Grand Canyon Self Guided Trail Rides

Grand Canyon Trail Rides For Private Stock Users

Equine trips are allowed in Grand Canyon National Park and it is not necessary to take a guided mule ride you have your own stock.  Permits are required for overnight trips and can be obtained from the Grand Canyon backcountry office.  Typically, mules are used on Grand Canyon Trails because they are better suited for this terrain.  Horses usually have problems on the steep trails.  Keep in mind permits are limited so you'll have to plan your trip in advance.

There are several trails pack animals are allowed on, including the South Kaibab, North Kaibab and Bright Angel Trails. There are designated areas for your stock and at least one person in your groups needs to stay with the animals overnight.  There are limited water stops and no feed available, so you'll need to keep this in mind while you do your trip planning.  There is a place to leave your stock on the Rim the night before the trip, and a ranger who specifically deals with stock issues.  If you need more information, the Grand Canyon Backcountry Office issues permits and provides information for private stock use in Grand Canyon National Park. Read the guide below to learn more about stock use, or check out our Grand Canyon trails map to see different trip options.

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Trails open to Private Stock Use

South Rim Trail Rides 

  • Bright Angel Trail
  • River Trail between South Kaibab and Bright Angel along the Colorado River
  • Plateau Point Trail from Indian Garden
  • South Kaibab Trail
  • Tonto Trail between South Kaibab and Bright Angel
  • All primitive roads
  • Parking for South Rim trips is available at the Backcountry Information Center.

North Rim Trail Rides 

  • North Kaibab Trail
  • Ken Patrick Trail
  • Uncle Jim Trail
  • Bridle Trail
  • Arizona Trail
  • All primitive roads
  • Parking for North Rim trips is limited, inquire at the Backcountry Information Center.

Toroweap Trails 

  • Saddle Horse Trail
  • All primitive roads

Grand Canyon Private Stock Regulations

  • Only Equine including mules, horses and burros are allowed in the Grand Canyon.  Other stock such as llamas and Alpacas are not allowed.
  • Permits are not required for day use.
  • Backcountry Use Permits are required for overnight trips.  For permit regulations and other information about equine use in Grand Canyon National Park please visit the Park's Private Stock page.
  • Each equine is required to carry a negative Coggins test certificate.
  • Removing dead or injured animals is the responsibility of the owners
  • Tree savers are required for tying stock where hitch rails are not available.
  • Caulked shoes are required if trails have snow or ice.

Food and Water for Private Stock 

Weed free feed and clean trailers and equine are required for your Grand Canyon Trip to stop the spread of invasive plants. Equines must use a feed bag or tarp and food cannot be left on the ground and rodent proof storage must be used. Animals can be water directly from natural streams where available and water bags are recommended for water transport.

Private Stock Trail and Time Restrictions

  • Equine Riders must yield to commercial mule strings who have the right-of-way
  • Private Stock Trips need to follow specific directions of travel and trail times. For up to date information these restriction or additional information on private stock trip go to Grand Canyon National Parks Private Stock Use page.
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