Bright Angel Trail to Three-Mile Resthouse

MODERATE 244 reviews

Bright Angel Trail to Three-Mile Resthouse is a 5.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
5.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2083 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

From Grand Canyon village take the Bright Angel trail down to the resthouse.

17 hours ago

Absolutely beautiful views of the Canyon!! But we did it yesterday and it was 100f around noon and the heat made it really hard even for experienced hikers. Bring a lot of water and wet yourself (head and shirt) at the water points on the trail.

hiking
1 day ago

We did this trail mid June with 3 kids ages 17, 11 and 5. It was a beautiful hike down and numerous places to get amazing photos. The downside is it is VERY crowded and steep with sharp dropoffs. Sometimes this posed a challange with our group of 5. We hike quite a bit and my 5 year old daughter can complete a pretty strenuous 5 miles in the mountains where we live but we only made it to the 1.5 mile rest stop (3 miles round trip) The hike back up was over 2000 elevation change and took us almost 3 times as long and was exhausting. Glad we did it but wish we started earlier in the morning to prepare for the struggle back up. All my kids said they were glad we did it but not ready to attempt it again anytime soon. A parent tip: I kept a strap on either side of my pack with a padded large carabiner my daughter held onto as handels and helped her quite a bit catch her balance when she occasionally did slip or slide on the loose gravel. Also gave me piece of mind knowing where she was with such sharp dropoffs so I could enjoy the scenery as well.

hiking
4 days ago

We hiked this Thanksgiving 2017. 28 degrees at rim but warmed to mid 70's by the time we got down to our destination at noon (6 miles down). I had a hard time on the first 1.5 miles as that is the steepest and i was so afraid of slipping on loose rocks. I conditioned for 6 months to prepare for the hike out but was not prepared for the descent!
We totally expected to be up and out before dark but only made it back to the 1.5 mile house by dusk. What a beautiful sunset! Thank goodness we packed head lamps and flashlights for just in case!
The stars were big and bright as the sky was clear! What a view! Words cannot describe it.
Even though we could not walk right for 3 days following this hike, I would do it all again! Amazing experience!

10 days ago

This is a MUST. We hiked this trail with 2 (fearless) kids (7 and 10) at the end of February, first thing in the morning. It was still snowy, icy, slippery most of the way down to the rest house— BUT it wasn’t crowded at all. Trail is narrow and you’re definitely walking down the canyon (could make some parents feel nervous especially with the snow and ice- umm, not me, no way, LOL). Plan on the hike up taking about twice as long as the way down. We will never forget this trail, this trip, the whole experience- highly recommended for those who want a little taste of going into the canyon.

hiking
25 days ago

We hiked 2.5 miles into the Canyon. Views were amazing and very different from the views from the Canyon edge. We were overwhelmed by the sheer cliffs above us and the way the Canyon looked so different from how it looked from above. Trail wasn’t terrible - the walk back was tough but not impossible at all. Just pack a camelback and fill it at the refill stations and you will be fine.

hiking
30 days ago

Pretty busy trail at the trail head to the first 1.5 mile stop. Then thins out and becomes a really great hike. We only made it down to the three mile stop before we turned around do to time, but the scenery is amazing!! Hike back up is harder for sure. Double the time down. Took us total of about 4 hours to complete stopping to take pictures and a couple rest stops. Water fill spots are really nice, but bring some snacks too. Next time will be prepared to go to the bottom!!

hiking
1 month ago

I would recommend starting early in the morning between 6–7am. First, it can get very hot as you descend into the canyon. You want to start the return trip before the afternoon heat sets in. Second, if you leave early you can avoid the crowds from the tour buses. It’s a stunning hike. I don’t think it deserves a ‘hard’ rating but that’s relative. Bring plenty of water, a hat and sunscreen.

1 month ago

Amazing views the whole way down! Don’t be deceived by the short mileage, this hike can be tough on the way back especially if you don’t go early in the morning. There are water bottle filling stations every 1.5 miles though!

hiking
1 month ago

My wife and I just did this hike. Amazing views. A bit challenging to go back up, yet overall experience was great. We did it in 3h20m at a very slow pace, taking lots of pics along the way.

hiking
2 months ago

We did the hike only up to the 1.5 mile point plus a little bit further, before turning back. The views are amazing, lots of switchbacks to drink up the views and you’ll be able to get some great pictures

As noted by others, the view doesn’t change that much all the way through but it is such a breath taking view so I personally really enjoyed it

We also did the South Kaibab trail hike which had more variations of views (but not as ‘breath taking’ imho). So recommend doing South Kaibab if you can only do one, but highly recommend both

PS. Hopi Point is very close by via the red shuttle, this is rated apparently as the best place to see sunset, can confirm it was awesome!

2 months ago

We started our hike just after 9AM and made it to the 3 mile point around 11. The way down is easy, the way up is definitely challenging! We made it back around 130PM. We brought about 3 liters of liquids (2 liters of water and 2 Gatorades). We wore layers, wore a long sleeve and vest on the way down and just wore a t-shirt on the way up. Definitely a great way to see the canyon! We went on a Sunday and there were a decent amount of people but I wouldn’t consider it really crowded, so I’m assuming the people who commented that it was too crowded went on a Saturday or are used to trails without a lot of people.

