Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point Trail

HARD 151 reviews

Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point Trail is a 11.4 mile lightly 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 best used from March until November.

DISTANCE
11.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3,254 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

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.

hiking
2 days ago

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

hiking
1 month 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!

1 month 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.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this right after Thanksgiving and there was much less people. It was perfect weather for the hike. Disappointed that we couldn't make it to the bridge but we weren't ready for an all day hike.
want to do the rim to rim next time I go.

hiking
1 month ago

Chose this as our one true hike at the Grand Canyon. I don’t regret my decision.

The way down Bright Angel is a breeze. Awesome views during that descent. Coming into Indian Garden is cool too. After Indian Garden the Plateau Point Trail is very exposed and is much hotter than the rest of the trail. Stick with it though and you’ll have great views of the Colorado River. On the way back, it’s cool to see Indian Garden sticking out compared to the rest of the canyon. We stopped there and soaked our feet in the water. The trek up Bright Angel is brutal. I’m in pretty good shape and it was tough. I’ve hiked a lot of trails with similar elevation gain but this one seemed like one of the tougher ones. The sun takes it out of you, and the dusty air seemed to mess with me a bit.


This trail was totally worth it. Bring lots of sunscreen, water, snacks (a solid meal probably), and make sure you’re acclimated properly before hopping. While there are water stations along the trail, I wouldn’t depend on them!

Great hike with great views.

hiking
1 month ago

May 19 2018. Not too hot yet. About 90 degrees at the end of the plateau.
A must see. The river view like none other. You can hear the rapids. Indian Gardens was like something out of a dream. So calm and serene. Nice stream running through.
It took us about 8 1/2 hours to do the round trip. Took lots of photos on the way down. Water available every 1.5 miles. The last 3 miles up were the killer.
This trail is used by the mules so be prepared for flies and stuff on the trail.
great day hike!!!!

2 months ago

Incredible. Be ready for a grueling climb back to the top of Bright Angel Trail.

2 months ago

Excellent pay off with views of the Colorado.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing, but challenging hike. Once you make it to Plateau Point you are treated to an amazing view back towards the south of the canyon. bring plenty of water and check to see which water stations are open.

2 months ago

Easy walk on the way down to the river, unbelievable views that you can’t miss! The walk back is quite difficult and requires you to be in excellent shape! The whole trek took us around 7 hours with breaks and photo ops.

hiking
2 months ago

If you have to choose one day hike at the Grand Canyon, I recommend this one.

As reference, I completed the South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point the day before the Bright Angel Trail.

Difficulty: I thought the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point was easier than the South Kaibab Trail (I might have also paced myself better). The trail flattens out before reaching the Indian Gardens point (4.5 miles). If you're used to walking long distances, the walk from Indian Gardens to Plateau Point and back should be a breeze. The uphill is very gradual, so if you keep a proper pace, you shouldn't need breaks. It took me a little over 5 hours to complete the trail (includes a 20 minute lunch break at the plateau and many short stops to take selfies and landscape shots). The signs at the Visitor Center for the trail overestimate the estimated completion time (8 - 12 hours) for experienced hikers.

Scenery: The ever-so-common views from the Rim Trail evolve as you walk deeper into the canyon. I would say the views are similar to South Kaibab up until you reach Indian Gardens. Once you reach this point, you are in an oasis. Because the trail is relatively flat after this point, you can actually look up and enjoy the scenery without stopping. The greenery with the canyon backdrop is just stunning. I was almost in tears as I walked from the campsite area to the Plateau Point. But oh man... Once you reach the Plateau Point... I couldn't stop myself from swearing. The hike is completely worth it. Spend some time at the point to enjoy a snack or lunch. Every degree of the 360 is beautiful. I'm pretty sure I took pictures of the same view about 20x.

Trail: The trail itself is a dirt path and easy to follow. Just follow the signs once you reach the campsite. There is a point where the trail splits to lead to the Plateau Point or the Phantom Ranch / Columbia River. Beware of the mule dung / urine. I assume there is at least 1 pack of mules traveling up and 1 traveling down each day. This means that there are multiple points throughout the trail that do not smell very good.

Tips: I learned an important lesson on my hike on the South Kaibab Trail the day before. Don't breathe in through your mouth. After hiking in more forest settings, I was not used to the amount of dust that kicks up in the dry setting. I made the mistake of breathing through my mouth the day before, and I ended up chugging way too much water. If your mouth stills feels dry despite breathing through your nose, keep a small amount of water in your mouth to keep your mouth moist. Stay hydrated, but don't chug. Your stomach won't like it.

hiking
2 months ago

Killer day hike. Leave early and spend time at the point. Take snacks or lunch and plenty of water.

3 months ago

wowoowowowowowow that was the coolest thing I did at the Grand canyon, definitely strenuous and took me 7 hours I'm somewhat in shape and I was sore the day after, bring a loooot of water not for beginners I'd say especially in hot weather

hiking
3 months ago

Hard but worth the trek if you are up for it. Beware that even if it’s cool on the rim it will be at least 10 degrees hotter at Indian Gardens and you are almost 100% exposed during the hike on the way up.

hiking
3 months ago

Straight down for the first 4 miles, then flattens out to Plateau Point. Beautiful view of the Colorado River, and probably my favorite perspective of the Grand Canyon... The last 4 mile stretch is very challenging, but definitely worth it for the overall experience. My brother and I went at a fairly good pace, and it took us a little over 4 hours round trip.

