Bright Angel Trail to Bright Angel Campground and River Trail

HARD 428 reviews

Bright Angel Trail to Bright Angel Campground and River Trail is a 17.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
17.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5006 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

2 days ago

Hiked the trail down on 4/23. Amazing views every step I took. I would recommend the hike, but make sure you have plenty of water and you're sure-footed!

11 days ago

So, so sweet. Easier than Kaibab, but you get amazing views of the Colorado River.

hiking
18 days ago

started around 8 am, incredible walls of course, very step and one heck of a work out, only went to checkpoint 3 miles in then turned around, the steep down was wearing on my knees, I climbed out by noon, what a workout. I check GC off my list.

hiking
28 days ago

Recommendation: Start before 9:00, it get's really hot at the bottom by noon.
We hiked the BA down, stayed at the Ranch, and then hiked the South Kaibab out. The Angel was cool, but I don't think I'll ever do it again. The South Kaibab is just a cooler trail with better views.

hiking
28 days ago

We hiked from the rim to plateau point (side trail once you reach Indian garden). I did this hike w my husband on 4/27/18. The hike was 6.1 miles each way. We started at 8:45am and finished at 3:55pm. It seemed like every park ranger we talked to was determined to dissuade us from going past the 3 mile rest stop. It was like they wanted to scare us. We are by no means in the greatest shape, we hike maybe once or twice a year and we are in our early 40s. Although the hike was truly strenuous, i wouldn’t call it hard. It’s an easy trail and it’s almost impossible to get lost. The trail itself is not dangerous but the elements can be. We got lucky that we had cloud cover most of the day and that helped so much. I can’t imagine doing this in the summer months. We both drank our 3 liters of water/Gatorade by the time we made it back.
The walk from Indian garden to plateau point is gorgeous. There’s beautiful cacti and flowers. The view at the end is gorgeous. You can see the river.
Tips:
-unless you’re literally crawling this thing, it will not take you 12 hours to do this trail.
-if you make it to Indian garden, just suck it up and walk to plateau point, it’s worth it.
-try breathing through your nose as much as you can. The dust that gets kicked up will dry out your throat
-I wished the whole time up that I had a damp bandana to wrap over my mouth/nose so I could breathe better
-don’t attempt to go to the river and back in one day. I’m sure it can be done but why:....
-stick your head under the running water at plateau point and the creek by Indian garden.
-start early so you don’t come back in the dead heat. There’s no shade anywhere.

This was an awesome hike. One of my favorites and most challenging hikes. Highly recommend it.

hiking
29 days ago

Hiked three in and three back out. Water at 1.5 and 3 despite signs saying there was none. The further down you go the less packed it is! Beautiful and well maintained. So much different than sitting on the rim!

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike but hard. Covered 4580 feet of up from the river. Stop for lunch at Indian Gardens. Four hours from the bottom then another four hours to the rim. Total hike time 8 hours. Once in a life time event.

trail running
1 month ago

Epic hike with fantastic views. Turned at the Hyde (1-ish mile short of the campgrounds) and then went out to Plateau Point on the way back. Ran most of it and took a few short hiking and snack breaks. Bring lots of water and food. As a highly active 17 year old guy (w/ a 1:33:44 half marathon PR for reference) it took me about 5 hours, 4:34 moving time.

2 months ago

Really good hike with great views. Bright Angel Trail is a difficult trail, crampons needed during the colder months, long pieces of trail covered with sleek ice so please be careful. The hike is accessible and easy to find. Do not let my ice comment make you afraid of coming, once the sun hits the trail those ice capes are gone within minutes. It is a long trail so many people hike down for an hour or two then head back up. You start with going down! So the way back up will be HARDER! Make it a 1 to 1.5 ratio. You hike down 1 hour expect your trip back up to be 1 hour and 30 min give or take depending on your experience. The trail head has multiple places to refill your water bottle alongside restroom facilities. Please DO NOT FORGET WATER. It is your best friend. Also feel free to take snacks because there are great places to stop and eat something with a beautiful view. Clean up after yourself. The canyon is there for your enjoyment, treat it with respect. Overall, a fantastic trail with an incredible view. I would recommend this trail to anyone with prior hiking experience (if you don’t have experience, go ahead and try it out but take it easy and remember the 1 to 1.5 ratio i explained towards the top) - val :)

backpacking
2 months ago

Great hike! The last four miles to the top were the most difficult.

3 months ago

It was awesome! it's easy going down with gorgeous views, but dont underestimate! Coming up is the hard part. pay close attention to what the park rangers say. the weather is really unpredictable. wear lots of layers, take alot of water, food and salty snacks.

