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 is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from September until May.

DISTANCE
5.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,083 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

backpacking

hiking

nature trips

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

no dogs

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

1 day ago

Fantastic trail. There is a restroom at the bottom of trail and water from a spigot. Pick your clothes carefully. You will heat up a lot as you go back up. I hiked October and it was about 50 degrees during the daytime. It warmed up around 11am. I wore underwear, a t-shirt , thermals and thick hiking pants, plus a jacket. It was too much and generally I am cold. I would recommend underwear only, hiking socks, light weight hiking pants, a t-shirt or hiking shirt and a jacket. Take 1 liter of water for each person and that would be enough. My friends said they could be content with shirt and sweatshirt but I liked taking the jacket off as needed and extra warmth early in the morning and going down. We took about 2.5 hours for down and up. Bring a snack if you get hungry on hikes. My data device said I burned 1350 calories. Lots of people crossed the North Rim back to South and it was nice talking to them. The start of this trail is in the Grand Canyon Village very close to the Arizona Room Restaurant. There is parking nearby. On this trail there are no large animals, but we did see a squirrel. For shoes do not recommend boots. I recommend "approach shoes" with a wire band that ties around the ankle. All pros will know what this is but if you don't the last eyelets are connected to a wire inside the heal material. As you tighten down on the last eyelets it will lock the ankle and heal into the shoe and as your going down your foot will be prevented from sliding forwards. The purpose is to prevent your toes from getting injured and keep you seated properly. The soil is mostly firm so medium thickeness tread is enough.

5 days ago

Awesome Trail. Would have loved to hike further if we didn’t have time restraints. Took us about 2.5 hours. The way up was obviously a workout. It was snowing by the time we got back up. Saw a ram and a couple goats. It was also super foggy at the top, like no visibility. We contemplated not doing the hike but we got under the fog so it turned out okay.

hiking
7 days ago

Great views the whole way and a lot of wildlife out! Saw a ram and a few tarantulas in Mid October. Walk down was very easy and the hike back up was moderately difficult. There are two main stops for water and plenty of ledges for resting.

8 days ago

late 30s, Fat (280-6ft) out of shape, backpacked and hiked probably 10 years ago..

Easy going down.. Murder coming up. did this OCT 13th 2018. weather was great

hiking
26 days ago

This is a beautiful hike where you get to see the layers of geology through the years along the walls surrounding you. It is quite popular and although relatively easy to go down, remember you must go back up. I was worried about my fitness level so I will describe it later in the review for those who are also worried. It's hotter in temperature as you go lower. We both brought 1.8 liters of water in our packs and had to refill on the way back up. Beef jerky and rx bars are enough for your snack at the bottom at the rest house at 3 mile. Fitness level needs: I'm in moderately good fitness and am not overweight but certainly not "skinny" or "fit." I'm not too diligent about going to the gym but walk for a few hours every day. I'm also 35 years old - if that matters to those who want to gauge their fitness for this hike. I found the hike back up very do-able. You definitely get in the zone and accept that you will have an elevated heart rate, take breaks if you need to, and will be hot. Luckily it is quite dry there, (obviously) and your sweat doesn't stay on your body so it's not too uncomfortable. Note that there seemed to be less shade once it was past noon, so that's something to consider. Again, water, water, water. I brought blister blocks and band-aids, and needed them, as my heels and toes blistered on the way back up, despite my broken in boots and inserts. However, my feet tend to blister more than most.

hiking
2 months ago

I'm not going to beat a dead horse here but for those of you that are not in shape are overweight and don't do a lot of hiking this is not the hike for you because I'm the poster boy for those three categories and it kicked my rear end today. I'm 5 6 230 lb and I'm an equipment operator and lazy so I don't get much exercise at all. it killed me on the way up just saying

3 months ago

Pretty easy going down but hard coming back up

hiking
3 months ago

my brother (16) and I (18) did this trail a couple days ago when it was 100 degrees. We only went to the 1.5 mile house due to time restrictions and a park ranger telling us we didn’t have enough salty snacks, but it was probably a smart idea to turn around there anyway as the hike up is definitely more challenging. There were many people on the trail, but the number diminished as we continued farther. It took us about 2 hours to do the hike. Great views and good exercise! None of it is too too difficult to climb up - I definitely recommend this hike!

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing hike! Beautiful.

hiking
3 months ago

Great introduction to canyon as you head down a few miles. Lots of switchbacks, but they weren't too bad and not many people on the trail, albeit it was December and it was cold.

4 months 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
4 months 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 months 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!

4 months 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
4 months 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
4 months 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
5 months ago

Started at 10:40 AM and reached back to the top at 12:20 PM. Going down is easy, but the climb back can be strenuous. Pace yourself.
The view is pretty much the same, but still amazing. The temptation to go all the way down to the river high! However, since I am a beginner, I decided to follow the “don’t go down and back up to the time on the same day” advice and I don’t regret it.
I saw a guy that did just that an he was having a lot of trouble on the way up. Granted, he was over weight and did not carry enough water either.
Clearly, planning properly is important. Enjoy!

hiking
5 months 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.

5 months 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
5 months 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
6 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!

6 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
6 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
6 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.

6 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.

7 months ago

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

hiking
7 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
7 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.

8 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
8 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.

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