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Ride a mule at Grand Canyon (North) or a horse at Bryce National Park?

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May 13th, 2009, 12:29 PM
  #1
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Ride a mule at Grand Canyon (North) or a horse at Bryce National Park?

For those of you for whom this would be an option, if you were to choose between a 1 or 3 hour mule ride at Grand Canyon North Rim OR a 2 hour horseback ride at Bryce, which would you choose and why? Oh, some involved are children and for one adult, a pesky knee is an issue. This would be a new experience for all.
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May 13th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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I think the mules have a weight limit. Bryce is easier on foot because the change in elevation is less.
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May 13th, 2009, 01:22 PM
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I have only done the one at Bryce, but perhaps I would choose the mule ride at Grand Canyon. The walk down into Bryce Canyon is very accessible for most people, but the hike into Grand Canyon is much more difficult - so the mule ride would provide everyone with an experience they may not have otherwise.
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May 13th, 2009, 01:44 PM
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My teenage daughter and husband did the horse ride near Bryce (not the one into Bryce) and enjoyed it a great deal - a half day. Neither has been on a horse more than once or twice before. My husband's only complaint was that the horse did not listen to him - but he has that complaint about most females.
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May 13th, 2009, 02:46 PM
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Mule ride *into* the GC would be my pick, but if you are talking about the mule rides that stay on the rim (instead of descending into the canyon) I think it would be a toss-up with Bryce.

I think the 1 hr GC north rim rides just stay on the rim a short distance. And there are two 'half-day' mule rides, one that follows a trail on the rim to Uncle Jim's Point but doesn't descend and another that goes to the Supai Tunnel. I would suggest the Supai Tunnel trip.

I think there is a 200 or 220 lb limit for mule riders and the min age is either 7 or 10 or 12 years, depending on which trip you take. And someone with a bad knee might have problems after a while (though most mule riders I've seen at Phantom Ranch seemed to be suffering from butt problems).

The south rim mule rides are probably a lot better in terms of scenery, fwiw.
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May 13th, 2009, 02:52 PM
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As a first time experience, my family did the horseback ride through Red Canyon and thoroughly enjoyed it. Red Canyon is just outside of Bryce. We booked this excursion through Ruby's Inn. http://www.horserides.net/
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May 13th, 2009, 03:52 PM
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I did the full day mule ride into (down) the canyon on the North Rim. Hot, boring!!! You see the same small segment all day. The most you see the the mule in front of you and the rider's back. Do something else.
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May 13th, 2009, 04:03 PM
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Pesky knee = not Grand Canyon
My (non-pesky) knees were killing me after a day going downhill.
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May 13th, 2009, 04:15 PM
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We did the 1/2 day(2 1/2 hr) mule ride at Bryce. This was a fabulous way to see the hoodoos up close. For me, 50ish, chubby, it killed by hips. The 1/2 day trip was plenty but I would do it again!! Very cool. Plus, my mule had LOTS of gas and my husband was behind us, so I thought the trip was very amusing!!

MY
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May 15th, 2009, 05:24 PM
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Thank you very,very much for your input and experiences.

All who'd be riding are under the weight limits so we're good there.

"Pesky knee = not Grand Canyon" and "The walk down into Bryce Canyon is very accessible for most people, but the hike into Grand Canyon is much more difficult" makes riding at Grand Canyon sound like perhaps it would be a better plan for our group--as appealing as riding in Bryce sounds.

We're currently thinking the half-day ride down to the Supai Tunnel for those 10 and up and the one hour rim ride for the 7 & 8 year olds (and their mom) as that's the only riding option offered for under-10s at the Grand Canyon.

Hopefully, three hours on a mule won't finish off that pesky knee, though!
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May 17th, 2009, 06:34 AM
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I did the day mule ride halfway down at Grand Canyon and agree very much with Elainee, BORING. I have been telling people to avoid that for years. So hot and tired by the time you get there, same scenery all the way down, it looks much better from the rim antway, then you have to ride all the way back up and you try to close your eyes and nod off and that's impossible. I did not enjoy it at all!!

Karen
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May 24th, 2009, 10:10 AM
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In large part because nearly half the party would be confined to the rim at the GC, we're now planning to ride horses at Bryce instead. Time will tell if that turns out to have been the right decision...
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May 24th, 2009, 10:11 AM
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Forgot to say, "Thank you" for all your input and advice!
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May 24th, 2009, 09:24 PM
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Oh, I'm sure you'll enjoy your ride at Bryce! It's a wonderful place to explore. We've hiked all the trails where the horses go, and we loved it - you just won't have to work so hard to see it. Have a great trip!
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May 25th, 2009, 06:42 AM
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You made the right decision
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May 25th, 2009, 06:49 AM
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We had a great time on the ride in Bryce and we also hiked many trails into the canyon. I would do that over the GC ride (we didn't do that one but we hiked down to Indian Garden and back). I don't think I'd enjoy the ride in the GC at all. Also - don't be surprised if the "horses" on the Bryce ride look suspiciously like mules.
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May 25th, 2009, 07:32 AM
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I didn't read all the replies so this may have been stated. The same company does both places and when I called to make reservations I asked the lady which she would suggest and she said Bryce Canyon over the north rim ride, by far. She said the north rim ride isn't very scenic. I can tell you the Bryce Canyon ride is VERY scenic. The trails down into the canyon are steep and the horses get you a lot further into the park than most people ever hike and in a much shorter time.

If you were comparing going down INTO the Grand Canyon, I would stick to the same answer for one reason. The horses/mules like to walk RIGHT ON the rim. It was nerveracking (sp?) at Bryce Canyon. I couldn't have stood it at Grand Canyon.
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