Phantom Ranch, and its neighboring backcountry campground, is a classic spot for a New Year's trip. Afternoon temperatures typically push 60 degrees, trout fishing in Bright Angel Creek and the Colorado River is fine, and tall tales make the rounds at the ranch's evening beer hall. Find time to take a 14-mile day hike to see the beautiful box canyon above Ribbon Falls, where Upper Ribbon Falls plunges off a high cliff. If you wait until after New Year's the canyon empties out, and soul-satisfying solitude, even at usually crowded spots, is the rule. Backpack 14 miles roundtrip to Phantom Ranch, descending and ascending 4800 feet on the South Kaibab Trail.
Grand Canyon National Park: (928) 638-7875, www.nps.gov/grca/