It was just before sunset when we enter Grand Canyon National Park. The very first viewpoint from going East to West on the South Rim is Desert View Watchtower, where we got to watch the sunset over the spectacular Grand Canyon. We stayed right outside the South Entrance in Grand Canyon Village. Unlike most towns outside National Parks, this actually had a bunch of accommodations, gas stations and places to eat, which was appreciated after a long day of sightseeing and driving.
In the morning we packed up and headed for the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. We got there early and got a perfect spot. We decided to hike along the Rim Trail from Mather Point to the Bright Angel Trailhead, which is about 3 miles. The Rim Trail is paved and provides dozens of side stops for sightseeing and many little souvenir shops.
Since the Bright Angel Trail is a well known rim-to-rim trail in the Grand Canyon, we decided to hike a portion of it. It's a 12 mile round trip hike and I knew there was no way my brother and sister would be able to make it down and then back up again. The trail is in a nook of the Canyon and zig zags down switchbacks all the way to the Canyon floor where you can get a great view of the Colorado River. We hiked for about an hour then turned around. We were all tired and hungry once we reach the trailhead again so we stopped at the Bright Angel Fountain cafe to grab a snack. Let me tell you...we thoroughly enjoyed the hot dogs and ice cream after being out in the hot Arizona sun sun.
Tip: Get to the Park early and park your car in a centralized area, then take the free shuttle bus to see other points of interest. Also note, they don't allow ice cream on the shuttles. We missed two buses because we were taking our sweet time finishing our ice cream cones.