Equines (horses, mules, and burros) are allowed on primitive roads and specific trails: the South Kaibab, Bright Angel, River, and Plateau Point Trails. At this writing, the South Kaibab Trail was closed to equine use during reconstruction.
During the reconstruction period, stock traffic will be heaviest on Bright Angel Trails, and the park service has requested that all potential stock users contact Xterra’s livery stables (928/638-2526, ext. 6095) when planning a trip. In addition, all riders should check in at the Backcountry Information Center (928/638-7875, 1–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) prior to the trip.
A backcountry permit is required for overnight use, and there are restrictions on the number of animals per group. Permits and additional stock fees apply. If riders plan to stay at Phantom Ranch, at least one member of the group must stay in the campground with the animals. Campgrounds can accommodate only one group of equestrians at a time. On the South Rim, there is a horse camp 0.5 miles from the Bright Angel Trailhead.
Animals must stay on specified trails. No grazing is allowed, and feed must be packed in. Hay must be weed-certified. Pack animals must be tied together and led single file. Riders accept all responsibility for their own and their animals’ safety.
Trails and roads in neighboring Kaibab National Forest are open to equine use (horses, mules, and burros) unless otherwise posted, or unless the animals pose a danger to free-ranging livestock. Contact the forest’s Tusayan Ranger District (928/638-2443) for more information.
© Kathleen Bryant from Moon Grand Canyon, 5th Edition