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Mule Rides In Grand Canyon National Park

Mule rides, long a way to see the Grand Canyon up close, are still available in the park, but not as plentiful below the rim as they once were.

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Mule rides on the South Rim (left) and North Rim (right) are popular ways to see the Grand Canyon. NPS photos.

Under a stock use plan adopted in January 2011, only 10 visitors a day will be allowed to ride below the South Rim. Under the plan, mule use will continue at "historically high levels," although the number going down into the Inner Gorge from the South Rim was cut in half and will be solely for guests staying overnight at Phantom Ranch. No Inner Gorge day rides will be offered.

South Rim Mule Rides

South Rim mule trips, which are offered year-round, may be booked 13 months in advance. They often fill up early. A waiting list is maintained for cancellations, but chances of obtaining reservations on the waiting list are slim. If you wish to make a trip into the canyon on a mule, plan ahead!

3 hour Abyss Overlook Ride

This ride departs twice daily, through October, and once daily through mid-March from the Historic Mule Barn just a short walk from the Bright Angel Lodge. The ride passes through a Ponderosa Forest and a Piñon and Juniper woodland. Riders dismount and walk a short distance to the Abyss, an overlook on the rim of the canyon. 2012 rides cost $122.81 including tax, per person. Includes a light snack, and water.

Overnight Rides

Stay the night at Phantom Ranch, at the bottom of the Canyon near the Colorado River. This service must be reserved and purchased in advance. Overnight rides include accommodations and meals. Overnight ride prices start at $506.82 for the first person, or two people for $895.11 including taxes.

Two-night rides are also available.

Mule rides from the South Rim can be reserved through:

Xanterra Parks & Resorts

Call (303) 297-2757

or toll free (888) 297-2757,
or FAX (303) 297-3175,

or write to:
Xanterra Parks & Resorts,
6312 S Fiddlers Green Circle,
Suite 600N,
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

For waiting list information, call (928) 638-2631 or contact the Bright Angel Lodge transporation desk inside the park.

There are restrictions: Overnight mule riders must not weigh more than 200 lbs/91 kg fully dressed

3 hour Abyss Overlook riders must not weigh more than 225 lbs/102 kg.

Riders must be at least 4 feet 7 inches/140 cm in height and must be able to speak and understand fluent English, must be in good physical condition, should not be afraid of heights or large animals, and cannot be pregnant.

North Rim Mule Rides

These rides are offered from mid-May to mid-October.

North Rim mule trips do not go to the river.

One-hour rides along the rim and half-day rim or inner canyon trips are usually available on a daily basis.

Prices start at $40.00/person.

1 Hour Trip - Grand Canyon Rim
7 year age limit - 220 lb. weight limit
8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
$40.00/person, including taxes.

1/2 Day Trip to Uncle Jim's Point
10 year age limit - 200 lb. limit
7:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
$80.00/person, including taxes.

Inner-Canyon 1/2 Day Trip to Supai Tunnel on the N. Kaibab Trail

The half-day ride desends down the North Kaibab Trail 2,300 hundred feet.
10 year age limit - 200 lb. weight limit
7:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m.
$80.00/person, including taxes.


Register in the lobby of the Grand Canyon Lodge at the Grand Canyon Trail Rides desk; open 7 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Shuttle bus to trail head leaves the lodge one half hour before trip departure times.

For reservations call Grand Canyon Trail Rides at (435) 679-8665,

or write to:
Grand Canyon Trail Rides
PO Box 128, Tropic, Utah, 84776,
or visit them at

Grand Canyon National Park

National Parks Traveler's Essential Park Guide