Acrophobia at the Grand Canyon

Sep 25th, 2009, 03:03 PM
  #21  
 
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You've probably already decided this isn't for you. I would agree mostly because the added height of the mules is a problem, and they tend to walk on the edge of the trail. Generally speaking when on switchbacks, there is not a huge drop-off to the trail below, certainly nothing like standing on the rim and looking down from some of the viewpoints. But I would guess even a 10-20 foot dropoff combined with being on a mule would unnerve you so skip the mule ride. You *could* just close your eyes but what would be the point of that? And as maria_so mentioned, they will occasionally stumble/slip and that would probably send you over the edge (figuratively speaking).
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Sep 28th, 2009, 08:18 PM
  #22  
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Thanks to all of you for your feedback. I've decided (with heavy heart) to forgo the mule ride. I've heard that the only way to do the Grand Canyon is to go down INTO it, so we'll go to Zion and Bryce instead, and visit the GC when we have the time to do a river raft trip. Thanks again for all your helpful responses. Roodles, in California
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Sep 29th, 2009, 01:58 AM
  #23  
 
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Our family spent 4 days (5 nights) at the GC and I never went down very far into the Canyon. As indicated above, I wasn't in good enough shape for the hike to the bottom. My husband who hiked down said it was amazing and we are thinking of trying to do a raft trip some time. My kids are glad they did the hike to Phantom Ranch. But I would not have missed the Grand Canyon even staying relatively close to the rim.
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Sep 29th, 2009, 02:26 AM
  #24  
 
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Please reconsider your trip. Whoever told you the ONLY way to see the Grand Canyon is to go down into it is wrong. I have never been into the Canyon beyond a short trail walk, but it was part of a wonderful trip we took about 5 years ago. Just to stand on the Rim is incredible. There is a shuttle bus that takes you from area of Bright Angel cabins along Rim with various stops where you walk out to a point and see it from a variety of different angles - and even though we were there in July it was not mobbed once you got away from Bright Angel cabin area - often I was one of only a few people on a point.

See it at sunrise, see it at sunset. Read some of the history of the area. If you had enough time you could spend 1-2 nights and still see Bryce and/or Zion. We included it as part of a Bryce and Grand Canyon trip - spending 2 nights at each (part of a larger trip starting in Las Vegas and ending in San Diego).
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Sep 29th, 2009, 03:21 PM
  #25  
 
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Maybe, I missed something. Is there some reason you don't want to hike an hour or two down into the canyon? If you aren't able to do that, then you wouldn't be able to ride the mule down in my opinion. There are a ton of ways to see the Grand Canyon. If you ever decide to ride a Mule you should make your reservation 1 year in advance. I would be fairly sure that nearly all of next summer would already be full. Rafting reservations aren't as critical, but still you need to plan at least 6 months out and if you have a definate
date, then really 12 months to 18 months. A helicopter tour is another pretty good way to see the canyon. Keep in mind that when doing a helicopter tour, rafting, etc, that there are many options and locations to do these from.

Most people that have seen GC, Zion, and Bryce will tell you this.

Grand Canyon= the ultimate "wow"

Zion and Bryce= almost as good a "wow", but, Bryce and Zion offer much more diverse and tons of great hiking with great scenery. There are a ton of hikes at Bryce and Zion that would horrifying if you are afraid of heights.
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Sep 29th, 2009, 03:32 PM
  #26  
 
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For some reason I'm afraid of man-made heights not natural ones.
Having hiked to the bottom I can tell you the BEST way to enjoy the canyon is from the rim. It loses its grandeur when viewed from below. Those mules have the right-of -way on the trail and hikers must step to the outer edge.There was two feet of snow on the ground and we were never sure about our footing.
Take a few minutes and walk down the Bright Angel Trail a few hundred yards,that will be enough.
If you do ride the mules make certain you don't get one that looks depressed.
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Sep 29th, 2009, 05:05 PM
  #27  
 
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I would disagree with the idea that the only way to do the Grand Canyon is to go down into it. It's a great way to see the canyon but definitely not the only way. I think you may be able to handle hiking down partway - as I said, the dropoffs on the switchbacks generally aren't huge and you can/should stay on the inside of the trail to avoid seeing them for the most part.

Mules have the right of way but hikers step to the inside of the trail, not the outside. Standing on the outside edge would positively guarantee a large number of hikers being pushed over the edge every year by the mules.
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Sep 29th, 2009, 06:02 PM
  #28  
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I have acrophobia too, but I can hike it, and it is one of my all time WOW moments. I do agree you have to go down a ways, but not ALL the way. We've made 3 trips. The first, we knew little about what was available and hiked to the first or second rest stop. The next time we hiked to Indian Gardens (about 6 hours round trip). The last we hiked to Plateau Point, saw and heard the Colorado. Next time will be the bottom. It's fabulous, hiking, and my acrophobia does not bother me then, but I know I could not do the mules. The added height, plus me not being in control would make it impossible to enjoy. You can get the same experience on foot, and be much happier in the process!
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Sep 29th, 2009, 08:48 PM
  #29  
 
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My experience with mule trains was as my brother and I emerged from the canyon. I am certain that we were asked by the mule team guides to move to the right on the trail. At points on our accent this placed us on the edge of the precipice.
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Sep 29th, 2009, 08:54 PM
  #30  
 
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The guide spoke with a clear Arizonia accent as we made our asenct.
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Sep 29th, 2009, 08:56 PM
  #31  
 
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No,it was a depressed mule who said move to the wright.
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