My wife and I decided to do this hike on our visit. Fully prepared with ample water, food, energy snack and canes, we started our descent ... 3 hours to the bottom with wonderful views with every twist and turn of the switchbacks. It was beautiful and fantastic to actually be down in the canyons looking up.
The journey back up was definitely a lot harder and took us 4 and a half hours, we made to the Coconino overlook as the sunset and had to trek in pitch darkness the rest of the way. With the elevation and thinning of the air my wife struggled with her breathing a lot as she has asthma, and could only walk 40/50 steps without having to stop for a breather.
Regardless, we both loved the experience and are very glad we did it!
Just remember to start out early and have enough time to take regular breaks on the way back up :)
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