Bright Angel Trail to Bright Angel Campground and River Trail

HARD 330 reviews

Bright Angel Trail to Bright Angel Campground and River Trail is a 19 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
19.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5708 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

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2 days ago

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19 days ago

We started bright angel trail in the scorching heat of July. It had reached about a 110 degree Fahrenheit. We started at about 10 or so - delayed by a part of the group stopping for a heavy breakfast. All the way down, our one thought was whether we will be able to make it back up after such a long hike down in this heat. We reached Indian Garden where we had a major decision to make - whether to head all the way down to the river or go to a nearer destination of Plateau Point with a much better view. 6 of us decided to head down the river, 2 of us headed to Plateau Point, while the other 2 waited at Indian Garden for us to return.

By the time we reached the river, it was heaven for us. The cold water to wash away the scorching heat burning up our skin. A second in water would freeze you, while a second outside would burn you. After whiling away some time at the river and cooling our water bottles in the river, we headed to a nearby shelter where we cooked some Mountain House food packets. The heat at this time was unbearable, so we decided to wait it out and start later when it gets milder even if it meant we would reach at midnight. This turned out to be a brilliant decision as on the other hand, the guys at Plateau Point suffered horribly in the scorching heat with no shade and they decided to head up immediately - frustrated. They fell sick.

We made good time and were able to easily walk up. Although the first hour was still a torture with the sun beating on you. A few times, I felt dizzy and had to take a lot more breaks than I usually do. But eventually, it got cooler and easier. By dark, there was another family who joined us since they didnt have headlamps. This is where we saw another group making the mistake of starting back from the river in the scorching heat. One of them was in terrible shape and we helped them along the way with water and energy bars.

All in all, this was a hell of a learning experience and a true test of character. I hope to be able to express the same in this video. Check it out if interested.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Le3epEPiIhA

Had such a blast hiking this trail! Can’t wait to do it all over again!

1 month ago

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1 month ago

The most beautiful and brutal environment in the park system.

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1 month ago

Iconic hike! Although it's not recommended, this hike is doable in one day. Make sure to remember, however, that going done at the start it's easy. Don't get to confident as you still have to return back up. An early start will help on your long day ahead.

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

Awesome trail. Didn't do the whole thing but I would definitely come back and do this trail again. Kind of crowded near the trailhead but it gets better as you go down.

1 month ago

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2 months ago