There's something to be said after three trips to the Grand Canyon, having stood on the rim looking down... It's the difference one experience makes as you descend Bright Angel Trail, 8 miles into the heart of the canyon to Plateau Point (pictured above).
Wildlife is abundant deep in the canyon. We came upon a herd of deer right alongside the trail that were too comfortable with us to move out of the way. It would've been possible to reach at arms length to touch them.
It's wise to stay overnight at the Indian Gardens campground. We had last minute reservations, over Thanksgiving weekend, that we made the night before and stayed on the rim. I think we were lucky to get a spot at Indian Gardens during that time. The weather was absolutely perfect during the day at 55 in the shade. The temperature plummeted to a chilly 18 degrees at the rim but Indian Gardens was warm at 34 degrees in the middle of the night.
Previous training for the hike is recommended but not required as long as there's a decent amount of rest and you're staying overnight. Make sure you can carry an extra 30 lbs on your back and you have lots of water and food to refuel.