Hiking Grand Canyon from Rim to River: An Adventure to Phantom Ranch

Hike and learn about the ancient landscapes of the Grand Canyon on some of its most awe-inspiring trails. Plus, spend two nights within the Canyon at historic Phantom Ranch!
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 8144RJ
6 days
Starts at
15 Reviews
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4.93 Average
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Truly and outstanding experience. The guides were first rate in focus on hydration, safety, knowledge (geology/botany), and getting to know the group. Very, very nice group that got along extremely well. The hike itself was unforgettable, and the scenery spectacular. The hiking schedule and preparation/instruction could not have been better. The food was great too. The Grand Canyon hike to Phantom Ranch and back has been on my hiking bucket list for over 50 years, and it didn't disappoint! Nice work, Road Scholar Chuck from Washington State


Fantastic! If you can go on this trip do it! The arrangements, guiding and educational content were superb - and the adventure was outstanding. The preparatory phone call about two months before the program really helped me get ready for the hike. The hiking was well planned and paced. The cabin at Phantom Ranch was well equipped, comfortable and warm. The food there was great, especially since it all comes down on mules. (All of the food and accommodations were great, not just those at Phantom Ranch.)


This was a birthday challenge and an achievement for me. I missed my opportunity to do this hike in 2004 due to sickness and now I finally got my chance. Thanks to Road Scholar for offering this trip. I had two wonderful guides Norm and Slim. They were amazing. I had 6 other new friends with me on the journey. It was amazing to get to stay at Phantom Ranch for two nights and do some hikes down there. We had two astronomers on the trip who navigated the night sky for us. We were fortunate to get to stay in a Mary Coulter designed cabin and enjoyed both the beef stew and the NY strip steak. We had ice the first 1 1/2 miles down on S. Kaibab and on Bright Angel Trail the last 1 1/2 miles up. Crampons did not work at all and we were ill prepared for the ice. Before the hike, I went to the general store and bought the only item they had for ice called Stabilicers which did work well on the ice. Any other hikers going to Grand Canyon in winter should go prepared with ice in mind. We needed layers and layers of clothes as we started in 11 degrees at the top and then it was about 40 degrees at the bottom. I had to buy better gloves and hand and feet warmers at the general store before we went down. It was the hardest hike of my life, I am so glad I did it. I said it was harder than having a baby but after a week at home, I am thinking I could totally do it again. I did the same thing after having a baby. Short term memory loss is a good thing sometimes, thus two children. Note to Grand Canyon officials, the condition of the South Kaibab trail was really terrible, such deep drop-offs of 2 1/2 to 3 feet deep. Difficult to manage for a 5'2'' gal. It needs lots of repair. It reminded me of how my home area treats potholes, it is very short-sighted repair if you just fill it up with dirt as the mules kick it right back out as they travel up and down the trail. I was told it needs to be filled with cobblestones and dirt and then tamped down.


Hiking the Grand Canyon to Phantom Ranch was a fantastic & unique trip! I truly enjoyed the physical challenge of the hiking as well as the lectures on the geology & history of the park. A great adventure that highly recommend!!


It was, as advertised, very challenging. I think, however, that the difficulty was adequately described. The call from Norm helped to know that our training was correct.


We thoroughly enjoyed our Road Scholar trip hiking down to Phantom Ranch. Having leaders who are familiar with the area and the hike itself, allowed us to relax and enjoy the challenge of the hike, and also the beauty of the canyon.


This trip exceeded our expectations! It was challenging (yet-doable), educational, and extraordinarily beautiful. Our guides Jeff and Ellen were fantastic leaders, wonderful individuals, and were incredibly knowledgable. I have wanted to do this trip for years, and Road Scholar made the experience better than it would have been if we had planned the trip on our own. I highly recommend it!


The Road Scholar trip down the Grand Canyon was a wonderful way to fulfill a 30 year old dream of mine to stay at Phantom Ranch. All of the participants were great, and the instructors could not have been better. I really have no complaints, and lots of praise!


Visiting the South Rim and Phantom Ranch of the Grand Canyon with Roads Scholar was a trip of a lifetime. Our guides were exceptional and made the trip the best it could be. They were great at making sure we were well fed and hydrated for the challenging trip down to and up from the Colorado River.


"Hiking Grand Canyon from Rim to River: An Adventure to Phantom Ranch" is a program that met its' stated goals both educationally and physically. Learning some of the various theory's about how the Grand Canyon came to be, is a staggering timeline when compared to the Earth's age. Physically, I trained long and hard for this program. Hence, I was able to enjoy the satisfaction of my surroundings, and the endurance it took to climb Corkscrew, Jacob's Ladder, and Heartbreak Hill. The leadership team was excellent! Overall, this was a rich experience I will always treasure!


For years I've wanted to walk to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. This hike down to Phantom Ranch (and back!) was the best experience I could have hoped for. Each curve of the trail showed a slightly different view of the Canyon's stunning beauty. Our group of nine hikers and two leaders was perfect size and mix for this adventure.


If you are lucky enough to get into this hike, you are lucky! It is a trip of a lifetime that I will forever be grateful that I was able to do. Our Road Scholar guides made this trip a dream come true.


This trip was way beyond my expectations. The guides were the best. I would recommend this to anyone who wants a great hike with an education on geology and history of the Grand Canyon.


I have been on a number of Road Scholar trips as well as other group trips. This is by far the best one! The leaders, the other participants, the lodging and the experience were better than I expected.


Our recent trip to the Grand Canyon was fantastic! Our guides Stewart and Karl, as well as the Roads Scholars program otself were extremely knowledgeable in all facets of the trail physicality, history, geology, and sub-stories and program communications.! My wife Beth and I will definitely be looking for other programs as participants! Well organized, education, inspiring, and motivating! Thank you for an experience we will not forget! Sincerely, Mike Korth

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