Half-Day Adventure in Grand Canyon National Park: Desert View and Bright Angel Trail

Grand Canyon national park | Introduction

Grand Canyon National Park (Grand Canyon National Park) is located in Arizona, USA, and is one of the most famous national parks in the United States. The main feature of the Grand Canyon is its enormous gorge, extending about 446 kilometers in length, with widths up to 29 kilometers and depths of 1.6 kilometers. This magnificent gorge was formed by millions of years of erosion by the Colorado River, leading to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Grand Canyon National Park is divided into two sections: the South Rim and the North Rim. The roads between the South Rim and the North Rim are not connected, so visitors usually choose to visit one side at a time. The main attractions are concentrated in the South Rim, which has more visitors, while the North Rim has fewer visitors. Summer is the peak season for the Grand Canyon, and if your schedule permits, taking the park shuttle bus to tour the South Rim is more convenient.

This is our second visit to the Grand Canyon National Park. The first time we visited the Grand Canyon was in winter, and the entire canyon was covered in a blanket of snow. This time, since the Grand Canyon is conveniently located on the way back to LA from the Grand Circle, we decided to experience the Grand Canyon in summer. This time we entered from the eastern entrance of the South Rim, coming from Utah. Since we only had half a day and it was raining when we arrived, we thought that as it was our second visit, we wouldn't rush to see all the attractions. Our main itinerary focused on Desert View and Bright Angel Trail, which we hadn't visited before.

Desert View

Entering the Grand Canyon from the eastern entrance, the first viewpoint you will encounter is Desert View. This viewpoint is relatively far from other points of interest, and it is still a 40-minute drive to the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. Many people, if they enter from the western entrance, tend to skip it. However, I believe this viewpoint is well worth a visit.

That morning, it was drizzling, so our group had to quickly get off the car to take photos. Even though the weather was not great, we could still appreciate the grandeur of the Grand Canyon. The watch tower at Desert View can be climbed to see the view. However, the scenery from the top doesn't seem to be better than from the observation deck below; in fact, it makes it hard to enjoy the full view of the Grand Canyon.

After Desert View, heading west, you will pass several other viewpoints, each offering magnificent views. If the angle is right, you might even catch a glimpse of the Colorado River deep below.

After a brief clearing following the rain, the deer also became active, leisurely grazing and resting in the woods by the roadside.

Bright Angel Trail

Bright Angel Trail is one of the most famous trails in the Grand Canyon. The advantage of this trail is its flexibility; you can choose to hike either short or long distances. If, like us, you only want to spend two to three hours, you can hike to the mile-and-a-half resthouse, which offers a moderate difficulty level and allows you to get a bit deeper into the canyon. For those who are slightly more adventurous, you can hike to the three-mile resthouse, which will take about half a day to a full day for a round trip and comes with a higher difficulty level. The longest option is to hike all the way down to the bottom of the canyon to the Colorado River, but this requires an overnight stay and is very challenging, suited only for highly experienced hikers. Apart from hiking, there are also mule rides available on this trail, but they start early in the morning and take about three hours to go to and from Indian Garden.

The Bright Angel Trail is a downhill journey that feels quite easy. As we walk right next to the rock walls, the rock textures are clearly visible. We also kept stopping to take pictures.

In addition to enjoying the beautiful scenery, we also saw a lot of wildlife along the way. Not only were there many species of birds, but we were also lucky enough to encounter a group of mountain goats.

When I saw the sheep, they were coming out to eat in groups, and I wondered if they were gathering, standing in the middle of the road and looking around.

The flock of sheep hurriedly ran towards the bottom of the valley when they saw people, so we turned back around this area as well. The return route was uphill all the way, making the walk much more strenuous. When we got back to the trailhead and looked down again, it was evident that we had actually climbed a significant vertical distance in a short amount of time.

Grand Canyon national park bright angel trail

Further reading

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