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Mules at Grand Canyon

The very popular mule rides that transport visitors into the splendid rocky depths of the Grand Canyon in Arizona will be drastically reduced under a new plan by the National Park Service.

According to the NPS announcement, the number of mules allowed on the Bright Angel Trail, the most traveled route into the canyon from the South Rim, will drop from 40 to 10 riders daily.

The NPS reason for the cut-back in mule rides is that the trail over the years has eroded to potentially unsafe conditions, and repairs are getting too expensive. Additionally, hikers are complaining that they must share the ever-narrowing trails with the mules and the inevitable stuff the mules leave behind. NPS also states that it wants to encourage more hikers to use the trail.

There will be mule rides available along the less-spectacular but safer top of the South Rim trails. For those planning Grand Canyon visits, they should know the hugely popular mule rides will become even more difficult to book, and reservations of up to a year in advance are advised.

For more information, go to NPS.org.

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