3 months ago

Pretty views throughout the hike.

backpacking
4 months ago

came up this trail from Phantom Ranch in one day. Water and amenities made this trek excellent, though day hikers and trail runners on their way down did not yield to hikers ascending, even though NPS informs them to do so. well maintained trails, though expect mule urine and poo at almost every turn. So much to see, bighorn sheep, all kinds of birds, ground mammals. Indian gardens is the halfway point and is a virtual oasis.

trail running
4 months ago

Can't wait to do it again!
You can hike it or run it out and back, but it very challenging. There's water by Plateau and other spots along the way. Carry plenty anyway.

4 months ago

Most amazing hike. Highly recommend 2 nights and 3 days backpacking. You will push yourself and discover a new you.

hiking
5 months ago

great trail! Heavily trafficked with tourists the first mile or so. there were brick shelter houses with running water every mile and a half or so. Much needed in the summer months! just remember all that downhill hiking means you will eventually need to come up! couldn't walk for 2 days after this hike!

hiking
5 months ago

lovely and hard trail, I started early, well before sunrise, but could've started even later, in December sun is low, so there isn't actually a lot of direct sunlight on the trail. Took me 6:20, last 3 miles were quite difficult, but I was pushing it as well. I had wonderful weather conditions, bright skies, no snow or ice on the trail.

5 months ago

Came up from Phantom Ranch to the south rim via Bright Angel. This was exhausting after hiking down the day before but I made it in 7 hours. Gorgeous views. Careful with the altitude change if powering up. It sneaks up on you.

hiking
5 months ago

My detailed review of the rim-to-rim hike which involved this trail for the ascent goes here: http://ashishb.net/all/rim-2-rimember-day-hiking-through-grand-canyon/

hiking
5 months ago

Very challenging but difficult hike! Be sure to move off trail or on the hillside(away from the cliff) when mules are coming your way! Water stops are only at Indian Gardens and Bright Angel Campground/Phantom Ranch as of 11-25-17. No water available at rest stops beforehand but vault toilets are open. Not a lot of crowds during November except for backpackers. Warning: If doing this in a day, bring a headlamp and start early!

backpacking
6 months ago

Great hike, beautiful in the fall. Can be very hot in the summer months. Take plenty of water

hiking
6 months ago

Most difficult, but most rewarding and breathtaking day hike I’ve ever done. Do not do this hike unless you are very sure you’re in excellent shape because it’s a very difficult day hike.

backpacking
6 months ago

The weather was perfect. I started from Phantom Ranch at 6:15. Arrived at the trail head at noon. There were fewer people than I have experienced previously. One of my best trips to the Grand Canyon.

6 months ago

One of the more difficult hikes I've done. We started out in the morning around 0800. We went in September so it was about 55 degrees. We got to Indian Wells just before 1000. Stopped for an hour there and ate lunch. When we got back on the trail to start our ascent it was near 85-90 degrees. There are 3 water full stations from Indian Wells to the rim. BE SURE TO USE THEM! It takes twice as long to get to the top, if not a little longer. Take advantage of the switch backs that fall in the shade to keep from overheating. There is never a dull moment or view on this hike! Added bonus that the "wild life" is highly entertaining.

backpacking
6 months ago

It had its moments ! Some breath taking views. We did 30 some miles round trip. There where Some really nice spots to see. But the back packing was terrible. There where easily 20+ groups of campers in your camp! So many silly rules. The ranger made me take my water filter off a dead tree cuz he didn’t want branches to break wth!? It was just such a business. $160 for our wilderness permit too. I’m a Sierra hiker and love being in the wilderness ALONE or with few people. This will not be your experience here.

My two cent review.

hiking
6 months ago

Bright Angel let’s you see different angles of the Grand Canyon than looking at the Canyon from a point. I highly recommend this trail! It really made my trip better! I recommend wearing hiking boots because you need to have good gripes.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful trail - amazing scenery.

6 months ago

amazing trail! started at 0830~, arrived up to Colorado River, and came back at 17:00 (without many stops). I recommend not to pass on the Colorado River! Moreover, there's places to fill drinking water through the trail, so no need to carry a lot (though better safe then sorry...)

hiking
7 months ago

6 heures à la descente et un peu plus de 4 heures pour remonter le lendemain.

hiking
7 months ago

One of the best trails I've ever done specially it's the first time for me in the US. Problem with such trail that you have to go down then back up. Might be hectic. Did the trail some day. Almost took 8 hours with several hours of relaxing catching my breath. Overall the panorama of the place is amazing. People are amazing too cheering you up.

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