A mule trip is a very memorable way to see the Grand Canyon. You will see the Grand Canyon from the top down and will get a close up view of the wildlife and geology of the area.
The Grand Canyon Mule Trips fill up very quickly. Make your reservation early.
There are some rules and regulations that you need to be aware of...
- If you are afraid of heights don't attempt this trip. The mules walk on the outside of the trail.
- If you are afraid of big animals you won't like this trip. Some of the mules are as large as horses.
- If you weigh over 200 pounds and are shorter than 4 feet 7 inches you won't be allowed to take this trip. You will be weighed prior to the trip.
- If you have any back, knee or hip problems, you will be better served by taking a bus or railroad trip.
- You need to be able to follow directions given in English.
Although the outfitters will tell you that they have a near perfect 100 year record, this trip can be hazardous and the steep trails require that you to pay attention to the guides. This is not a trip for the faint hearted.
It is a 5 and a half hour trip from the rim to the floor of the canyon. You don't have to have riding ability but you will be less sore if you are a frequent rider of horses. 5 and a half hours on a horse when you aren't used to it is a long time.
The leaders will give you instructions on how to handle the mule. They are herd animals so you will some responsibility keeping your mule in line with the rest of them. The leaders will be looking after you as well.
- A one day trip that goes to Plateau Point. You have a view of the Colorado River below you and it's a good place to stop for a boxed lunch before heading back up the trail. This trip takes 7 hours with 6 hours of riding.
- If you want to go to the bottom of the canyon, a one or two night stay at the Phantom Ranch would be a good idea. Keep in mind that the temperature in the summer can be 100 degrees during the day. It gives you some time to rest up between trips. The ride down takes 5 and half hours and the ride back up is 4 and half hours.
Things to bring with you
- a hat that will provide shade. You will be riding in the sun.
- clothes to layer. It's cool on the top but can be hot on the bottom.
- and most important water.
Be aware that everything that you bring must have straps so that they can't fly away. If you don't have straps the leaders will make you use twine to tie everything to your body. This includes eye glasses.
Reservations for the mule ride should be made at least a year in advance. You can put your name on a reservation list while you are visiting the Grand Canyon. They usually have some cancellations. The wait list is at the Bright Angel Lodge. You may only have an hour or two before you go if you are lucky enough to find a cancellation.
The mule trips are available from both the South Rim and the North Rim. The trip from the North Rim is less popular but still very rewarding. This trip does not go all the way down to the Colorado River. However, you can usually take the mule trip on the same day that you book it, if you're on the North Rim. The North Rim trips are only offered from May to October due to winter weather.
Saddle up and have a good time.
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