Make Your
Reservation

VIEW/CANCEL
I have an Interagency Access Pass/Senior Pass   [ ? ]

*Do not check this box if you have an Annual Pass.

World Famous Mule Rides

Make Your
Reservation

VIEW/CANCEL
I have an Interagency Access Pass/Senior Pass   [ ? ]

*Do not check this box if you have an Annual Pass.

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.

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 four-mile, three-hour mule activity (two-hours in the saddle) 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. There are up to 20 riders per departure.

March 15th through November 30th
The Mule Ride departs at 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.

December 1st through March 14th
The Mule Ride departs at 9:00 a.m.

PRICING – The cost of the ride is $142.83 per person, including tax, and is subject to change without notice. A souvenir water bottle is 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.

All riders must be present to check-in at the Bright Angel Lodge’s transportation desk preferably the day before the ride or at least one hour before departure time. All riders must be at the main livery barn in Grand Canyon Village 15 minutes before departure. A short interpretive tour to the Yaki Barn and back is part of the adventure.

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 rest stops along the way. You will enjoy a box 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 (5.5 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.

If you have special dietary needs, such as glucose intolerance or food allergies, please advise the reservation agent at the time of booking. Phantom Ranch will do their best to accommodate all special requests.

One-night ride (available year-round)

  • $599.81 for the first person or two people for $1050.62 March 1 through December 31, 2018
  • $605.81 for the first person or two people for $1056.62 January 1 through December 31, 2019
  • Phantom Ranch Accommodations
  • Sack lunch, steak dinner and breakfast
  • Each additional person is $463.81 March 1 through December 31, 2018
  • Each additional person is $464.81 January 1 through December 31, 2019
  • Rates are subject to change without notice
  • All rates quoted in U.S. Dollars and do not include applicable taxes

Two-night ride (available November to March only)

  • $863.02 for the first person, and $1428.04 for two people March 1 through December 31, 2018
  • $875.02 for the first person, and $1440.04 for two people January 1 through December 31, 2019
  • Phantom Ranch Accommodations
  • Breakfast and sack lunch for both days
  • Steak dinner on the first night and stew dinner on the second night
  • Each additional person is $591.02 March 1 through December 31, 2018
  • Each additional person is $593.02 January 1 through December 31, 2019
  • Rates are subject to change without notice
  • All rates quoted in U.S. Dollars and do not include applicable taxes

We provide a small plastic bag (approximately the size of a 10 pound bag of ice) 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. In order to avoid late fees or charges for extra duffels, duffels must be dropped off on time, and must meet weight and dimension requirements. Guest is responsible for providing their own duffel. C-pap machines may be carried in by duffel service, or in the mule saddle bag, depending on the size. Please advise the booking agent if you will have a C-pap machine.

All riders must be present to check-in 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 stone corral, across from the Bright Angel Trailhead, in Grand Canyon Village 15 minutes before the designated time given at check-in.

GROUPS — Ten mule riders are designated as a Group. For Group reservations view Mule Trip Group

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.

  • Rider must be at least 9 years old
  • Riders must be in good physical condition
  • Phantom Ranch: Riders must weigh less than 200 pounds (90 kg), fully dressed
  • Riders must be at least 4 feet, 9 inches tall (1.44 meters)
  • Each rider must be able to speak and understand fluent English
  • Riders should not be afraid of heights or large animals
  • Riders age 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older
  • Long sleeve shirts, long pants, broad brim hats and close-toed shoes are required
  • Ski caps and gloves are recommended for winter riders
  • Rider’s height must be proportionate to his or her weight

Our mules are carefully selected for strength, endurance, and temperament. They are thoroughly trained by our guides so that they are well adapted to the unique environment and work situation of the Grand Canyon. Before booking your exciting mule trip, please know about certain restrictions we have imposed for your safety and to make sure you have a memorable experience.

Safety of Mule Rides

Our mules are selected for strength, endurance, temperament, and gentleness. They are trained by our guides so that they are well adapted to the unique environment and work situation at the Grand Canyon.

Although we have over 100 years of experience in working with mules, they are animals and not always predictable. The restrictions we place on our riders are intended for their safety and to avoid distracting or disturbing the mules. There is always an element of risk due to trail conditions, other trail users, and the sudden appearance of wildlife native to the Grand Canyon. Serious accidents and/or injuries seldom occur. The risk is minimized by carefully following instructions from your Trail Guide. All riders must sign a risk acknowledgment agreement before taking the ride.

Mule Ride Departures

Check-in: Riders should call 928-638-3283 to confirm their reservations 2-4 days prior to the ride. This will allow us to inform you of any weather or trail conditions that may affect your trip.

We strongly urge you to check in at the Bright Angel transportation desk the day before your trip by doing so we can prepare you in advance so you can be ready to go for the following day. If you are unable to check in the day before, you must check in by 6:15 am the day of the ride for the Phantom Ranch overnight ride and no less than an hour prior to departure for the 3 hour Canyon Vistas ride. Failure to check in on time may result in the cancellation of your reservation and forfeiture of your deposit.

Standby Waitlist for Rides

Persons arriving at the Grand Canyon without mule reservations can place their names on a waitlist for the three hour Canyon Vistas ride or overnight trip. (Many times cancellations make mules available, and we may be able to accommodate you.)

During the winter it is reasonably easy to obtain the mule ride; however, summer visitors may encounter long waitlists. Please inquire at the Bright Angel transportation desk to get information regarding the waitlist policy.

Phantom Ranch

Phantom Ranch is a comfortable oasis nestled at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The friendly staff at Phantom Ranch stands ready to ensure your comfort and share with you the wonders of this unique wilderness location. Learn more about Phantom Ranch.

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!