Grand Canyon is famous for its mule rides! Included below is information for adventurous rides to the bottom of the canyon as well as gentle rides along the forested North and South Rims.
As a ranger naturalist at Phantom Ranger station, you could always tell who came down on the mules. Everyone walked stiff and funny, but those sitting down for my ranger talks gave away how they got to Phantom immediately.
Those who hiked plopped down on the hard wooden seats immediately with a satisfied grunt. Those who came down on mules would gingerly settle themselves slowly as they lowered their bruised bottoms. Some even brought the pillows from their cabin and dorm beds with them to sit on!
There are different options for riding mules in the park. The most famous is the one that goes to the bottom of the canyon to Phantom Ranch. Offered by Grand Canyon National Park Lodges, they are also the most popular and difficult to obtain. More information.
If you’d like an idea of what a Phantom Ranch mule ride is like, check out this slideshow from Bryan and Kelli Millican as they take their mule ride to Phantom Ranch and back.
Grand Canyon National Park Lodges also offers a two-hour, four-mile Canyon Vistas Mule Ride along the rim of the canyon. This stays “topside” and is a guided mule ride along the East Rim Trail. More information.
If a gentle horseback ride through the forest is more your style, Grand Canyon Apache Stables offers guided one- and two-hour horseback rides through the pines of the Kaibab National Forest.
If you are visiting the North Rim and are interested in taking a mule ride into the canyon, Grand Canyon Mule Rides offer a three-hour ride that takes you down 2300′ to Supai Tunnel and back. There are no rides that go all the way to Phantom Ranch. Grand Canyon Mules Rides also offers a one- and three-hour mule ride along the rim and through the forest. More information.
Photo credit: Grand Canyon mule train on South Kaibab Trail by Kelli Millican