Continuing with the stories of our summer adventure out west.. The third day of our trip was our first full day at the Grand Canyon. We woke up at 4.30AM fully intending to catch the sunrise at Yaki Point, where I read was one of the best places to watch the sun rise over the canyon. However, as you all may well know, traveling with a group of 7 takes time than one might expect, and we ended up missing the shuttle (that only comes every 30 minutes) that would have taken us there. To be fair though, the shuttle actually came and left earlier, so if you're ever planning to do an early morning thing at the Grand Canyon, plan on being there early! That being said, after bumbling around in the dark "playing Marco Polo" (it really is a funny story - talk to me and I'll tell you all about it), we ended up watching the sunrise at Mather Point, which was still as beautiful as ever. Later that morning, we ventured on our first big hike of the trip - down and back up the South Kaibab Trail. The hike started with some pretty steep switchbacks, which levels out a tiny bit as you approach Ooh-Aah Point, which has an amazing view of the eastern canyon, and is also the first stopping/turnaround point of the hike. Some people who want a shorter hike would turn around at this point, but I highly recommend going a little further, as the views become even more phenomenal (one of our favorites at the Grand Canyon)! We stopped for a break to enjoy the breathtaking views at Cedar Ridge, which is also where we eventually turned around.
After hiking, we did some sunrise-photo-location-scouting at Yaki Point (which is worth stopping at, as it has some of the Best views on the South Rim, no matter what time of the day), and enjoyed a well-deserved campfire lunch. That evening, we did an easy drive along Desert View Drive (notable stopping point: Moran Point), where we eventually stopped at Lipan Point to watch the sunset.