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Bright Angel Trail (Grand Canyon)

Views from the Bright Angel trail
Bright Angel creek
View of Plateau point from the Bright Angel trail
Bright Angel trail
Bright Angel trail
hiker on the Bright Angel trail
Hiking the Bright Angel trail
Hiking out of the Grand Canyon on the Bright Angel trail
Pipe creek
Mountain goat
Deer near Phantom Ranch
map: Bright Angel trail
Elevation plot (ascending): Bright Angel creek


How to Get There
This hike is located on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

From Flagstaff, take HWY 180 north towards the Grand Canyon. Once you enter the park, you'll head towards the Grand Canyon Village. The trailhead is well marked. Many facilities exist in the Village.
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon and Marble Canyon area

Hike details

9.30 [Miles] Total
Hike Distance- Details
9.3 miles one way to the Bright Angel Campground.
8.00 [Hours]
This is a full day hike one way.
Elevation Details
A monster 4400 ft !
Hike Trail Type
One Way
Rating details
Be Aware of: Outrageous elevation changes, extreme temperature changes. Mules. If you are camping you need a back country permit from Grand Canyon National park

30 yr old Recommendation: This hike is Strenuous. We're in the Grand Canyon baby!

Kids in good shape can make this hike with adult experience and supervision. Grandma can hike on it a little while, but then it's back to the nice Ranger talk at the rim about geology.


Best Season
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
Worst Season
  • June
  • July
  • August
Season Details

For Winter Hiking: Remember that the South Rim is damned cold in the winter. Snow and Ice will cover the trail for the first few miles. Crampons recommended.

For Summer Hiking: Get an early start and don't hike during the heat of the day. Remember that the bottom of the canyon will be MUCH hotter than the top.
Date Hike completed
January 23, 2009


Solitude Details
This trail is in the Corridor area of the grand canyon. Translation: lots of people use this trail (though most of them will not go past 3 miles from the top). Expect to meet 50-200 people this day.


difficulty detail


Skills Detail


Permit Info
Backcountry permits from the National Park Service must be acquired prior to this hike. See for details. You can reserve up to three months in advance.

Hike the Bright Angel trail in Grand Canyon national park, Arizona

This is a well hiked and well maintained trail in the Grand Canyon. Bring a camera, as the views are always impressive. There is lots of water on this hike: At 1.5 mile (from the top) rest house, 3 mile (from the top) rest house, Indian Gardens, and Bright Angel Campground. There are also bathrooms at the 1.5 mile rest house and Indian Gardens. If you enjoy this hike, you might want to try the South Kaibab trail next.

This is the most popular trail to get to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. It's a steep descent from the top to Indian Gardens. The crowds will thin out significantly after three miles in.

Indian Gardens is the half way point of this hike and is a good spot to camp if you want to break your ascent into two days.

If you have time, you can walk the one way 1.5 miles from Indian Garden to Plateau Point for a killer view of the river.  

From Indian Gardens, the trail winds through Garden creek canyon, down Pipe springs canyon, to the Colorado river. Crossing the suspension bridge (Silver Bridge) will get you to Bright Angel Campground.

We have to share this hike with mules. When a mule train approaches, move to the side and wait for them to pass. Wave to the nice guides and sore bottomed people as they admire your amazing stamina in hiking the Grand Canyon.

Spend a few days in the canyon before climbing back out. You'll be glad you did.

Be sure to enjoy the looks of awe from the dressed up tourists taking a few tentative steps on the trail...

     Tourist: (walking at the top of the rim) "Where did you start hiking?"

     You: "At the river"

     Tourist: (expression of amazement and awe) "wow..."



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