Everywhere on the net people and authorities advice you NOT to do this. Don't even try to go to the river and back in the same day. Well, my wife and I wanted really bad to see the river, and we didn't have but one day to do this hiking. It was middle of November. We had a hotel room in Williams. It'a at about one hour driving from the Grand Canyon Village. We left the hotel in the morning at about 4am. We reached GC Village at about 5am. There was no ranger at the park entrance, so we didn't have to pay the reservation fee. At 5.30 we took the shuttle bus to the South Kaibab Trail. We started descent in the dark. In about 30mins we started to distinguish shapes and some daylight. The trail is spectacular, with breath-taking views. It took us about 4 hours to get to the river. We crossed the bridge walked about 30mins along the river on the noth side and then crossed the next bridge and started climbing on the Bright Angel Trail. We managed to reach GC Village around 5pm, when it was just getting dark. I think this was one of my best hikings ever. We are both in our thirties doing office work every day, so we are not that fit for hiking. It wasn't easy after all, but it was a challenge. It was great. I wouldn't recommend doing this in the summer though. The trails are all exposed in the sun thus you are supposed to carry a lot of water with you.
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