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“What an amazing experience!!!!!”

Grand Canyon Mule Tours by Xanterra
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Northport, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“What an amazing experience!!!!!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013 via mobile

Thrilling, a little scary, but totally worth it. Guides were great. Accommodations at the bottom were very comfortable for where you are. Food was excellent. Be careful of going in July and August. We had to keep pushing forward on the way down because it was supposed to be over 100 by the time we got to the bottom. It was really hot for well over an hour. Consider a different time of the year if you can't take the heat. Bring lightweight clothes and a really big hat. Sneakers are fine. Very physically demanding but so very worth it!!!!!

Visited August 2013
2 Thank Kerry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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271 reviews from our community

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English first
Roanoke, Virginia
Level Contributor
132 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Definitely do it!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 8, 2013

We did the trail ride. It doesn't go into the Canyon. Just through the forest and out to an overlook. But it was very fun and long, definitely worth the money. So if you can't stomach riding down into the Canyon, or don't have the time, definitely do the trail ride!

Visited June 2013
1 Thank MGW_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
622 reviews
219 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 159 helpful votes
“Very cool, unique experience”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 3, 2013

If you are looking to do something out of the norm, this tour fits the bill. The wranglers are experienced and can have you very comfortable riding, even if youve never rode an animal before (as i hadnt). We took the ride to the Abyss overlook which i recommend as a change of pace from the rim trails. It goes through the woods, nice and cool and we saw lots of animals (including a bobcat!). Highly recommended!

Visited July 2013
1 Thank Tony H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Incredible, Amazing and Scary, and did I say Amazing”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2013

My tweens and I took the mule trip down to Phantom Ranch. We had 9 travelors and 2 guides in total for the excursion. It was not for the faint at heart. Yet, it was truly an adventure of a lifetime.

I really do not know how to describe this trip. There were times when I felt like I would give it all to have a helicopter come rescue me from continuing on as I proceeded in overwhelming fear. Having a 10 and 12 year old with me, I did not want to show my fear. I pushed on and made it a point to take in my surroundings, most of the time this was extremely easy to do. However, a few narrow switchbacks with a wide turning mule can be unsettling, especially when their feet slip on a few hard surfaces of the path. My mule even went down onto his knees once.

The night in Phantom Ranch was peaceful. I found myself reviewing the options to get back up to the rim, walk or take the mule. Then, I struggled to try to come up with other options,....they do not exist. I figured the mule ride back up was the better of the two options.

Our whole group rallied the next day and I pressed on with an extreme headache. Interestingly enough, it cleared within minutes of being on my mule, Little Jed. The trip up the Canyon was nothing short of fantastic! To me, there was nothing scary on the return and my mule seemed much more sure-footed. I'm so glad that there was no other option out for me when in my moment of fear.

I told the boys that I was extremely proud of them. They handled themselves like men on the trip. We feel priveledged to have experienced this adventure,....but, it is an adventure and much more of an adventure then I ever expected. When we met up with my husband at the rim, the first thing that came to my minds was..."that was no walk in the park"....it was work, it was faith, it was inspirational and it was awesome!

Visited July 2013
7 Thank JCSRtravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Columbus, Ohio
Level Contributor
67 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Return to the Old West”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2013

This is a trip of a life time. From check in the night before the ride, to the wranglers, the mules, The Grand Canyon, and Phantom Ranch; you can't get a more authentic visit to the old west and the rough and tumble ways of that era. I went July 1 and 2 and it was hot - 100 at Indian Gardens and 114 down at the Ranch. But I tasted and enjoyed every minute. Now my rear end paid for it and there is not much you can do about that; just absorb it and move on. A warning - if you are in the back of the 10-mule train, be prepared to trot and eat dust. You trot because your mule wants to stay nose to tail and if any gap develops often he will close it. And you eat dust because among other things that is what mules make. I used a buff around my neck, watered it down, and put it around my mouth and I was fine. Our guides - Doug and Simon - were excellent and exuded that confidence that only an experienced hand has. We started at about 7:45am down the Bright Angel Trail and arrived at the ranch around 12:30 - we pushed it because of the heat. Once there we were given cold water and our cabins and sat in Phantom Creek for the afternoon. I will do a separate review of the Ranch. The next day we started out at 7:30am and took the South Kaibab trail up which is steeper but shorter for the mules. There were lots of stops and photo opportunities. The pack train that had come down the night before followed us out - a group of 8 mules and 2 wranglers who I am told often prefer the company of each other rather than others. We arrived back on the rim around 12:30, said our goodbyes to the wranglers, and were given a ride back to the check in point at Bright Angel. Some pointers: October is reported to be the best month to do this ride; don't take much down with you, but if you want soda, you can pack a couple of cans; be fit and prepared and deliberate; and trust your mule - they are well trained and reliable. Ask your wrangler about the "belling" system for the mules' tales - it communicates what training the mule has undergone. Also, one term used is "drag-out" for when a wrangler comes down with an extra mule and takes out a customer who is at the Ranch. Final thoughts: this trail ride is not difficult but you do need to stay on your mule, be ready to trot, not be afraid too much of heights, and be deliberate in your enjoyment of one of the iconic opportunities in all of our great national parks!

Visited July 2013
3 Thank divscu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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