New Grand Canyon Mule Rides Offer Breathtaking East Rim Views

Grand Canyon mule rides are one of the best ways to see the Grand Canyon.  Now, for the first time in more than 100 years, mule riders will be able to take in the spectacular scenery of the Grand Canyon National Park while traveling along the rim of the canyon. A new four-mile, three-hour Grand Canyon mule trip, departing five miles east of the historic Grand Canyon Village, will be offered by Xanterra South.

The new Canyon Vistas Mule Ride offers two hours in the saddle plus an interpretive van ride from the Village to the Yaki Barn and back. Mule riders travel along a new East Rim Trail built by the National Park Service.

Wranglers stop several times to provide information about the canyon’s geologic formations, history, and more. According to Jon Streit, general manager of Xanterra Grand Canyon South Rim, mules have been an important part of the Grand Canyon’s rich history. Ever wondered why mules are used for rides for a Grand Canyon tour and not horses? Mules are petite and take small, safe steps, a quality that is extremely useful on rough terrain.

In addition to taking small steps,  they put their back feet in exactly the same place where their front foot had been. This leaves very little room for slipping. Mules do not scare easily. Even if they do, they just stop and refuse to move forward. Horses, on the other hand, tend to buck and gallop away. Even if they feel that a path is uncertain, mules will venture out and learn things the hard way. Mules are dependable creatures because they can carry a lot more weight. A mule is the result of a male donkey mating with a female horse.

Mule ride info:

  • Date: March 15 – October 31     Departure: 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Date: November 1 – March 14   Departure: 10 a.m.
  • Cost: $114 plus tax (includes interpretive van ride, water bottles, rain jackets)
  • Check-in: At least two hours prior to departure

Mule ride restrictions:

  • Weight: maximum 225 pounds fully dressed
  • Height: minimum 4 feet, 7 inches tall
  • Riders cannot be pregnant

Mule ride requirements:

  • Clothing: Long pants, long sleeve shirts, close-toed shoes, hats
  • Good physical condition
  • Riders must speak and understand English
  • Riders should be comfortable with heights and large animals

For reservations, call 1-303-297-2757 or toll-free within the United States at 1-888-297-2757.