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“A Bucket List Adventure to Remember” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grand Canyon Mule Tours by Xanterra

Grand Canyon Mule Tours by Xanterra
Stone Corral at the head of the Bright Angel Trail, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ
1-303-297-2757
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Attraction details
Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“A Bucket List Adventure to Remember”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012

Took the two day Grand Canyon mule trip down to Phatom Ranch for overnight and return the next day. Before going into any of the trip details, I have got to say that there is no camera I know of that can capture the depth and magnificence of what your eyes will behold. Every few yards travelled revealed a new scene. I took a lot of pictures but spent most of the time taking the whole experience in. It was great fun, I am so glad I did this and will always remember it (memory willing- well, at least I still got pictures).

Divided the 10 of us into groups of 5 made for nice tight groups. Matched up with our outstanding and experienced mules, a good safety talk then the trip down following the Bright Angel Trail. Steep narrow trails led by expert and knowledgeable "wranglers" (Hoop and Traci). The trip is not without risk but over 100 years of mule rides and no casualties. Pay attention to the brochure about what's involved. It is very accurate. Five and a half hours down with two brief out of saddle breaks. A little stiff when dismounting but you get your legs back quickly by walking and I wasn't "sore". Arrived at Phantom Ranch early afternoon and had a lot of time to explore (or nap). Very friendly people at the Phantom Ranch. Had a great steak dinner in the dining room and a great night's sleep in very cozy cabins with AC in the day and heat at night. Outstanding breakfast in the early AM for the ride back up. The return ride took the South Kaibab Trail. This trail was a little shorter but the trip took the same time to return because it is going up. We stopped often to take in the scenery without having to turn around. We dismounted twice for breaks. The wranglers also gave a bit of history of the trails and names of features and points as well as the natives who occupied these areas.
Four points of advice (they'll tell you this anyway):
DRINK YOUR WATER
LISTEN TO THE WRANGLER AND DO WHAT HE (SHE) SAYS
TRUST YOUR MULE (they know what they're doing too) but keep their head up so they don't stop and eat and fall behind. I like to trot as much as the next guy but there are places on the trail it is just not a good idea.
LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE - Enjoy the ride and the scenery.(Take lots of pictures but don't get trapped behind the camera.)

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Duarte, California
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
50 attraction reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
“Wow! A life highlight!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

We took the overnight mule ride that included a night at Phantom Ranch, right at the confluence of Bright Angel Creek and the Colorado River. This was an amazing trip -- worth every penny and then some! We booked 50 weeks in advance for mid October. In addition to the 2 of us, there were 6 others plus the two guides.

The guides were knowledgeable and interesting. The mules were amazingly sure-footed, and after an hour or two, we were all relaxed and letting the mules do what they do best -- go down the Bright Angel Trail.

We arrived at Phantom Ranch mid-afternoon and were assigned to Cabin 1. Lodgings are rustic, but clean. It's not five star, but it's perfect for the location. After hiking a bit on our own we enjoyed a family-style steak dinner -- good, hearty food. Then we listened to an excellent ranger-led talk on the geology of the canyon.

After a shower and a good night's sleep, we had breakfast -- again, family style -- and started the ride back up the South Kaibab Trail. The scenery on that trail is amazing -- it was an "awe a minute." We were back at the South Rim around noon.

Highly recommended trip -- I would go again without hesitation. Great scenery, a lot of fun, and we met some interesting people and shared some good conversation.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Half day tour only”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2012 via mobile

Terrible. Tour did not go into the canyon. It only went through the woods. It went to the Abyss point that was more accessible via bus. Not worth the time and $$$. Guides were very nice and knowledgeable. Mules looked very well cared for. This may be a viable option for children (there is a height requirement) that you do not want to take into the canyon for a 5 hour ride.

Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Hip Hip Hooray”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2012

I want to thank Andy & Dylan for taken good care of me & the other riders to the Abyss Overlook. As I have no experience with mules they are as large as a horse. The hip & leg pain lasted for a day took some aleve & hot tub. I glad I made it through for the whole trip. The overlook makes it all worthwhile.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic ride”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We went on the overnight mule ride to Phantom Ranch in early October, 2012. The mules were very well-bahaved, sure-footed and at no time did I feel in danger of any sort, despite the steep drops and my complete inexperience with mules (or horses, for that matter). The guides were very responsive, knowledgeble, caring, and professional (we had Bill and Simon). Of course, the scenery "takes the cake." We will absolutely do it again! Phantom Ranch was pleasant enough and the weather was perfect.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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