The Grand Canyon Three Ways: Mules, Helicopters and Bicycles

A staggering 90 percent of visitors to The Grand Canyon never venture beyond the South Rim.

Very much like the time we stopped by with our three kids (one still in diapers and the other two under six) on a crazy cross-country camping adventure. We took a peek over the rim, snapped a shot or two and then got back in the car and left. All in all a successful visit — not a single toddler toddled over the edge.

But now that our offspring are grown and on their own, we decided to take the canyon a little more seriously, and add some adventure beyond child catastrophe prevention… CONTINUE READING  >> 

Whooo-hoooo! We WON the Motel 6 all-expenses-paid Ultimate Bucket List Contest! As always, all opinions are our own.

Biking the Canyon

View outside our room at the Motel 6 in Belleview Arizona
Good Morning! The view outside our room!

A staggering 90 percent of visitors to Arizona‘s Grand Canyon never venture beyond the South Rim. Very much like the time we stopped by with our three kids (one still in diapers and the other two under six) on a crazy cross-country camping adventure.

We took a peek over the rim, snapped a shot or two and then got back in the car and left.

All in all a successful visit — not a single toddler toddled over the edge.

Hint: To enlarge Instagram thumbnails click on the Instagram logo, then use your browser’s back button to return to our Grand Canyon Photo Gallery.



First glimpse of the Canyon!


    David channels “Titanic”

But now that our offspring are grown and on their own, we decided to take the canyon a little more seriously, and add some adventure beyond child catastrophe prevention.

A hawk flies over the canyon
HAWK!

Surreal view of the Grand Canyon
Surreal

Bikes are available for rental near the Visitor’s Center on the South Rim. The rental guys were glad to give us the lowdown on the best way to combine the easier hills on the bike with the harder ones by hitching a ride on the bike-rack-enhanced shuttle buses.

They even threw in a personal tutorial on rack operation.



 Grand Canyon Magic


    Ecofriendly National Park

Mounting our trusty steeds, we headed west on the road that skirts the Rim Trail. Clouds meandered in and out that day, allowing the sun to peek out and give us a different perspective every time we blinked our eyes.

The stunning Grand Canyon

Just Mule-in’ Around

The stunning Vermillion Cliffs in Navaho Nation, Arizona
 The stunning Vermillion Cliffs in Navaho Nation on the way to our mule ride

There are precious few things in life that combine breathtaking scenery, hysterical antics and outright fear. We figured that straddling a cliff-clinging beast of burden would certainly do the trick.



Why we never work with kids & animals – they always steal our thunder!


    A quicky video sneak peek!

Veronica and her new Grand Canyon mule buddy, Slim
Take 2 – Veronica and her new Grand Canyon mule buddy, Slim

WATCH: Mule Cam! A between-the-ears, cliff-hugging adventure!

There’s really nothing to fear — helpful chap-wearin’ guides are there to make sure that newbies feel comfortable, and that the more advanced riders don’t do anything stupid. Besides, the mules didn’t want to fall to the bottom any more than we did.

They’re stubborn about that.

The Grand Canyon on a mule!
Through Slim’s eyes

Among the mule ride options are a South Rim tour, a down-to-the-floor overnighter, and the one we chose, a half-day, half-way down trek that is only available on the North Rim. Well worth the incredibly scenic four-hour drive around to the other side of the canyon.

Grand Canyon mule ride
Through David’s mule, Mac’s, eyes

Feeling Above it All

Flying over the rim of the Grand Canyon
Flying over the rim!

If there is a definition of a bucket list item, flying over the Grand Canyon should be included in the text. The moment we crossed over the rim and watched the ground drop a mile in an instant is something that will be forever imprinted in our minds.

No fear of flying could possibly survive the sight.

WATCH: The grandeur of the Grand Canyon from above



Words can’t describe, Veronica cried like a baby.


    Our trusty steed!

Veronica literally bawled like a baby in awe, got out of one helicopter and turned around and did it again.

Grand Canyon by helicopter

David had to restrain her from going a third time.



Delicious Mexican food…bliss…


    Meet Amber – she’s smiling ’cause she’s staying at our pet-friendly Motel 6

Our cute orange room at Motel 6!
Back “home” to our cute orange room, exhausted and happy. 🙂

Sweet Sedona

Beautiful Sedona, Arizona



Do you think whoever lives here will let us move in?


    Amazing formations on the way!

Beautiful Sedona, Arizona

The 40th Annual Fiesta del Tlaquepaque in beautiful Sedona Arizona
The 40th Annual Fiesta del Tlaquepaque – oh YEAH!



Amazing traditional dancing


    Blue corn flautas!

The 40th Annual Fiesta del Tlaquepaque in beautiful Sedona Arizona

Good-bye from “Kodak Rock”!

Kodak Rock in the Grand Canyon!

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

See all of our Arizona Adventures!

We WON the Motel 6 all-expenses-paid Ultimate Bucket List Contest! As always, all opinions are our own.

YOUR TURN: Have we inspired you to take on the Grand Canyon? What’s the best way to see it?



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26 thoughts on “The Grand Canyon Three Ways: Mules, Helicopters and Bicycles”

  1. I tried in vane to convince FatBasterd to take the mule when we go to GC this September. Nope. So instead, we will hike it. Half way. Now excuse me I have no more time to chat…I have to go train. (He completely missed the fact that the mule does all the work) Dhurr!

  2. That is just such a wonderful trip. We started in Sedona and went on to the Grand Canyon. We shopped at that same place.. I think we bought rings. I just loved the heat and beauty of Sedona. We were “South Rimmers”… but I would go back. I’m laughing about the helicopter ride. Multiple rides is a great way to drain the vacation budget:)

  3. Wow, talk about the trip of a lifetime. I haven’t been to the GC since I was a teenager, but these shots make it look far more adventuresome than what I remember as a youngster. Kudos to you two for getting to go!

  4. I loved the music on the video. I did not find any credits on the video of the music.
    Who played and sang on the song ‘Don’t Look Down’?
    Love you blog.
    TnT Meyers ( Terry and Teri.)

  5. Definitely take additional butt padding for the mules. I’m not sure I could do it. My former law partner has a photo where the mules neck and head are clearly hanging out over the edge. On the other hand, she’s afraid of heights and she did it. I guess once you’re on the way down, there’s no turning back and you just have to hang on tight and figure there are no reported Mule suucides. 😉 Seriously, have fun. It sounds like a great trip.

  6. Love The Grand Canyon!! I’m sure you all are having a wonderful time. I am always in awe at the breathtaking views . If you ride a mule, don’t forget your cushions! Remember to leave the light on for the rest of us!

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