A Riveting Ride Into The Wild Wild West
By Nissa Alloy
Many Americans dream of visiting the Grand Canyon and consider it to be one of the most important pieces of geographical splendor in the US. Named one of the ‘Seven Natural Wonders of The World’, the awe-inspiring National Park in Arizona can be both experienced in luxurious accommodations and on a bare bones budget — with every thing in between.
Millennium Magazine had a chance to visit the US National Monument carved out by the Colorado River and took a spectacular mule ride along the North Rim of the canyon. Hosted by Forever Resorts and “Canyon Trail Rides” the professional outfit was top notch from start to finish, making the trip that much more pleasurable.
The experience starts 30 minutes before your scheduled ride when you are greeted by local cowboys that are tried and true. Hopping on a shuttle you are driven a mile or so to the corral where their herd of mules are anxiously awaiting their daily exercise. The head cowboy asks you details about your riding experience in an effort to match you up with the perfect steed — and their main goal — keeping you safe, so you can enjoy the ride.
As we mounted up and followed the guide, who was friendly, professional and accommodating, we were given the opportunity to take the mules off trail and do a group shot. Looking out over the canyon we were regaled with stories about its history and how the Native American inhabitants of the area for thousands of years consider it a sacred and holy site. The majestic views are breathtaking and hard to capture in a photograph and impossible to forget.
For animal lovers the mules are all well taken care of and very responsive to each rider, which is always a pleasure for the experienced rider as the typical trail-animals usually just follow the one in front. At the perfect spot, a professional photographer can take your picture to be ready for purchase when you arrive back at the corral. For the kids, “Ride the Canyon” certificates of accomplishment are available at the end of the tour.
‘Canyon Trail Rides’ was a pleasure to experience and added a little luxury to the Grand Canyon experience, as one can see more of it up close and in less time on mule rather than on foot. For an even more immersive experience they also offer half-day trips that descend about 2,500 feet into the immense canyon to historical locations with a lunch before returning to the top. Forever Resorts and Canyon Trail Rides operate out of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park as well. Reservations are a must and kids have to be 10 years old at minimum to do a half day trip into the canyon — a highly recommended experience!
For more information: http://www.grandcanyonforever.com/mule-rides