Mule Rides at Grand Canyon

For the more adventuresome visitor, looking to create a true lifetime memory, why not take a mule ride down into the Grand Canyon or perhaps along the rim.  We offer two guided rides using a time-honored method of canyon transportation: the sure-footed mule.

Horses may be iconic to the American West, but the equine of choice at Grand Canyon has long been its hybrid relative, the mule. These animals combine the sure-footedness of a burro with the larger size and strength of a horse, and have been carrying canyon visitors since the late 1800’s. More than 600,000 people have taken Grand Canyon mule rides since they were first offered in 1887. In 1904 Fred Harvey became the exclusive provider of mule rides at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Xanterra Parks & Resorts, then known as Amfac Parks & Resorts, purchased the Fred Harvey Company in 1968.

There is no Grand Canyon adventure more rewarding or more unique than a mule ride.  The overnight rides go deep into the canyon, staying overnight at Phantom Ranch (one or two nights). If you think the view from the rim takes your breath away, wait until you experience the Grand Canyon from within. If you only have a short time to visit the South Rim, but are still longing for adventure you can take the Canyon Vistas Rim Ride. While it doesn’t take you into the canyon the views along the way are stunning.

Canyon Vistas Mule Ride

The Canyon Vistas Ride is a four-mile, two-hour mule ride that travels directly along the east rim of the canyon.  The entire adventure to include travel time to and from the barn is 3 hours. The Mule Wranglers that lead the trip will stop six times along the trail to provide interpretive information about the geologic formations, cultural history, the area’s native people, the surrounding forest and more. There are up to 20 riders per departure.

March 15th through Oct. 31st 
The Mule Ride departs at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

November 1st through March 14th
The Mule Ride departs once each day at 10:00 a.m.

PRICING: The cost of the ride is $125.27, including tax, and is subject to change without notice. Water and water bottles are included. Rain jackets are provided.

RESERVATIONS: Mule rides may be reserved by calling 1-303-297-2757 or toll-free within the United States at 1-888-297-2757.

Riders must confirm their ride at the Bright Angel Lodge’s transportation desk preferably the day before the ride or at least two hours before departure time.  All riders must be at the main livery barn in Grand Canyon Village 30 minutes before departure. A short interpretive tour to the Yaki Barn and back is part of the adventure.

Overnight Rides to Phantom Ranch

This remarkable adventure begins at the stone corral adjacent to the historic Bright Angel Lodge. Here our Livery Manager will prepare you for the ride by reviewing the safety requirements and provide you with information about the trail and Grand Canyon.  Next, our Wranglers will saddle you up and prepare you for your adventure. The decent down the Bright Angel Trail is 10.5 miles and will take approximately 5 ½ hours.  No worries there are rests along the way. You will enjoy lunch at Indian Garden, and then proceed along the rock face of the Inner Gorge, across the Colorado River on the Suspension Bridge, and up Bright Angel Canyon on the north side of the river to Phantom Ranch. Overnight mule rides stay the night at Phantom Ranch, a rustic historic oasis nestled deep in the canyon. Each cabin is furnished with bunk beds, sink, toilet, bedding, soap, and hand towels. Showers and bath towels are available.

On the evening you arrive you will enjoy a hearty meal served family style in the Phantom Ranch Dining Room. After breakfast the morning of your departure, you return via the South Kaibab Trail. The ride back up is about 7.8 miles (5 hours). Upon your return to the rim you will be met by a driver who will bring you and your party back to the Bright Angel Lodge.

One-night ride (available all year)

  • $548.84 for the first person or two people for $960.01
  • Phantom Ranch Accommodations
  • Breakfast, sack lunch and steak dinner
  • Each additional person is $423.96
  • Rates are subject to change without notice.

Two-night ride (available only from November 1 – March 31)

  • $780.36 for the first person, and $1285.35 for two persons
  • Phantom Ranch Accommodations
  • Breakfast, sack lunch, for both days
  • Steak dinner on the first night and stew dinner on the second night
  • Each additional person is $530.60
  • Rates are subject to change without notice.

We provide a small plastic bag for essential toiletries, extra clothing, swimsuit, etc. Duffel Service is available for additional personal items at an additional charge. Duffel service must be reserved and purchased in advance.

RIDER QUALIFICATIONS: (These apply to all mule ride activities)

  • All skill-levels of riders are welcome
  • Riders must be in good physical condition
  • Phantom Ranch: Riders must weigh less than 200 pounds, fully dressed
  • Canyon Vistas: Riders must weigh less than 225 pounds, fully dressed
  • Riders must be at least 4 feet, 7 inches tall
  • Each rider must be able to speak and understand fluent English
  • 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