Phantom Ranch

October 8th

Rather than camp at Bright Angel, the group made reservations a year in advance for Phantom Ranch. There are a dozen or so small rock cabins, full of bunk beds. The accommodations are simple, clean and very comfortable. (Real toilets, hot running showers) The main canteen offers breakfast, sack lunch and dinner with reservations. Otherwise, they are well stocked with snacks and drinks. Long tables hold 12 people; meals are a tight fit, but it feels like adult camp.

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon TripGrand Canyon Trip

How do they get those supplies down there? The same way they run the mail and trash up the canyon: by mule. I’m fairly certain this is the last remaining mule mail service in the US.

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

I loved being there. We did yoga one morning on our bath towels outside, stretching out the previous day’s hike. We eyed the board games, drank bad boxed wine, watched a bit of wildlife, took side hikes and sat in the river — again, trying to ease the soreness.

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

The meals were the same from day to day. Breakfast was coffee, pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs. Lunch was a sack of snacks. Dinner was cornbread, chili, salad and cake. We ate it all with gusto.

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Pretty incredible supply chain, someone is managing — all via UMS. (United Mule Service)

Also of note: apparently they do not like you to touch the mules. Even if they are adorable and wiggle their ears at you and basically BEG to be nuzzled. Coincidentally, I got scolded by a cowboy, and that was not all bad.

~K

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Arizona, Happy Hippie, Travel
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4 Responses

  1. I loved the mule teams on the JMT.

    There are, apparently, a good number of pack operations in the Eastern Sierra and Bubba decided that he missed his calling as a pack driver after we were passed by the first team.

    Obviously.

  2. It would be very hard to not nuzzle those mules.

  3. Amazing pictures of an amazing journey. Did you get to wear your bikini when you got to the bottom of the canyon? This is officially going on my bucket list.

  4. Sarah H October 9, 2014

    It’s on my bucket list! One of these years. 🙂

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