After my first successful Grand Canyon hike in February of 2013, I wanted more. I came up to the park in March for a day trip. I intended only to do a day hike down to Ooh-Aah Point on the South Kaibab Trail, but I was feeling so good I ended up doing a massive South Kaibab - Tonto - Bright Angel day hike!
Returning in April, I set off down the Bright Angel Trail. The corridor trails in the Grand Canyon, while scenic, are kind of a horror show if you spend much time on other trails. They're crowded, steep, hot, and dusty as hell from all the hooves and boots beating them into oblivion. The trails are littered with mule dung. The animals are all aggressive beggars. Its not a pleasant hiking experience, and it boggles my mind that, for the 1% of visitors to GC who stray beyond the pavement, for the vast majority of them, THIS is what they associate with the Grand Canyon backcountry. But still - if the traffic wasn't condensed onto the corridor trails, the rest of the trails would just be that more overburdened. So you live with it. Happily, I was able to chew up the miles quickly and make it to the relative oasis of Indian Gardens without much delay.
From Indian Gardens, the Tonto trail snakes out to the west. Now this was more like it. After the dusty, punishing Bright Angel trail, the Tonto felt like a refuge. It stays almost miraculously level as it snake in and out of side drainages along the Tonto Plateau.