The Grand Canyon National Park has several areas that cater to visitors, but Taylor and I decided to spend our trip on the southern rim. The Rim Trail on the southern side is a leisurely walk through time, but Taylor and I had to journey into the canyon on the Bright Angel Trail. No matter the perspective, the canyon's harrowing heights, beautifully striped walls, and sheer size are absolutely breathtaking.
The Rim Trail is scattered with dates and information. As we walked, we learned about the sediments and causes of each of the canyon's layers. We spotted several deer and several places to explore the rim beyond the educational path. Crowded and fenced overlooks near the visitor's center are no comparison to the ledges and sights to be found along the trail. We thought looking at the canyon from above was mesmerizing, but the views from inside would be even more incredible.
We set out on the Bright Angel Trail in the heat of the day and had our breath taken away by its difficulty and scenery. After countless descending switchbacks, we managed to reach Indian Gardens at the four and one half mile mark.
Indian Gardens provided a great change of scenery from layers of ancient rock to lush, green desert flora. I had not understood the height of the canyon's walls until I stood beneath them. Even though we didn't make it to the Colorado River, the change in perspective encouraged our appreciation of this Grand Canyon.
It was a special place to be even when we realized that it was time for the trek back up. Needless to say, our legs were not prepared for it. I won't say which of us needed to take more breaks, but we both needed to use the rim's ice cream shop for motivation. We gazed down with pride upon reaching the top but soon realized that our motivational ice cream shop had closed for the evening.