If You Think Mail Delivery Is Slow Where You Live……



The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc with delivery services, from FedEx to the U.S. Postal Service. Even though your mail may be slightly delayed, be thankful you don’t live in the Grand Canyon, where mail is still delivered by mule. For a small group of people living there, the mail comes via hooved carriers who trek hours down into the canyon to deliver mail, six days a week. It’s the last official mail-by-mule route in the country. It’s believed that mule mail delivery began in the Grand Canyon in 1938. Today, mail is still being delivered by mule, simply because these areas are not accessible by road. There are only three ways to reach them: by hiking down the canyon, rafting down the Colorado River, or by helicopter. For the Havasupai route, it’s three hours down, but five hours back up. At least two mules trains are on the route each day, so mules and riders don’t have to make the trip down and back without a stop overnight in the village. Unlike your mailbox, the majority of the deliveries in that area aren’t magazines. Without nearby grocery stores, or stores of any kind, much of the mail is packaged food. One of the mule train’s last stops before the canyon is in Peach Springs, Ariz. It’s the only post office in the country with a walk-in freezer, to keep frozen food as cold as possible before the next leg in its journey. The same person has held the contract with the Postal Service for mule delivery for more than 25 years, and chances are good that his son will inherit it when he retires. There aren’t many people clamoring to run the mule mail.