If you want to descend into the canyon, the only option is an overnight to Phantom Ranch. These 10-mule trains follow the Bright Angel Trail 10.5 miles (5½ hours) down, spend one or two nights at Phantom Ranch, and return 7.8 miles (five hours) along the South Kaibab Trail. Alternatively, the 4-mile Canyon Vistas ride stays on the rim.

Reservation requests for rides to Phantom Ranch are assigned by lottery beginning at 12:01am on the first of the month, 15 months below the stay date, until 11:59pm on the 25th of the month. Spaces unfilled by lottery are available by phone 13 months in advance. If rides are booked, and they often fill up April through October and during the holidays, call or show up at the Bright Angel Transportation Desk no earlier than 5am on the day before you want to ride and put your name on a waiting list. On the day of the ride, you must show up at the transportation desk at 6am, and if there are any no-shows they will accept those on the waiting list.

Two-night stays at Phantom Ranch are available November to March only. Go to website for age and weight restrictions, lottery and check-in details and baggage information.