|Although many do, neither Ken nor I have taken the
mule train into or out of the canyon. Details about mule trips are
the nps website. Below is additional information about mule
transport, should you be interested.
FOLLOWING IS ALL PERTINENT INFORMATION REGARDING THE MULE TRIPS
AT THE SOUTH RIM OF THE GRAND CANYON-PLEASE READ IT ALL BEFORE PLACING
A RESERVATION-THANK YOU.
Our 7 hour Plateau Point mule ride departs daily from the Stone
Corral at the head of Bright Angel Trail and is the most challenging
trip we offer. Brief stops are made to rest the mules every 30-45
minutes, during which time it will be possible to take pictures
but not dismount. Water and restroom facilities are not available
until Indian Gardens, about 2½ hours down the trail. Following
a 15-20 minute rest stop at Indian Garden, the trip proceeds across
the Tonto Plateau to Plateau Point offering riders a dramatic and
panoramic view of the Canyon and the Colorado River 1,300 feet below.
The trip returns up the Bright Angel Trail another 2½ to
3 hours where you will be back to the Stone Corral by mid-afternoon.
The box lunch at Indian Gardens is included. The rate is $126.88
per person for both adults and children.
The Phantom Ranch mule ride is an overnight excursion offered all
year round. This ride takes appx. 5 hours each way. And includes
- Lunch at Indian Gardens
- Steak dinner at Phantom Ranch
- Overnight accommodations in a private cabin for your party.
The cabin includes up to 2 sets of bunk beds (depending on the
number of people), all linens (except washcloth), cold water sink,
toilet and complimentary soap and shampoo. The shower facilities
are in a separate cabin.
- Breakfast in the morning and the ride back up.
- A small plastic bag, the size of a 15 pound bag of ice, is supplied
for your personal belongings.
The two-night excursion is offered November 15th through March
31st. It includes the following:
- Lunch at Indian Gardens
- Steak dinner at Phantom Ranch on the first night
- Breakfast each morning
- Stew dinner the second night
- 2 nights accommodations in a private cabin for your party
- A small plastic bag, the size of a 15 pound bag of ice, is supplied
for your personal belongings
Phantom Ranch is a comfortable oasis nestled at the bottom of the
Grand Canyon. The Ranch was designed by architect Mary Elizabeth
Jane Colter and completed in 1922. The rustic cabins and main lodge,
built of wood and native stone, are a reminder of days gone by and
do not intrude on the natural beauty and solitude of the setting.
Phantom Ranch can only be reached by mule, by foot or by rafting
the Colorado River, so its guests are indeed an exclusive group.
The friendly staff of the Ranch stand ready to ensure your comfort
and share with you the wonders of this unique wilderness location.
Rider Qualifications- PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING RESTRICTIONS-IF
YOU ARE UNABLE TO COMPLY WITH ANY RESTRICTION YOU WILL NOT QUALIFY
FOR ANY MULE TRIP. THIS IS FOR YOUR SAFETY AS WELL AS THE OTHER
RIDERS, THE WRANGLERS , HIKERS AND OF COURSE THE MULES!
- Each rider must weight less than 200-lbs. (91k) fully dressed
and, yes, we do weigh everyone!
- Weight: Riders must weigh less than 200 lbs. (91k) fully dressed
at weight check-in. Remember that your clothing and gear will
add at least 8 lbs. to your body weight. Dont assume well
ignore an extra pound or two & let you ride. We wont.
Even below the 200-lb. limit; your weight must be proportionate
to your height to ensure comfort and safety. If you are significantly
overweight, we cannot let you ride for your own safety.
- Each rider must be at least 4 7 in height, regardless
of previous riding experience.
- Height: Although there are no age restrictions, all riders must
be at least 47 (1.38m) tall as measured at check in
time. A last minute disqualification is a terrible disappointment
to a child so we urge you to check their heights carefully. Children
under 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Each rider must be able to speak and understand fluent English-
for safetys sake.
- All riders must be fluent in ENGLISH in order to be able to
understand the Trail Guides instructions. English competency
will be checked upon arrival.
- Each rider must be in good physical condition
- While many potential riders will admit they are not in shape
to hike in the Grand Canyon, they fail to recognize that riding
requires upper and lower body strength and good overall muscular
condition. Back and knee strain emerge after just a short time
in the saddle. Riders with heart or respiratory problems should
carefully consider the rigors they will encounter and the fact
that the trips begin and end at an elevation of 7,000 feet above
sea level. Potential riders with physical or mental disabilities
should contact us in writing so that we can evaluate the situation
on an individual basis.
- No rider may be pregnant.
- We require any rider with a physical condition that may affect
his/her ability to make this trip to inform us prior to departure.
If you have any doubt, we strongly urge you to consult your physician
prior to making reservations. We reserve the option to disqualify
a rider if, in our judgement, a riders safety may be jeopardized.
As the Livery Manager puts it, Wed rather make you
mad than hurt you.
- Riders should not be afraid of heights or large animals.
