Grand canyon - wow, it is beautiful! When I was a child, I could only dream about visiting such a place. But, dreams came through, and I visited this magical place many times over the past few years. Most of my visits were brief and I did not venture far in. I always had a feel that my visits were incomplete, so I did a quick trip to the bottom and up in 1 day. Yes, there are signs there not to attempt such a thing, but it is very doable for a relatively fit person.
I picked to go down via South Kaibab, rested at Phantom Ranch, took a nap at a beach on the river, and hiked up via Bright Angel. Started at sunrise and finished at sunset, just an another perfect day...
The South Kaibab is the shortest route from the South Rim to the Colorado River. It took me 4 hrs with frequent stops for photos and views to reach the river. I guess the distance is about 6.4 miles. The trail descends over 4.740 feet (1.45 km), offering dramatic views of the inner canyon. Lacking water and shade, the trail can be brutal. So, I did descend in early am.
Mailed by Mule
You will encouter mule riders returning from Phantom Ranch or a pack string carrying out trash and postcards stamped "Mailed by Mule at Phantom Ranch, the Bottom of the Grand Canyon". Remember, the long-ears don't like surprises, sudden motion, or loud voices. Stand quietly on the cliff side of the trail.
Bright Angel Trail
The trail is abotu 9.3 miles (15 km) long, there is water along the trail and a beautiful oasis at Indian Garden. There are also resthouses near the top - 1.5 mile and 3 mile resthouse. I met many people with limp on the way up...