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Bright Angel Trail to Bright Angel Campground and River Trail

hard(1348)
Grand Canyon National Park

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 is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from September until May.

Distance: 17.7 miles Elevation Gain: 5,006 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

no shade

no dogs

Tips: -Majority of the trail is exposed. Wear sunscreen. -Even though water spigots are located at miles 1.5 and 3, It is still recommend to bring your own water. -Trekking poles aren't mandatory, but are recommended. -Mules and mule trains have the right of way regardless if they are going up or down. -Hikers climbing up have the right of way. -Leave the wildlife alone. No matter how cute the deer and squirrels look, don't feed them. Fact...squirrel bites is the leading animal related injury to park visitors at the Grand Canyon. -Pick up your trash -Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes. -Crowded near the top. -Enjoy the Grand Canyon -Most importantly, be safe! Remember, this is the Grand Canyon and it's a long way down.

I got carried away with the views and went all the way to the river. For someone of average fitness level, this was a tall order. Was 3.5 hrs down 6 hrs back. I’m glad I finished but it wasn’t smart, especially solo.

Great trail! Know your limits. We came when it was cool in March. We did the top to the toilets in 2 hours. Bring water and toilet paper bathroom was out. Amazing views!

19 days ago

just completed this hike 03/07/20 way harder than I expected. Going down the canyon is amazing. coming back up the same day was insane. But I made it.

hiking
bugs
icy
muddy
19 days ago

We hiked this trail on March 8th 2020 and there was ice for about the first mile but by the time we got back to the top the ice had melted and it was just muddy. the trail is well kept and easy to follow. It took us about 9 hours to the Colorado river at the bottom and back up.

28 days ago

I completed this on 02.27.2020. Awesome hike. I'm 53 years old. I made it to the river in 3 hours but it took nearly 4.5 hours back up. The trail is mostly exposed do bring a good hat and sunscreen. I'm in reasonably good shape but this one taxed me! I used microspikes for the first and last .1/2 mile because of ice on the trail. Worth the effort!

hiking
1 month ago

A must hike if your at the south rim of the canyon. I was there in February and there was ice pack on the first mile. Don’t try it without the cleats. We did not have the cleats and had to turn around. Lots of people falling on the ice. Snow melts during the day and turns to ice overnight. We went to the south Kaibab trail and it had very little ice. Went down to the first rest area and had lunch. This trail has much better views of the canyon. If you only have time for one hike I recommend South Kaibab.

hiking
icy
muddy
1 month ago

Beautiful views of the Grand Canyon, not a lot of traffic this time of year. Icy but doable for the first mile or so. Need crampons for steeper sections.

hiking
1 month ago

This was my introduction to hiking in the Grand Canyon and gave me the motivation to hike rim to rim a few years later. This is a very beautiful hike and the trail is well maintained.

hiking
icy
muddy
1 month ago

We ran from the Maswik Lodge to the Colorado River and back today. It took us 4.5 hours. It could not have been more spectacular. We were glad that we had running spikes. Only thing that made us sad was that we stashed our gloves and hat at the first bathroom and they were stolen.

Wear crampons or you will die. Absolutely amazing hike.

Was still icy the first 1-1.5 miles. I was able to make it without crampons but used caution. I was able to make it to the beach and back the same day in a decent time. I jogged off and on once I got past the ice. the trip back ascending was tough and only able to jog through some flat sections near the campground. All in all a beautiful hike. Wonderful views and challenging!

2 months ago

First off, I'm not a melodramatic person, but I DO NOT recommend doing this in one day. We did on 1/24. All 3 (Age 36, 35, 30) of us played college basketball and are in pretty good shape. Left at 8am, got back to top at 630. Went all the way to Silver Bridge. Pretty much the whole way back was miserable, it was so tiring. We could barely walk after, I'm not exaggerating. We were supposed to hike Bryce the next day, but ended up being tourists and just going to the vantage points, haha. Definitely a really sweet hike, but extremely taxing and it is very rewarding when you finish. We come out west every year for a work meeting in Vegas. We've done trails that are rated difficult in multiple National Parks out west and this was by far the most physically exhausting hike we've done in last 4 trips out here. FYI, we always come out and of January

