Mary Colter's Phantom Ranch

A historic image of Phantom Ranch on the left and a modern image of Phantom Ranch on the right.
Phantom Ranch is a comfortable oasis nestled at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
It is tucked in beside Bright Angel Creek on the north side of the Colorado River and is the only lodging facility below the canyon rim.

The 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. Open year-round.

Fifty-three year old Mary Jane Colter, architect for Fred Harvey Co. and the Santa Fe Railroad, was given the assignment to design a small group of rustic stone cabins on the north side of the Colorado River near the mouth of Bright Angel Creek. She called it Phantom Ranch.

The ranch was completed in 1922. The rustic cabins and main lodge are built of wood and native stone and fit in with the natural beauty and solitude of the setting.

Mary Colter’s plans for Phantom Ranch, like of all of her designs, drew inspiration from the region’s history, cultural traditions and landscape. Instead of trying to compete with the dramatic scenery, she used native materials to blend in with it.

Learn about Phantom Ranch accomodations.
Photo of cabins at Phantom Ranch.

Phantom Ranch (1922)

Continue to Phantom Ranch photo gallery

An image of Mary Colter showing construction plans to Supt. Tillotson and Mrs. Ikes, circa 1935.

Mary Colter's Buildings at Grand Canyon

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Visit Phantom Ranch, a historic oasis nestled at the bottom of Grand Canyon; a storied place that can only be reached on foot, by mule, or by rafting the Colorado River.

Last updated: December 7, 2018

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PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023



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