This is why horseback riding is one of the best must-do activities in the Grand Canyon.



Horseback (or rather mule) rides are one of the best, and least known, ways to explore one of America’s most incredible natural wonders.

Imagine yourself in the Old West on a horseback ride through one of the world’s most dazzling natural attractions. Horseback (or mule) rides make you feel like a cowboy (or cowgirl) as you descend deep into the world’s most famous canyon. There are horse and mule rides in the Grand Canyon – with the option of staying overnight in the canyon.

Keep in mind that riding the Grand Canyon is very popular, while there aren’t many tours available. It will be necessary to reserve months in advance. Before you get overly excited, check the weight and age limits. Find out the best month to visit the Grand Canyon here.

Horseback riding in the canyon is actually a mule ride

Two companies offering horse and mule rides on the South Rim are the Grand Canyon Lodges and Apache Stables. There is another company – Grand Canyon Mule Rides – that offers rides on the North Rim. If you’re in a rush, see here how to see the Grand Canyon in one day.

  • 600,000: Number of people who have taken mule rides in the Grand Canyon
  • 1887: First tourist mule ride in the canyon

While horses are perhaps more iconic of the American West, the humble mule is the animal of choice for such a ride. In fact, Jacques-Louis David’s iconic painting of Napoleon crossing the Alps on a noble white horse was propaganda. Napoleon actually crossed over on a mule. Mules combine sure footing with the strength of a horse.

Mule rides with Grand Canyon lodges

Grand Canyon Lodges offer mule rides in the Grand Canyon and along the rim. They offer two rides with sure-footed mules.

Night Walks at Phantom Ranch

There is perhaps no more exhilarating Grand Canyon adventure than descending it on the back of a mule. Night walks go deep into the canyon with an overnight stay at the Phantom Ranch.

Phantom Ranch is a rustic historic oasis nestled deep in the canyon. Each cabin is furnished with bunk beds and basic necessities. Enjoy a hearty meal at the Phantom Ranch Canteen.

  • Length and duration down: 10.5 miles and approx. 5.5 hours
  • Saving length and duration: 7.8 miles and approx. 5.5 hours

There are a number of restrictions with this epic race. Riders must be at least 9 years old and at least 4 feet 9 inches tall.

  • Weight Limit: Riders must weigh less than 200 lbs or 90 kg fully clothed

One night stroll

  • Season: All year
  • Price: $ 702.13 (taxes included) for the first person

Two night stroll

  • Season: november to march
  • Price: $ 1,028.98 (taxes included) for the first person

Related: The Best Places To Visit In Arizona That Are Not Phoenix Or The Grand Canyon

2-Hour Canyon Vistas Mule Ride

If one doesn’t have the budget or the time for this epic adventure then they also offer a 2 hour Canyon Vistas Rim Ride. During this short trip, one will be spellbound by the majestic views.

  • From March 1 to October 31: Mule rides depart at 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. (registration required an hour and a half before)
  • From November 1 to February 28 (or February 29): Departure of the mule rides at 10:00 a.m. (registration required an hour and a half before)
  • Cost: $ 155.77 per person (taxes included)
  • Reservations: Call 1-303-297-2757 or the toll free number in the United States at 1-888-297-2757
  • Weight Limit: Riders must weigh less than 225 lbs or 102 kg fully dressed

Grand Canyon Apache Stables

Another option from the south east shore Grand Canyon Apache Stables. While their website is little more than one page, they’re a great option for short South Rim tours if you can’t book with Grand Canyon Lodges.

They only offer two ride options: a one hour ride and a two hour ride. With them, enjoy a wonderful walk through the pines of the beautiful Kaibab National Forest.

  • One hour walk: $ 58.50 (plus taxes)
  • Two hour walk: $ 110.50 (plus taxes)

To note: At the time of writing, Campfire Tail and Wagon Ride are not available

Usually they offer a 1 hour guided campfire trail ride that ventures to the campfire wagon ride, everyone comes back by wagon. The horse-drawn carriage ride takes the riders to the campfire and brings them back by cart. Bring your own food (none provided).

Related: 25 Things No One Can Explain About The Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Mule Rides

On the north shore, the company that offers mule rides is Grand Canyon Mule Rides. They offer the choice between a one-hour trip and two three-hour trips (unfortunately no overnight trips).

Three-hour mule ride to the Supai Tunnel

This route descends some 2,300 feet following the North Kaibab Trail to the beautiful Supai Tunnel

  • Cost: $ 50.00 per person
  • Age limit: 10 years and over
  • Weight Limit: 200 pounds
  • Departure times: 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $ 100.00 per person

Three-hour trip to Uncle Jim’s Point

This walk follows the Ken Patrick Trail and offers another great option to see the best of the canyon.

  • Age limit: 10 years and over
  • Weight Limit: 220 pounds
  • Departure times: 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $ 100.00 per person

One hour rim of the Grand Canyon

Offers a relaxing ride through Kaibab Forest and along the majestic Canyon Rim.

  • Age limit: 7 years and over
  • Weight Limit: 220 pounds =
  • Departure times: 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

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