- The trails are quite literally carved out of the side of the
Canyon and the drops are very steep. Although surefooted, most
of our mules tend to walk on the outside of the trail. Further,
mules are big animals and should not be confused with donkeys
or burros which are smaller. A mule is often larger than a horse
and can be quite intimidating to first-time riders. If you are
disturbed by large animals or heights, we recommend you reconsider
taking the mule trip.
Is The Trip Dangerous?
Our mules are carefully selected for strength, endurance, good
temperament and gentleness. They are thoroughly trained by our guides
so that they are well adapted to the unique environment and work
situation of the Grand Canyon. Although we have 95 years 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
accident or injury seldom occurs, and the risk is minimized by carefully
following the Trail Guides instructions, such as:
- Keep your mule no further than 3 to 5 feet behind the mule ahead
of you. Mules will run to catch up, so stay close.
- Do not mount or dismount with out direct assistance from the
Trail Guide. Stay on the mule.
- Advise the Trail Guide of any need (water, removal of jackets,
- Safety is improved when a team effort is used. Help others.
- Stay Close, Stay On, Stay Safe!
By following instructions and listening carefully to the Trail
Guide you will join the thousands who count the mule trip as the
experience of a lifetime.
What To Take
Please review the following list of items. While some are optional,
all are recommended depending on the weather or the season.
- Broad-brimmed hat, cowboy style, with attached securing string
(available for purchase at Transportation Desk), April 1 through
- Long Pants made of sturdy material such as denim or wool (shorts
are not permitted).
- Long-sleeved shirt, lightweight, for summer rides.
- Canteen provided at check-in. We permit ours only.
- Solid shoes, closed toe.
- Raingear (available for rent). No ponchos permitted.
- Camera or binoculars- NOT BOTH. Must hang around neck: cases
must be attachable; no spare lenses unless packed separately.
No large VCR cameras.
- Footgear: Preference should be for comfortable footwear, sturdy,
with smooth hard soles. However, any solid type of shoe is acceptable.
We discourage tennis shoes and disallow sandals, flip flops or
open-toe shoes. High grip soles (Vibram style) are not recommended.
Warm shoes/ boots in the winter A MUST!
- Gloves: Recommended during the winter schedule or inclement
- Swimsuit: For overnight trip, summer schedule.
- Scarf or Bandanna: Year-round. Cotton for summer; wool or silk
for winter. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- Layered clothing: Winter schedule, thermal-style underwear,
cotton or wool shirts, sweaters, wind breakers, etc. for temperatures
- Sunglasses: Good quality, ultraviolet light reduction.
- Clothing: A complete change for Phantom Ranch guests.
- Toilet articles: For Phantom Ranch guest.
- Flashlight: For over night trips.
Check-In: All riders are required to check in at the Transportation
Desk at the Bright Angel Lodge prior to departure by 6a.m. in the
summer and 6:45-7 a.m. in the winter the day of the trip. Failure
to check in will result in the cancellation of your reservation.
We strongly urge you, whenever possible, to check in 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.
After check in, all riders should report to the Stone Corral at
the Bright Angel Trail at 8:00a.m. during the spring, summer and
fall; 9:00 a.m. in the winter. Times are subject to change
Standby Waiting List
Persons arriving at the Grand Canyon National Park without mule
reservations can place their names on a waiting list for the one
or two-day trip. Many times cancellations make mules available and
we may be able to accommodate you. During the winter schedule it
is easier to obtain the mule trip; however, summer visitors may
encounter long waiting lists.
Those interested should go to the Bright Angel Transportation Desk
as soon after arrival as possible to place your name on the waiting
list and follow instructions carefully. The waiting list begins
the morning prior to the ride. (Todays list is for tomorrows
ride only, etc. Names accepted in person only.)
If you are interested in making reservations, please resubmit your
request and please include the following:
1) Name, address, phone number of guest.
2) Date requesting trip (alternate dates if possible).
3) Which mule ride you are interested in.
4) Number of riders going (adults/children with ages).
5) Please let us know that you are aware of restrictions and are
able to comply with them.
6) We require full prepayment (for each person) within 14 days.
You may pay with Discover, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, JCB
or check or money order.
7) When securing a reservation (through email) with a credit card,
we will need the following:
- Credit card holders first and last name (must be the same as
- Billing address and phone number (with area code) of credit
- Credit card number and expiration date
- The amount you wish to authorize (at least equal to the deposit
- Your email address or fax number are optional
8) If you choose to use a credit card please be aware our EMAIL
IS NOT A SECURE ENVIRONMENT.
9) You may also call Central Reservations at (303) 297-2757 with
your card number.
Within 14 days from the day you make the reservation, you can mail
a check or money order to:
AMFAC Parks and Resorts
14001 E Iliff Ave Suite 600
Aurora, CO 80014
Phantom Ranch and Plateau Point mule rides are non-commissionable
for Travel Agents.
All Tour reservations require full payment in advance through Central
All rates are subject to approval by the National Park Service
and the new rates are not always established at the time of booking.
As a result, we quote the current applicable rate. When we have
new rates approved, we will attempt to contact you by phone, mail
or email to advise you of the new rate. Your payment will guarantee
the reservation only, it does not guarantee the rate.
For more information, contact: email@example.com