Mule Trips – A Edgy Grand Canyon Experience
While most visitors gather to gawk at the canyon from the rim look-outs and head for the gift shops, the more adventurous may find that a mule trip into the canyon will make their visit to the Grand Canyon truly memorable.
On one of the Grand Canyon’s story boards, is a large picture of Teddy Roosevelt sitting astride a mule heading down the Bright Angel trail. A guest awaiting an early morning mule trip commented, “I’ll bet he didn’t meet the under-200 pound rule!”
Yes, there are rules and safety regulations that go along with a once-in-a lifetime experience at the Grand Canyon. Mule trips are offered for day trippers and those that want to head all the way down to the Colorado River for a one or two night stay at Phantom Ranch. Although the outfitters boast a near perfect 100 year safety record, the mule trip down hazardous, steep trails requires that riders pay attention to the leaders, knowledgeable wranglers who are there for your guidance and safety. As the lead wrangler told a group of riders, “this ain’t no pony ride!”About Grand Canyon Mule TripsFirst, who shouldn’t consider the trip?
If you are afraid of heights or large animals (mules are larger than some horses and are not cute little donkeys), you should skip this trip. If you weigh over 200 pounds or are less than 4 ft. 7in. in height, the trip is not for you. And, you need to be able to follow the directions, given in English, from the wranglers. It is wise to check with the outfitters prior to signing up if you have health conditions that might pose a problem.
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