water. Even though the staff told us they would work on creek water, they never made a changeover. This, with some people suffering from heat exhustion. So until new pipe lines are placed, I feel it is not safe to make the ten mile hike into the canyon. There is history of multible breaks, and that can place you in danger.

                                • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                • Recommended by a Friend
                                • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                • My girlfriend heard of Phantom Ranch but could never get through to make phone reservations. When REI offered the trip, we jumped on board that day!
                                • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                • The physical hike to the canyon floor, and the remainder of the hike out to rim level. That was my major accomplishment.
                                • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                • Have a contingency plan in case the trip turns ugly. Which is what happened to ours. Plan as if you are 100% camping; do not rely on Phantom Ranch for potable water or other amenities. This is also a very strenuous hike, it will take a day to complete one-half of the trip.

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                A truly unique and beautiful trip

                                By Pat the Flyer

                                from Granite Bay, CA

                                About Me Avid Adventurer, Geology and history fan, Lifelong learner

                                Site Member

                                Pros

                                • Accommodations
                                • Activity Level
                                • Exceeded Expectations
                                • Guides
                                • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                • Quality Equipment Provided
                                • Well Organized Itinerary

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking:

                                    What an incredible adventure! Our guide, Zach, was phenomenal from day 1. The hike in and out of the canyon is demanding, so you definitely have a real sense of accomplishment when you finish. The unique beauty of this area (especially with a snow storm and a full moon on our trip) just can't be compared with anything else in the world. I'm really glad REI provided Yak Trax for us as it was very icey on both trails. You also won't go hungry on this trip when you're on the rim and at Phantom. Thanks, REI, for putting us up at El Tovar!

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • My traveling buddy and I wanted to do the rim-to-rim, but we couldn't get the time off then, so we decided to do this trip. I've rafted, ridden mules, and taken short hikes in the canyon, but I've always wanted to hike to the bottom and back out.
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • Our guide, Zach, was an INCREDIBLE source of information the entire trip. He seemed to know everything about the flora/fauna/geology/history of the southwest! The snow falling at Phantom Ranch was a rare sight and the full moon lighting up the canyon was phenomenal.
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • Follow the REI gear list, as you don't want to bring too much, especially when you're hiking with your pack. REI can supply Yak Trax and poles for slippery conditions. A very light pair of gloves is good to use with hiking poles. If you feel any hotspots or blisters, take care of them RIGHT AWAY!

                                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    4.0

                                    Wonderful trip!

                                    By Cindy Lou

                                    from Eugene, Oregon

                                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                                    See all my reviews

                                    Pros

                                    • Activity Level
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Food
                                    • Group Camaraderie
                                    • Guides
                                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                                    Cons

                                    • Accommodations

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about REI Adventures Grand Canyon Phantom Ranch Hiking:

                                      The trip was very good. The guides, Alex and Josh, were fantastic. They really made sure to take care of us and made sure the trip was everything we hoped for. The itinerary was almost perfect. I might recommend adding one more night at the South Rim so we could do a little more hiking. Despite our weather (it snowed!!), the whole trip went well. My only complaint was (not REI's fault) that we did not stay in the lodging that was on our schedule on the North Rim. For the amount this trip cost, the lodging in that location was inferior. This was the first trip of its kind, so I am sure they will work out some of the bugs for those that go after us. Thanks REI for a great experience. I will try another REI trip.

                                      • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                      • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Single traveler, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                      • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                      • One of those things on my "to do list" that I couldn't do on my own. It was all planned and organized for me.
                                      • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                      • The canyon was in all its glory!
                                      • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                      • Be in good physical shape before you go. Listen to the guides about eating. I was so glad I brought gloves and a winter hat---we needed them!

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