Grand Canyon on Mule

Ten mule riders are designated as a Group. Maximum group space allowed at Phantom Ranch (total of hiker and mule groups) is 20 people per day. The 3 Hour Canyon Vista mule trips are limited to a maximum of 10 riders on any given day. For safety, mule riders must not weigh more than 200 lbs. (91 kilograms) fully dressed on the Overnight Phantom Ranch ride, and 225 lbs. (102 kgs) on the three hour Canyon Vista ride (each rider is weighed at check-in).

Riders must be at least 4 feet, 7 inches (55 inches/1.38 meters) in height. Riders must be able to speak and understand fluent English. Riders must be in good physical condition (all trips are strenuous). Riders should not be afraid of heights or large animals. Riders can’t be pregnant.

Group space opens to requests on the 1st of each month, for the entire same named month of the next year (i.e. Group space for July 1-31 the following year may be requested beginning on July 1 the prior year, etc.) via written request only. Requests received on the first of the month (no earlier than 12:00:01 a.m. Mountain Standard Time [MST] – Arizona doesn’t observe daylight saving time) will be processed prior to requests received before midnight (which is still the last day of the previous month), since the request period is closed at that time.

Requests must include:

  • Total number of people in your Group.
  • Date(s) of stay: Please submit as many valid dates (or even specific time frames) in your request as you wish, to improve your chances. Limiting yourself to a very narrow time frame and/or specific days of the week may limit your chances for success. Include all possible alternatives, and indicate your first choice, etc.
  • Please do not indicate a time frame in seasonal format such as spring or fall as this is quite subjective. Indicate by month and/or date only, e.g.: “any night between April 15 and June 15 of (include year).”
  • Two-night Phantom Ranch Mule Trips are only offered November 1 through March 31.
  • Contact information. Please be sure to include your name, address, and phone number. In addition, please include your fax number and email address if you have them.
  • Group requests must be faxed to 928-638-0982 at midnight (Arizona Time, we do not observe daylight savings time)
  • Group Requests that do not include all of the above information will not be considered complete requests and therefore will not be addressed.

Trip Description

Canyon Vista Mule Ride

For the first time in more than 100 years, the Grand Canyon mule-riders are able to take in the breathtaking vistas of the Grand Canyon National Park while traveling along the rim of the canyon. Grand Canyon National Park Lodges is offering a new, four-mile, three-hour mule ride that departs five miles east of the Historic Grand Canyon Village in the park. The mule ride travels along a new East Rim Trail built by the National Park Service. Wranglers will stop six times along the trail to provide interpretive information about the geologic formations, human history, fire ecology and more.

From March 15 through Oct. 31 the Mule Ride departs at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., and from Nov. 1 through March 14 the ride departs once each day at 10:00 a.m. The cost of the ride is $114 plus tax. Water and water bottles are included. Rain jackets are available on the ride as well.

Riders must check in at the Bright Angel Lodge’s transportation desk the day before or at least two hours before departure time on the day of their ride and then be at the main livery barn in Grand Canyon Village 30 minutes before departure. An interpretive van ride to the Yaki Barn and back is included in the ride.

The interpretive mule ride departs up to two times each day for rides for up to 20 riders per departure. The mule ride follows the new East Rim Trail where guides discuss various geologic formations, the Colorado River where John Wesley Powell made his first successful navigation in 1869, the area’s native peoples, the surrounding forest and more.

All levels of riders are welcome, but must weigh less than 225 pounds fully dressed and be least 4 feet, 7 inches tall. Each rider must be able to speak and understand fluent English and be in good physical condition. Long sleeve shirts, long pants, hats and close-toed shoes are required. Riders should not be afraid of heights or large animals. Riders cannot be pregnant.

Mule rides may be reserved by calling 1-303-297-2757 or toll-free within the United States at 1-888-297-2757 or sending a request via e-mail to

Phantom Ranch Overnight Trip

The one night trip begins the same way as the plateau point ride, including lunch at Indian Garden. Riders have a steak dinner at phantom ranch, overnight accommodations in a cabin, and breakfast at phantom ranch before riding out by way of the south Kaibab trail. The 10-person cabin is furnished with bunk beds, sink, toilet, bedding, soap, and towels. Showers are available. After returning to the rim, bus transportation to bright angel lodge will be provided.


One person $523.43
Two people $924.04
Additional person (up to 10 max) $413.54
Ten people $4,232.36

Rates are subject to change without notice. Prepayment guarantees space not rate. The ten-person total costs may include a slight adjustment (in-rounding), due to tax rates.

Two-Night Trip

The two-night trip (only offered November – March.) Includes a second night at phantom ranch. Riders receive a sack lunch during breakfast, and then are on their own for the day. On the last night they will have the stew dinner, spend the night in the cabin, and have breakfast the next morning before riding out.


One person $736.73
Two people $1,227.80
Additional person (up to 10 max) $516.95
Ten people $5,363.40

Rates are subject to change without notice. Prepayment guarantees space not rate. The ten-person total costs may include a slight adjustment (in-rounding), due to tax rates.

Additional Information

Our mules are thoroughly trained, and are well adapted to the unique environment and work situation at Grand Canyon. Although we have over 100 years of experience working with mules, they are animals and not always predictable. The restrictions we place on our rides are intended for safety and to avoid distracting or disturbing the mules. There are always elements of risk due to trail conditions, other trail users, and sudden appearances of wildlife native to Grand Canyon. While serious accidents or injury seldom occur, risk is minimized by carefully following the trail guide’s instructions.

If space is available for your group, you will receive a contract within 2-3 weeks. If space is not available, notification will be sent within 1 week. A deposit in the amount of 50% is due 14 days from the date a contract is issued, with the balance due 90 days prior to the group’s arrival. Please do not include a deposit with your request for group space.

Group reservations must be cancelled at least 30 days prior to arrival to receive a refund.

Less than 10 people
Parties with less than 10 people must make their reservations directly with our Central Reservations office at Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Phone: 303-297-2757 or 888-297-2757.