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely overcrowded until you pass the 1.5 mile point. It is fairly steep, I finished this hike is 3.5 hours (45 minutes stopping for lunch included). There was no water in April. It does have a temperature variation, so layers are key. I also finished 3 liters of water and was out as soon as I got back to the top, so if you’re wanting to go farther than this, pack LOTS of water. Recommend trekking poles for the way up. Also, the common tourist population has no regard for hikers- so be prepared to feel like people are pushing you off the trail from walking side by side in pairs of 3.

hiking
2 months ago

Not my favorite hike on the South Rim. I think South Kaibab Trail is better. The trailhead is connected to the Rim Trail and is easily accessible which makes this trail crowded. I only went to the 1.5 mike resthouse. This trail is steeper than the South Kaibab Trail in my opinion. The view is all the same throughout this trail. This trail gets 3 stars because of the crowdedness.

3 months ago

Great trail and it will give you a good workout and views of the canyon. Hiked it March 21st. You will want crampons because from the trailhead to the 1.5 mile resthouse had a lot of ice, even 9:30 to 11am. Still encountered some steep ice on the trail at 2pm. Top of the trail is pretty crowded and slick, watch out for people with flat shoes falling into you on the ice. After the 1.5 mile resthouse there are a lot less people.

3 months ago

Apparently I’m out of shape because it was hard!!! Beautiful hike, wouldn’t do it in summer.

hiking
3 months ago

Love this trail! Lots of switchbacks, fabulous views all the way down and back, and a great cardio workout. It took me 3 hours total. I wouldn't want to hike this trail in any of the hot summer months.

hiking
3 months ago

My husband and I hiked to the 3 mile rest house and back. I hiked this trail on a December morning (highs in the 50s) and needed 1.5L of water. In my personal opinion, South Kaibab has better sweeping views, but Bright Angel gets you up close to the various layers of rock.

If you are trying to decide whether to hike down the 1.5 or 3 miles, I’d suggest turning around at 1.5. I think the experience from 1.5 to 3 wasn’t much different than the first 1.5 miles. The 6-mile length made this more of a strenuous hike for me.

4 months ago

This hike is a perfect way to get a good work out and take in spectacular and vast views of the canyon without completely tiring yourself out or eating up your entire day. There was still some ice at the beginning of the trail. Those parts were quite slick, but they were less than 25 ft. I was wearing hiking boots, but my partner did just fine in treaded sneakers.

hiking
4 months ago

Lots of ice/snow and people with tennis shoes on, I slipped many times in good hiking boots. A hike not for the faint of heart right now. But absolutely breathtaking and beautiful.

hiking
4 months ago

made it to the 2nd tunnel. amazing views the further you hike down into the canyon! loads of people and even mules. watch out for the mule poop!

hiking
4 months ago

made it to the 2nd tunnel. amazing views the further you hike down into the canyon! loads of people and even mules. watch out for the mule poop!

5 months ago

Great hike! Superb views. Made to mile and a half outpost with a super intrepid 3 1/2 year old and 7 year old.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike, though the hike back up can be a little challenging. Good views of the inside of the canyon though.

hiking
6 months ago

Great trail to experience part of the canyon below the rim. Bring water! No ice on the trail mid-December. Mild weather

hiking
6 months ago

Great hike and great way to see the canyon from inside. Only went to the 1.5 mile resthouse as we didn't have time to go all the way to the 3 mile. Glad we turned around! Being from the East Coast, not quite used to the higher elevation so coming back up was quite the test! Take many breaks and you'll be okay! It was mid-November so much cooler than it will be in the summer, we had quite a few layers to begin but shed as we went along.

hiking
6 months ago

Did this on Wednesday 11/22/17 starting down at 9 am. Weather was freezing at rim and we shed our layers by 1.5 stop. Took plenty of water including BCAA powder and taped heels, calves and lower back with KT tape. My husband and I actually went all the way to Plateau Point but when we got to 3 mile rest house, i was ready to stop. This is pretty steep and my legs were wobbly from the hike down!! I conditioned my legs (incline) for several months in preparation for the climb out but i was not prepared for the descent. I recommend you do a lot of lunges to prepare your legs! View is awesome but I spent a lot of time looking down at the trail to watch my step....rocks, mule droppings, etc. Stop to look up! :) There was NO WATER at the 1.5 or the 3 mile rest house! Indian Garden (1.5 mile further) was only place with water. Going up was a little easier on me but not my husband. The last half mile gong up was much harder than I thought it would be. Pace yourself and take lots of breaks! Stay hydrated! 4 days later, my legs are still sore...but...it was awesome!!

hiking
6 months ago

This was particularly tough due to the steep drop offs on the sides. This made the hike a bit less enjoyable as i have a healthy fear of heights and have two kiddos with me.

Not one of my favorite hikes.

hiking
7 months ago

Late post. Catching up from 10/17. Great solo hike to 1.5 rest house. I met some fantastic people and was inspired by many who were coming up the finish mile from the rim to rim adventure - particularly an rather senior gentleman and his sons? Dude, if you can do all that then I can certainly survive Kaibob Ooh ah point and this short Bright Angel hike in one day.

hiking
7 months ago

Perfect trail and great views!

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike! The views of the canyon are amazing. We hiked the trail in October and the weather was perfect.

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