All Along the Watchtower:
Prior to our hike, however, we stopped at the historic Desert View Watchtower. Built in 1932, the tower stands along the edge of the rim, and rises 70 feet above the ground. I highly recommend stopping inside to see the wall murals painted by Hopi artist, Fred Kabotie, as well as the views from the windows and observation areas:
After soaking in the aesthetic and cultural aspects of the tower, we proceeded to the visitor center to begin our hike along the rim:
Along the route we spotted a couple of tarantulas....
...before heading down the famous Bright Angel Trail. The name of the trail comes from Major John Wesley Powell. While exploring the canyon during his historic float down the Colorado River in 1869, Powell came across a muddy creek, which had named the “Dirty Devil.” Regretting this name, he gave the name “Bright Angel” to the first creek he passed with sparkling clear water. This creek empties into the Colorado near the Phantom Ranch, on the opposite side of Bright Angel Trail.
Trail: Rim Trail - Bright Angel Trail
RT Distance: 4.0 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: ~1000 feet
Max Elevation: ~7000 Feet
TH Location: Grand Canyon Visitor Center
Map: Grand Canyon Trails Illustrated Map
Hiking Grand Canyon National Park provides first hand descriptions and detailed maps for all of the developed trails in the park - from easy day hikes suitable for novices and children, to extended backpack trips geared for intrepid wilderness travelers. The guide covers 15 hikes on the South Rim and 13 hikes on the North Rim. Also included are tips on safety, hiking with children, access, and services, as well as indispensable information about backcountry regulations, permits, and water sources.