Mule rides in the grand canyon
I am taking a cross country road trip, and I am making a stop to go on a 3 hour long mule ride through, on top, and under the grand canyon. I have a few questions...
1. How good is a mules endurance? I weigh about 90 pounds. So a 3 hour trip + a western saddle and 90 pound rider, = disaster?
2. Should I wear a helmet I noticed that NO ONE was wearing a helmet. ( But I guess that is because they are not horse people :lol: )
3. Has anyone ever done this before? I have no idea of what to expect.
4. I have been riding for about 6 months now, so I should have enough experience, right?
5. What should I bring on the ride?
6. Do you think the mule would have any trouble with footing?
1. Unless 90 pounds is a typo, I see no reason why a mule would have any sort of problem carrying you lol. The average adult is a lot heavier!
2. If you feel comfortable wearing a helmet then wear it, who cares what everyone else is doing.
3. Never did it, but saw some videos on youtube of some of the trails, looked scary to me!
4. There are probably people there that have never ridden so I am sure the animals are safe enough especially for someone with a little experience.
5. I am not sure if they provide anything. I'd bring a water bottle with a loop strap on it to hang over the horn in case they don't have any packs for it. And probably a couple small snacks.
6. Mules are very sure footed. They are used to walking the trail. It would be too much of a liability for them to allow visiters to ride animals that couldn't handle the trails.
Even if it is a typo and you meant 190 pounds, the mule will do fine. That's why they use mules. They can carry a lot a long way. They are also surefooted. I always wanted to do one of those rides, but I am so scared of extreme cliff drop offs. Wow. Sounds like fun.
My friend did this a couple of years ago-if you don't already have reservations-it's not too likely you can just arrive & get a mule that day! It's quite pricey, & no riding experience is needed, BUT,the mules will get in a line & you may not change their position just because you want to ride w/friends/family. The guides & the rules MUST be followed, & there are 2 or 3 opportunities to back out before the descent is started. They have a list of things you might want to take, so check it out online-things like hat, sunscreen, etc.
I did this! It was awesome. The mules are extremely well trained. You don't have to do anything much, just sit there and enjoy the ride. We had people with us who had never been on a horse or mule in their life and they did fine. They stop the mules quite often to let them rest.
If you are taking the 3 hour ride you are likely doing the halfway trip, instead of going down to Phantom Ranch. They will give you a riding crop because the only thing is the mules can tend to lollygag. Then the trail boss will have you tap them if they do to make them catch up to the others.
You will be given canteens and every time you stop they will tell you to drink. Do so even if you are not thirsty, the dry heat will dehydrate you fast. Don't be surprised when you get to the halfway point and stop for lunch, they will take a water hose and drench you, the mule, the saddle and everything. You will dry quickly, LOL! but that water is cold.
Have fun and take lots of pictures and videos, the scenery is awesome.
Oh and by the way, the weight limit I think is 190 pounds.
Mules are amazing...they can carry a tremendous amount over long distances and on rough terrain...
THIS is on my my bucket list. Please, please post pics!!!
Wear the helmet! Sometimes we forget what can happen when we don't. My good friend, who has been training for decades just posted on FB that a 12'hh pony threw her. She broke her collar bone, cracked a rib, and now has a concussion bc she wasn't wearing her helmet. She won't be able to ride anything for at least 6 weeks, and doctors recommend about 6 months to insure a full heal.
Remember, too that once the helmet cracks protecting your head (and brains!), you replace it with a new one.
Forgot about anyone who thinks it looks funny. Just tell them that if they rode horses they would be wearing one, too.
It's great that they train the mules to stop facing the canyon so as to keep non-riders from falling off of them backwards. I understand it's a little pricey. Takes LOTS of pictures, if you can, and give us an "after-action report." =D
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