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Video: The Grand Canyon, by mule

Clip, clop: the sound of tradition at the Grand Canyon

Since the 1880s, newcomers on muleback have been clip-clopping down the Bright Angel Trail into the Grand Canyon. As this video shows, the tradition continues.

But these days, traffic on that trail is limited to 10 mule-riders per day. They ride 10 miles to reach Phantom Ranch at the bottom of the canyon, where they spend the night before riding back up to the rim the following day. Meanwhile, in the mule barn on the South Rim, a farrier tends to the mules’ hooves.

To join in the mule tradition takes some nerve (the trail is narrow, sometimes icy and full of hikers). Also some money (it costs about $500 per head). And foresight. (Because the number of trips is so limited, they often sell out six months to a year in advance.)

For more details, check the video, then click here.

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