What to Bring and Wear

As part of our world-famous mule rides, we’re happy to provide the following items to make the most of your experience: a new canteen when you check in that you get to keep when you’re done; one of our rain jackets in case of weather changes, and for our Phantom Ranch Overnight Mule Riders, a small plastic bag to put your overnight things in for transport to Phantom Ranch. Phantom Ranch guests will want to take clothes to change into once they arrive at the ranch. For all mule rides, we require that hats, cameras, glasses, and sunglasses be secured to your person–see below!

Required Items for Your Ride

  • Wide-Brimmed Hat (April through October only): The hat must tie underneath your chin. (We have string or you can buy a hat at the desk). Ball caps are not allowed, as they do not provide enough coverage.  In the winter months (November-March), a warm hat that fits snugly to your head is required to protect from the cold.
  • Long-Sleeved Shirt: Lightweight in the summer to protect from sunburn and dehydration. Wear a tank top or T-shirt underneath if you like. In the winter, a long-sleeved shirt combined with sweaters or sweatshirts.
  • Long Pants: No Shorts or Capri Pants.
  • Solid, Closed-Toe Shoes: Must have a smooth, hard sole (like cowboy boots). Tennis shoes are okay in the summer. Heavy, thick-soled hiking boots are not encouraged as their tread may catch in the stirrups.  We recommend warm socks and boots in the winter.

Recommended for Your Ride

  • One Compact Camera, or one pair of binoculars per person: They must be on a strap or string around your neck, leaving your hands free. A cellphone can be used as a camera, as long as it has a neck strap and you leave it on silent.
  • Rain Pants: Experience has taught us that when it’s cold, wet, and windy waterproof and windproof pants keep you warm and dry.
  • Gloves: Recommended from October through May.
  • Swimsuit/Shorts/Water Sandals: For Phantom Ranch riders, Bright Angel Creek is perfect to get in and cool off-April-October.
  • Scarf or Bandanna: Year-round. Cotton for summer, wool or silk for winter.
  • Layered Clothing: During winter months-thermal style underwear, fleece, wool shirts, sweaters, jackets, etc. for temperatures below freezing.
  • Flashlight: Many guests find a flashlight helpful on overnight trips.
  • Sunglasses: Good quality with UV protection. Eyeglasses must be secured by a string or strap.
  • Sun Protection: Sunscreen, lip sunscreen, or moisturizer is always recommended.

Not Allowed Any Time of Year Backpacks, waist packs, extra camera lenses, camera bags, full-sized video cameras, two-way radios, or purses. Wallets and keys should be moved from a back pocket to a front pocket so you don’t lose them on the trail (or sit on them all day, leaving an indelible impression). No talking or texting allowed on cell phones during the ride.

Available at Phantom Ranch

Guests spending the night at Phantom Ranch often wish to purchase a variety of items for sale at the bottom of the canyon, including beer and wine, snacks, stamps, post cards, T-shirts, first aid supplies, and toiletries. Major credit cards and cash are accepted, but cash is best.

Bright Angel Gift Shop

The gift shop at Bright Angel Lodge has an assortment of essential hiker and mule rider items, such as first aid kits, blister treatment, hand and foot warmers, Chill Skins, phone lassos and electrolyte replacement items.  Be sure to stock up so you are well prepared for your Grand Canyon adventure!