hiking
2 months ago

Not my favorite trail because it’s over crowded with tourists that don’t follow trail etiquette and move out of the way for uphill hikers. Pretty easy/moderate trail. I’ve hiked out this trail after R2R2R and rim to river to rim. I prefer SK trail over this one. The sunrise from 3 mile resthouse is beautiful though. I’m an avid hiker/ultrarunner. The top portion is very rocky and icy for the first 3 miles in the winter. Decent to hike up. Today I came from Tonto West and easily made it through Indian gardens and to the top in a little over an hour and didn’t need rest breaks. A lot of reviews of this trail are tourists who clearly don’t hike often. It was not that difficult. I’ve gone down and up many times. If you are familiar with elevation & the distance and trained for the canyon, it won’t be bad.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail, we did not know what to expect, apparently it is not recommended to do the trail in 1 day. We did walk down to the river and back, the only open water spot is 4.5 miles in. Eat lunch by the river was definitely worth it We are 28/29 years old, not professional hikers but we wanted to do it. Started the trail at 7:30am, we were at the river 11:10am. All in trail with all the stops etc took us 8hours and 45 minutes, we can not walk fyi. We were wearing regular running shoes and did just fine all though the spikes are preferred first 1-2 miles as it is icy 16 miles roundtrip, absolutely exhausting but most definitely worth it

2 months ago

Amazing trail. It started out a little bit icy. However, we were hiking in January so that was to be expected. I highly recommend this trail. Just be sure to know your limits and turn around before you are too tired for the steady incline on the way back.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Stats/Info -Location: Grand Canyon South Rim -Distance to Indian Garden Campground: 4.5 miles -Distance to Plateau Point: 6 miles -Distance to the Colorado River: 8 miles -Distance to the Bright Angel Campground: 9.5 miles -Distance to Phantom Ranch: 10 miles. -Water stations and rest rooms located at the trailhead. Also located at 1.5 miles and 3 miles from the top. The Bright Angel Trail is one of the more popular trails in the Grand Canyon's South Rim. It's also known as the Grand Canyon's corridor trail. This trail leads to Plateau Point, Indian Garden Campground, Bright Angel Campground, Phantom Ranch, and the Colorado River (river trail). This trail also leads to other trails on the South Rim, including Tonto Trail and the South Kaibab Trail. I could see why this trail is so popular. For one, the trail is easy to access and there's multiple water stations along the way. And two, the trail is wide and a view of the massive Grand Canyon can be seen from almost every spot on the trail. We didn't hike this trail from the top. We started from the Indian Garden Campground carrying 30+ lbs. of gear on our backs. The 4.5-mile climb to the top was tough carrying this load. The 3,800 feet elevation gain was torture. My glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves were screaming at me the entire hike up. Majority of the hike is through switchbacks with a 8-10% grade and very challenging. At the same time, the Bright Angel Trail is a very rewarding hike and well worth the pain. I recommend all the trails that we hiked in the Grand Canyon. But if I had to recommend just one, it's the Bright Angel Trail due to its accessibility and because the trail leads to multiple campgrounds, Plateau Point, and the Colorado River. Tips: -Majority of the trail is exposed. Wear sunscreen. -Even though water spigots are located at miles 1.5 and 3, I still recommend bringing your own water. -Trekking poles aren't mandatory, but I recommend it. -Mules and mule trains have the right of way regardless if they are going up or down. -Hikers climbing up have the right of way. -Leave the wildlife alone. No matter how cute the deer and squirrels look, don't feed them. Fact...squirrel bites is the leading animal related injury to park visitors at the Grand Canyon. -Pick up your trash -Wear comfortable clothing and sturdy shoes. -Crowded near the top. -Enjoy the Grand Canyon -Most importantly, be safe! Remember, this is the Grand Canyon and it's a long way down.

hiking
2 months ago

6:40

A little slippery in parts between the trailhead and the 3 mile stop where the snow line is. Well worth it and stunning views especially with the snow.

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