4 months ago

Great challenging trail got up early and left at sunrise(19 degrees). Trail to the first rest station was icy. From there the trail was great. Got to plateau point and the weather was awesome and about 55 degrees. Say there had food and drink and had to defend the food from the aggressive squirrels. Would rate this my favorite hike.

hiking
4 months ago

This was the perfect trail for our group to have a great experience in the Grand Canyon. Started at 10 am, took 2:50 out and 2:50 back, plus lunch at Plateau Point. Weather was cool and cloudy on the way back up. Coming back up is no joke, but we found a good pace and it went by quickly. The stations every 1.5 miles broke up the hike very well. Definitely an enjoyable day in the canyon!

hiking
4 months ago

If you are wanting a good day hike that gives you a near spiritual prize at the end, this is the hike for you to take.

I am in moderately good hiking shape, 45 yo and love day hike experiences. The other reviewers nailed it - lots of activity toward the top and down to the first station. A lot thins out from the first to second station, and then down to Indian garden it was almost just me and maybe the same 5 other people.

There was no water at second stop, but there was at the first and at Indian. Rained for the first hour on the way in so the trails were icy and muddy - very glad I had my trek poles with me.

Had rained the night before - a lot. Many folks on their way back up weren’t too pumped but were still positive about the point.

Def bring food and hydro and a great camera. The sound of the river from the point is majestic. Met some really cool people. Love hiking.

The canyon changes so much during the hike - was thankful for the cool weather as I still worked up a good sweat.

Mule deer just enjoying some afternoon lunch in the open area from Indian to the point.

Had a good big breakfast at Henry’s and filled up with water in the bright angel hotel lobby right before I headed down. Took me 8 am to 3 pm with 1 hour at the point. Took a few decent breaks on the way back. Awesome.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike once you get a mile or two down and lose the tourist crowds.

backpacking
4 months ago

Take dinner with you and eat at Plateau Point at sunset. If you’re ever able to be out there during a full moon, you’ll never forget it.

hiking
5 months ago

Sunday, myself and this beautiful girl, with amazing green eyes, spontaneously went up to the Grand Canyon for our first time. Walked the rim for about three miles and found Bright Angel and well, just did it. Awe inspiring views. The traffic was heavy, as well as mule manure with icy trails. Doesn’t matter tho because again, you’re like walking inside of the Grand Canyons belly. Mmm.
Believe me, I wanted to lay face down on the trail, simply throw in my white flag and pass on. However, when you got someone like her...guess what, you keep going!! She was/is a boss and kiiilled it.

Disclaimer: However, unless an experienced hiker, not recommended to do the hike down and up in one day.
-Shout out to the water boy at the hotel by Bright Angel, where we stuffed our mouths with amazing veggie quesadillas and burgers.
Stay true bruh, stay true.

5 months ago

Wonderful view, down and up in 6 hours.

hiking
5 months ago

In my opinion the best way to view the canyon! Bright angel splits near Indian garden 4.5 mi down to continue to plateau point the last 1.5 mi out. Absolutely amazing to walk out into the open of the lower canyon into a 360 view and you can look down at the river once you get to the end viewpoint. It's like it's own planet! I'm a very novice hiker at this point but wanted to go for it at sunrise, and made the 12 mi round trip in just under 8 hours with plenty of breaks including a half hour lunch at the plateau point. Extremely difficult climb back up (especially the last 3+ miles), but highly recommend it to anyone as the view once you get to the plateau is mind blowing

hiking
6 months ago

Quel paysage ! Et le silence dans le canyon est déroutant. On a mis 4h30 pour faire l'aller-retour, rando facile. La montée se fait beaucoup mieux quelle n'en a l'air vue de Plateau point. À noter que les 2 premiers km sont très achalandés, ce qui ralentit le rythme de marche (beaucoup de touristes qui ne respectent pas les règles d'or en sentier)

trail running
6 months ago

Ran down and hiked hard up. Not a technical trail by any means. Would be very hard in the summer heat. It took me just under 4 hours RT. I imagine it would take an AVERAGE hiker 6-8 hours to do this trip.

hiking
6 months ago

6 months ago

this is a beautiful hike. if your using this app, chances are great that you're not in your first ever hike, so this shouldn't be too difficult or time consuming. I did start to finish in five hours with a half hour spent at Plateau Point while I ate a snack, took photos and rested a bit. I stopped at the Indian Gardens on my way down and my way up to rest for about ten minutes, refill my water bottle and use the rest room. it's beautiful there and the camping facilities seem lovely. I am going to plan to camp over night when I go back down with a group of friends. if you're visiting the park and want spectacular views and have limited time to be at the park, take this hike. I am working at the Grand Canyon for a few months and will be doing this hike often because of its relative ease, and beautiful scenery.

hiking
7 months ago

went all the way to plateau point, well worth the effort. We started at 10am and finished at 4:20. Stopped for an hour at plateau point for lunch.

This is a tough day hike and I was starting to get cramped in the last mile. I probably could have avoided that by slowing down the ascend pace.

The view from the plateau point was gorgeous, and I would highly recommend going all the way.

hiking
7 months ago

quite crowded at the top but once you get past 1.5 mile house the congestion is less...pretty views...saw mules taking a couple back up.

hiking
7 months ago

Day hike on a beautiful day late November. Walked down to the Indian gardens and back in 5 hours. It was a cloudy day with 50-60 F temps so we ended up having more water than we needed. Found the hike down the trail more challenging than uphill because I'm scared of heights! But so glad I did this and could've made it to plateau point but had to drive back the same day. Overestimated the uphill hike it's definitely do-able with moderate conditioning prior to hike

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