Bright Angel Trail to Bright Angel Campground and River Trail

hard 1293 reviews

Bright Angel Trail to Bright Angel Campground and River Trail is a 28.5 kilometer 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, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from September until May.

Distance: 28.5 km Elevation Gain: 1,526 m Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

no shade

no dogs

hiking
2 days 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
4 days 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!

25 days 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
28 days 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
1 month 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

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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.

hiking
icy
1 month ago

Hiked down to the Colorado River and back on 12/28. Very cold and snowy at the top so microspikes helped. We took Bright Angel both ways because of the slick conditions on South Kaibab. I’m in my first trimester and wanted to be able to easily turn around if I needed. It felt long for me given my hormones/etc. but definitely doable if you have done anything similar before. It took us around 8 hours with a few short breaks. Only water at Indian Garden or filtering from Colorado/lower small creeks. Absolutely beautiful in the snow. -6 degrees at top when we started, 35 degrees at bottom in afternoon

1 month ago

Snow is packed and solid Dec 28, 2019. Not any need for crampons, just good hiking shoes. Lots of tourists in mid-afternoon, get there early.

hiking
1 month ago

I’m just getting around to posting my experience on this trail which took place on 12/1. I’m 74 but fairly fit. This trek down to Phantom Ranch (overnight with both dinner and a great breakfast) was near the top of my capabilities. Trekking poles and crampons are a must with all the snow. We should have started down much earlier than 10:30 am so as to see all that the Phantom Ranch offered. We arrived and left in the dark. The trail is well marked and presented no concern of being too close to the edge where one might fall over the side. Now I want to go back and take time to really enjoy this magnificent wonder!

Recommend hiking poles if you have them. It‘s a little icy at the top, but once you get down to about 5500’ you will have a lot more traction. Great views! Even during a foggy day we still got some awesome pictures.

hiking
no shade
1 month ago

Only one water station was open when we hiked in November, and there were several restrooms. The trail gets very busy in the afternoon so the earlier you can start the better. It’s a fairly strenuous single day hike for an experienced hiker, but absolutely gorgeous.

Round trip to the river in just over 6 hours. Started at 10:15, back at 4:30. The first two miles this morning were icy, then smooth sailing to the river. The hike back from Indian Garden to 3 mile was wet with some tricky water crossings to avoid getting wet feet. No lie, the last three miles are grueling.

muddy
snow
1 month ago

packed snow and icy spots down to 1.5mi rest house. many muddy areas from snow melt, but nothing serious. I didn't use traction, but yaktrax would be helpful if you're not using sticks. there's water at the rest stops and campgrounds. awesome hike, plenty of views & animals! start early!

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