Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point Trail

HARD 187 reviews

Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point Trail is a 12.2 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 and backpacking and is best used from September until May.

DISTANCE
12.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,156 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

Plateau Point Trail - Grand Canyon National Park is a 1.6 mile point-to-point trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that offers scenic views. The trail is good for all skill levels and primarily used for hiking.

2 days ago

Awesome hike! Began at 7 when it was still dark. Made it to the point at around 1030. We took a break at almost every stop along the way (there's a rest house every 1.5 miles) because my knees bother me going downhill. Spikes for shoes are recommended during winter but there were people doing it (and slipping) without them. Made it back to the top around 1:30 in the afternoon. Don't underestimate the hike back up. My legs were dead by the time we reached the top. Worth it for the great view of the Colorado River at the plateau.

8 days ago

1/14/19- awesome day hike. Traveled with my sister the entire path to plateau point. Absolutely worth the views. Left at 8AM, made it to the point at 10:30. Returned at 2pm. The trip down is easy, but the return is very difficult with the elevation gain. Overall totally worth it!

hiking
16 days ago

1/5/19 - Awesome hike. Gorgeous views through its entirety. Crampons or yaktracks or some type of traction is recommended for sure and saved me the hassle of slipping on some of the packed powder/ice we trekked through although it wasn’t deep and I saw many people doing it without them I still think it made the hike easier. A few wildlife (deer/elk) sightings near the Indian gardens and beyond that on the way to plateau point. Although some jerk/idiot decided to approach the big buck trying to get a closer picture in which I can’t stand and had some choice words for him...nevertheless the views at plateau point were amazing and the Colorado river was flowing hard which was also awesome to see. The hike back up was pretty strenuous mostly because your legs are tired from hiking about 6.5 miles down into the canyon so obviously you have to go 6.5 miles back up haha. But the trail is very obvious and easy to follow. But in total I went with a buddy who was a little slower than my usual pace we finished out and back in 6hours 22 minutes with about 20-30 minutes at plateau point for sandwiches and a beer.

24 days ago

Beautiful hike. Worth the effort. I’d recommend giving yourself 5-6 hours. The further down the canyon you go the less and less people there are so don’t be deterred if when you first start out there are too many people on the trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Plateau Point is absolutely worth the added 3 miles from Indian Garden. Highlight of the trip.

Great trail, very difficult, but so so worth it. I would start off early so you can have plenty of time to enjoy the view at the end and also leave plenty of time to climb back up. We are 4 healthy young adults and it took us close to 8 hours.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome Trail for those looking to do a day hike down into the canyon but not go all the way to Phantom Ranch. Going down is pretty easy as you go straight down but be prepared because going back up is straight up (3000-ish elevation gain!) But the point overlooks the Colorado river and it’s STUNNING. I did this with my boyfriend (I’m 28 and he’s 35) and we are avid hikers. Took us about 5 hours and we started at 7 am. My only recommendation is if you visit in the winter (we were here on 12/17) to bring spikes as going down was a tad dicey at sunrise. Otherwise a GREAT hike!

hiking
1 month ago

Wonderful trail that is both challenging and awe inspiring. Excellent choice for someone to take their first hike into the Grand Canyon.

1 month ago

Great trail, didn’t get all the way to the plateau but still it was a great experience with great views

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, train in excellent condition, lots of water and restrooms available. We did it in 5.5 hrs, started noon and returned back at 5:30. Bring headlamp, food and warm clothes if going late.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful!
Hiked in Thanksgiving week. started at sunrise, 7am, back up by 3pm. Plenty of water available along the way, and restrooms.

2 months ago

Awesome trail only got to 3rd mile marker will definitely start earlier next time!

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome trail, view from the point is well worth the time spent getting there. Restrooms and water multiple places along the way. The view from the top is great, but there’s nothing like experiencing it from within the canyon.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked from the rim to the plateau point and back in late October in around 7 hours. We got a late start at 10:45, and got back to rim right after sundown at around 5:45pm. We spent around 45 minutes at the lookout point for lunch.

Well maintained, water every 1.5 miles. Our mileage counter said 14 miles, not 12. Incredible views. The first 3-ish miles were fairly busy, but it really thinned out once you're past the second rest stop. There were a few people hanging out at the viewpoint as well. The last bit of the hike is very open and exposed (hot). Remember to drink water; ended up coming out of the canyon dehydrated which made for a miserable hike up.

2 months ago

Very well maintained trail, and gorgeous/awe-inspiring to boot. I highly overestimated my water to carry (there are water spouts every 1.5mi until the junction to the plateau) and underestimated my carb intake. You will be burning a lot of calories, so carry the necessary food to replace that energy before you've used it all. This is especially true for the hike out, which is a huge calorie-burn due to the elevation gain.

This is the longest "recommended" day hike in Grand Canyon, however I was able to complete in and back in six hours as a relatively in-shape person. Hiking into and out of the canyon is about knowing your body: your water and energy needs, as well as your physical limits. As long as you prepare and wear plenty of sunscreen, you will have an amazing time! Expect to spend time marveling at the canyon and Colorado River from the plateau!

backpacking
3 months ago

Amazing views and a well maintained trail. Bright Angel trail is heavy trafficked. After the three mile mark the traffic thins. Indian Garden campground has bathrooms, water and nice campsites...The Colorado river comes into view once you’ve reached the Plateau Point!

hiking
3 months ago

The best trail.
13 miles round trip - not 11.4

hiking
3 months ago

I want to start off by saying this was the very first time I’ve ever gone to the Grand Canyon and the Bright Angel trail is definitely recommended. Either for shirt day hikes or an all day affair, it’s well maintained, there’s bathrooms/resthouses and water EVERY 1.5 miles down during the summer months. I went the last week in May 2018 and I started at 5am, returned at 3pm. I want to warn you that I consider myself an experienced hiker but half my group turned around at the 3 mile reststop and even that was enough for most of them. The other half of the group I was a part of made it to Indian Gardens by 9 and continued to Plateau Point. On the way back we hung out at Indian Gardens for lunch and decided to hike mid day....not the best decision. It’s about 10° hotter within the Canyon than the Rim so even tho it seemed to be 80° that day, it felt like over 90°. There was an a ranger telling us to wait til after 2pm to continue. Anyways, we were persistent and the hike up had little shade and was brutal. I believe the entire trail is almost 12 miles (there and back) and was the longest I have ever done up to that point.

