Mules on Kiabab Trail Grand Canyon

Mules Reign Supreme Over Horses In The Grand Canyon

Updated Feb 24, 2020

Ever wondered why mules are used for trips down to the Grand Canyon and not horses? Ever since we embarked on that much anticipated and recommended Grand Canyon mule tour that took us deep into the Canyon depths, we’ve seen the Mule in a different light.

Thousands of years ago, in what’s now Turkey, someone bred a horse with a donkey. The mule was born, and the sturdy hybrids soon were put to work across the globe.

Cars and trucks have replaced mules in most places, but the beasts of burden still reign supreme at the Grand Canyon.

Is it too late to change our favorite animals from dogs to mules? Oh well, I guess it’s tougher to keep mules as indoor pets. Jokes aside, let’s take a look at what makes the Mule, the animal of choice on steep and winding Grand Canyon trails.

Mules on Kiabab Trail Grand Canyon

Mules on Kiabab Trail Grand Canyon

Mules are steady and more surefooted than their equine counterparts. Mules are dainty steppers and take small, sure footed steps, a quality that is immensely useful in rough terrains. In addition to small steps, they put their rear feet in exactly the same spot where their front foot had been. This leaves very less room for slipping errors. Mules don’t spook easily. Even if they do, they just stop and refuse to move forward. Horses, on the other hand, when unnerved by terrains or heights tend to buck and gallop away, often losing their footing and throwing their riders off balance. Even if they sense that a path is unsafe, they will venture out and learn things the hard way. Mules are more dependable creatures since they can carry a lot more weight and it is no wonder that they are called the beasts of burden.

Horse on Kiabab Trail Grand Canyon

Horses may look cooler to ride but mules are the way to go at Grand Canyon.

So hop on and experience historic Grand Canyon mule rides that take you along rugged trails and stunning views.