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“Best way to see most of the park in a short time” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Canyon Trail Rides

Canyon Trail Rides
Zion Lodge, Zion National Park, UT
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Attraction Details
Columbus, Ohio
Top Contributor
139 reviews 139 reviews
59 attraction reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
98 helpful votes 98 helpful votes
“Best way to see most of the park in a short time”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014 via mobile

We did the three hour ride, first thing in the morning (8:00 am). This was a really good way to cover a lot of ground, and sights, in a relatively short time frame.

Like most trail rides for tourons, like us, this was a nose-to-tail affair. We were in a group of nine with one wrangler. There were several other groups leaving just behind us.

The wranglers were good and certainly knew their horses and their dispositions. The path is well-worn and hits the scenic highlights. I cannot fault a thing, really. There is a lot of dust in the dry times, and so our selenium levels are certainly higher than normal as a result. I have not been so dusty in a long time.

The horses and mules were generally well-mannered and know the trails. One could easily do nothing to control the direction or pace of the animals and all would still be fine. The wranglers prefer a tightly spaced group, so it is helpful if all are able to keep up with the tail in front of them.

The scenery is top-notch. The value is quite good for the time spent. A high quality photo of each rider is made early in the ride by a spare wrangler, which is presented for inspection at the end in 8x10 format for a $10 purchase.

Water was provided at the halfway point in our ride, along with access to a pit toilet. While the pace is slow, there is much to see. The ride covers over 8 miles.

The wranglers are good and attentive, but the back office process suffers from tourist fatigue, IMHO. Rules are stressed in the negative, with dire consequences fully expressed. No open toed shoes, no unsecured hats, no water bottles, etc. Do read the caveats provided to avoid an ugly scene at the corral. Most are common sense.

Do not expect return emails if you are asking questions or hitting links for more information. Instead, pick up the phone to ask your questions as this is really an old-fashioned operation.

The process with the horses and the ride is well run.

Visited July 2014
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41 reviews from our community

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Wabash, Indiana
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Great Place For Horseback Riding”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

Amazing scenery and great guides. Our group comes back here every other year on our southwest tour. We have done the 1/2 day and the 1 hour trip. Both were wonderful. A bit pricey but I guess thats expected in a national park.

Visited June 2014
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Plymouth, Minnesota
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“great ride”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2014

My daughter and I took the 3 hour ride. We have little riding experience and were matched with a great horse and mule which made us feel very confident. The cowboys were fantastic - very helpful and friendly (much more so that any other ride we've been on). The ride was up and down some very steep terrain and had great views - could be a little unnerving for someone with fear of heights. The picture of us as we crossed a river was a nice touch ($10 each). Ride was pretty dusty so dress appropriately.

Visited June 2014
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Reno, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Zion Canyon Trail Rides”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2014

The trail ride was interesting in its own right; but just not quite as spectacular as the Bryce Canyon Trail Rides. The trail guides were all just wonderful people to deal with. The ride takes you along the inside of the canyon valley and along different elevations. There are some places along the ride that provide some very nice photos if you are ready for it. All in all, I would still recommend it to anyone who is considering the experience of the area's scenic beauty.

Visited June 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
102 reviews 102 reviews
67 attraction reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“An excellent mix of breathtaking scenery and thrilling trail ride”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 12, 2014

Canyon Trail Rides is one of the few, if not only, company that actually takes you down the Peek-a-boo loop and into Bryce canyon itself. They have a wide selection of well-broken mules (many of them are retired from the cowboy life) and even some who are a bit more feisty if you're an experienced rider. They assign you to a mule that fits you in size, skill level (most people who go have never been on a horse or mule before), and temperament, split up into groups of about 10 per guide, and off you go!

If you're afraid of heights, this trip may not be for you, but if you're okay with heights or willing to push your comfort level (like I was), this is a fantastic ride down and back up again. You'll be on some relatively steep switchback trails down (and up again), but trust the mule and s/he will plod along and get you back to the corral safely again. Keep in mind that the mule's hooves are actually farther under its body, so even if it looks like you're foot is hanging out over the edge, the mule knows this trail like the back of the hand and is quite securely on the trail.

Along the way, you'll get to see the canyon, with all the glory of its red and white rock hoodoos, up close and very personal. You're free to take pictures at any time (I'd make sure you have your camera securely around your wrist or neck, since someone on our ride dropped their phone), but the guides make a point of taking frequent breaks so that they can tell you about the landscape, stragglers have a chance to catch up, and people can take pictures. If you're afraid of heights and more interested in keeping a good grip on the reins/saddle, you eventually get to the bottom where you can relax and take a look around you.

Other things of note:
* They have a maximum weight limit of 220lbs so they don't overexert the mules. Ours were pretty tired on the way back up, so I can see why they do this.
* At some point on the trail (for us, it was right after the first switchback down) they stop the mule and take your picture. You can then buy that 8x10 for $10 after your ride. I wish they would make the digital copies available instead, but I got an okay scan off of it.
* Though you're not allowed to bring water on the trip (too many issues with litter), there's a stop about halfway through the trip at the bottom of the canyon where you and the horses get something to drink.
* If you happen to bring one with you, you're allowed to give your mule a treat after the ride. Someone in our group gave their trusty steed an apple, and I was wishing I had brought along one to give to my new bff, Tony.

Visited May 2014
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