Overall tho we survived to tell the tale and definitely earned some bragging rights! Anyone who’s done this hike can say the same!

Some things to consider:

-This is a good hike for somewhat experienced hikers IF and only IF they are smart about it.
-Don’t start any later than 6am, if you do don’t even try going past the 3 mile point or Indian gardens if your inexperienced
-I had hiking poles (bought specifically for this trail), hydration pack, electrolyte water, and another huge water bottle.
-I packed salty and sugary snacks, granola/energy bars, and a lunch with double the amount of carbs I would normally eat as a normal meal.
-This hike is INTENSE if you’re not prepared and inexperienced. DONT UNDERESTIMATE the hike down!!! It’s easy. For anyone. Hiking back up is the tough part and by then you’re already tired....remember that
-Bring layers and soak your clothes with water at every stop to keep cool

Other than that I truly enjoyed this and is an excellent hike for groups and experienced hikers! Just remember to hike smart and you’ll have the best time!

3 months ago

the best view in Grand Canyon!

hiking
3 months ago

Every hike in the Grand Canyon is utterly fabulous. This one ranks in my top 3, along with the S. Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point and the Hermit Trail to Dripping Springs. All three show you different aspects of the GC and are stunningly beautiful.

This trail is probably the widest and best maintained trail of the three, with water stations and restrooms every 1.5 miles or so. This makes it easier to hike with less water. The hike is strenuous, but it is not as steep as the S. Kaibab trail. If you intend to hike only once into the Canyon, this is the one I'd recommend the most. Absolutely stunning and gorgeous.

hiking
3 months ago

we didn't go all the way down because many said would take much longer to go back up. I do suggest planning it to take longer, but only took my wife and I about 2 minutes per mile longer. the 7 miles we did (turned around after the 3 mile hut) took just under 4 hours. was an amazing hike. we both wish we had gone all the way to the plateau. maybe next time.

hiking
3 months ago

Utterly fabulous. Borderline spiritual. Immensely satisfying.
The hike itself is certainly challenging, but - for those in good shape and blessed with good sense - it's a 7 to 8 hour tour de force. Be prepared (appropriate footwear, sunscreen, 2 to 3 liters of water, snacks on snacks on snacks), be sensible (start early, stay hydrated and properly fueled) and be reasonably cautious (take breaks, mind the terrain, yield to mules). The degree of difficulty will obviously vary from section to section, but no portion of the trail (in my humble hiker's estimation) qualifies as insidiously difficult.
Be sure to give yourself time to pause and be awed. The variety of landscapes, lightscapes, vegetation and vistas will take your breath away. (Assuming you've stopped to catch it... Ha, ha)
You'll be hard pressed to find a more majestic hike. Your topside victory beer will taste like ambrosia. Bright Angel to Plateau Point is an absolute gem. The World's Biggest Hole straight up delivers.
Get out there!

hiking
4 months ago

Fabulous!
Did the hike on 9/12/18
The downhill was a killer on the old knees .gorgeous!

hiking
4 months ago

If you are looking for a hike that will challenge you, this is it! Great scenery. Going down wasn’t too bad- coming up was a challenge. The views from plateau point are definitely worth it.
Our fit bits told us we did 14 miles and it took us 8 hours to go down and back up. Water stations along the way in the summer to refill.
Heavily trafficked at the top and moderately trafficked on the bottom.

hiking
5 months ago

Awesome hike to plateau point. We hiked to Indian Garden campground and stayed the night and hiked to Plateau Point in the morning before starting our ascent up the canyon. I would recommend doing this after hiking down the canyon as the hike up the canyon is very difficult. The last 1.5 miles, which is definitely longer, is the most strenuous and difficult part.

5 months ago

Beautiful day hike. Plenty of rest stops and water stations along the way. Highly recommend if at the South Rim and you're looking for a great and challenging day hike.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike and definitely worth it! Started about 45 minutes before sunrise and I highly recommend this during the summer time. We started hiking around 4:15 and made it back up around 10:30. Was just starting to get hot as we finished. There are water spouts 1.5 miles and 3 miles into the route and also one down in Indian Garden (about 5.5 miles in). Indian garden is way cooler than the unshaded area around it. Be prepared for the sun and heat because there is no shade the rest of the way to Plateau Point

hiking
6 months ago

Did this 4 or 5 years ago and can't wait to go back

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing hike, did not go to plateau point - so next time! Hiked June 7th. 8:00 am start / too late for heat, next time will do a 5-6 am start. bring two trekking poles, hydro pack 2-3 liters and give yourself time at Indian Garden to eat and digest (min 30-45 min) before hiking back in the heat, lesson learned!

7 months ago

Great way to explore the Grand Canyon. Some of the best views I've had while hiking. Bring a lot of water and plan for a time consuming hike as scaling the switchbacks back up to South rim after making your way out to Plateau Point can be pretty strenuous.

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