Indian Garden via Bright Angel Trail

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Grand Canyon National Park

Indian Garden via Bright Angel Trail is a 8.2 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, camping, and backpacking and is best used from September until May.

Distance: 8.2 miles Elevation Gain: 2,942 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

river

views

no dogs

hiking
2 months ago

Such a great hike. World-class. A little icy at the top when we started at 9am on March 9, but that added to the fun. Some of us had poles, some of us just fell on our rear ends. None of us had shoe crampons. Otherwise perfect weather. We were 2 families with 5 kids (who are all good hikers) We clocked it at 5.5 m to Indian Garden, making an 11 m round trip. (some in our group went to Plateau Point which added 3 m) One great thing about this hike is all the water sources. I took only a 20 oz bottle of water (with Crystal Light!) and refilled all along the way. Plus Cheetos, pistachios, energy bites, granola bars, chocolate covered blueberries. That's about it. One fun thing about hiking at this time is that it was Spring Break for a lot of colleges around the country, so we got to visit with students form Baylor, Ohio State, Louisville, Wake Forest, etc etc. The Grand Canyon is a special place for sure.

hiking
3 months ago

This is a great introductory trail to hiking into the canyon if you haven't done so previously, and a good way to test your legs if you aren't 100% sure about hiking all the way to the river & back in the same day. I hiked it on 2/23 and micro spikes were definitely helpful for the first mile or two but then I was able to take them off. Mud was more of an issue than ice. Definitely check out Plateau Point once you reach Indian Garden if you haven't been there before, and take some time to relax & enjoy the wonderful water on tap down at Indian Garden! I brought a book & enjoyed eating my lunch and reading down there.

hiking
icy
3 months ago

Took this trail in February down to Phantom Ranch. Trail can be pretty icy in February. I suggest hiking sticks and ice cleats for the beginning of the trail. The first two miles were very icy, but then a great trail with amazing views! I suggest an early start if going to the bottom. Really enjoyed this trail. Most people take this trail up from the bottom, but we wanted to be going against most of the traffic which worked well for us as we did not have to pass anyone going down. We did run into people coming up Bright Angel.

hiking
icy
3 months ago

Hiked Thursday, February 6th. The first mile and a half was icy on the switch backs. If you are planning on hiking Bright Angel in the next few days, I would recommend using micro spikes and poles, or consider hiking South Kaibab instead, it had less than one hundred yards of icy sections, when I hiked it on Wednesday.

hiking
4 months ago

Trail itself is gorgeous and the views are incredible, just get out early! The early morning part of the hike was amazing and we were lucky enough to get most of the way back out of the canyon before the tourists who have clearly never hiked hit the trails. Well maintained, easy to hike trail well worth the hike.

If you don’t have enough time to do the full bright angel trail then go to plateau point and back. The view is great and the easy walk to plateau point makes a good rest before trekking back up. Recommend using crampons during the winter but recent snow fall it wasn’t necessary but still high useful. Great view from plateau point

hiking
icy
muddy
5 months ago

We hiked in early December and the firsf two miles were mostly covered in snow and ice. You could do without crampons but they definitely helped us on the way down. We are moderately fit and it took us 2hrs to get down and 2h30 to go hike back up. It seems obvious but I think it’s still worth saying that hiking up after having hiked down for 2hrs is much more strenuous than the other way around. Unlike a mountain, where you front load the elevation with “fresh legs” hiking a canyon means the hard work is saved for last. It’s cruel, but oh so beautiful! Also: we were fortunate in terms of crowds. We saw a few hikers (15-20) but nothing like what I expect it to be during the high season.

hiking
7 months ago

great fun!! Spickets/bathrooms every 1.5 m. means you can travel light. we saw mountain goats, which I was not expecting. The trail is super easy to follow and there's lots of alternating shade/sun all the way down. Indian Garden itself isn't that interesting but it's worth it to get a view of the canyon cliffs from so low. Lots of switch backs make the incline easy enough. if you're used to climbing Catskill mountains, this hike is a cake walk since it's about the same amount of climbing, but super easy terrain. I did it during the week and it was still crowded but since the trails were wide, it's really great. if you're huffing and puffing, take a rest and enjoy the views (which are beautiful literally every step of the way down and up.)

hiking
7 months ago

I thought this trail was going to be much harder than it was! In the morning there was plenty of shade, and there rest stops and water every 1.5 miles. The pathway is wider than others we did, and the descent/ascent is pretty consistent. It took us (two active 32 yo) 4.5 hours including breaks for lunch and bathroom.

hiking
7 months ago

Busiest trail in the park, so timing is important to help avoid the crowds. Pacing is key especially after the 3 mile rest-house as fatigue kicks in hard here. Ample breaks and pacing is key to completing this trail. DON'T FEED THE SQUIRRELS THEY ARE OBESE!!!

hiking
7 months ago

First hike down into canyon. Beautiful morning, started down at 9:42. Made it to 3 mile resthouse around Noon. After lunch and break, started back up around 12:45 and reached trailhead at 3:51pm. Experienced some right thigh cramping around 11:30, not drinking enough. Left knee began to sore around 3pm. People friendly on trail from all over US and other countries. Vistas were breathtaking. No problem breathing.

hiking
7 months ago

The views during the hike are absolutely beautiful! We took around 6 h to do it, with a 45 min stop for lunch at Indian Garden and 5 stops in our way up. The hardest part was the last 1.5 mile stretch, pretty steep and full of people. We would do it again!

hiking
7 months ago

We loved this hike and have looked back in shock at the fact that we completed it. Bring plenty of snacks, but don't worry about overloading on water. There are 2 fill stations along the way, so save the room. Indian Garden is beautiful and well worth the hike. Make sure you go early enough to get back by sunset (we made it with like 15 minutes to spare). Highly recommend.

hiking
8 months ago

I enjoyed hiking this. The scenery was as nice as any I’ve experienced. The return ascent was challenging. Looking forward to doing this again.

hiking
8 months ago

do not underestimate getting back out of the canyon! going down is very easy. getting back up, not so much. however, there are water and bathrooms every mile and a half. really fantastic hike. you gain a new appreciation for the canyon going into it.

hiking
9 months ago

Simple and fairly quick going down. BUT, coming back up was super challenging! I was tired early on in my ascent back to top. Quickly became very tired. Hat, water and salty snacks absolutely essential!!

hiking
9 months ago

Don't do this hike if you're in it for the destination Incredible vistas all the way down. Indian Garden is neat but pretty underwhelming, and still tucked too far back into one of the fingers to be a cool perspective on the whole canyon. This hike is much better as a one-nighter in the summer or a day trip in the cooler months so you can make it out to plateau point; the journey aaaand destination will be well worth.

hiking
9 months ago

This was easily one of the most beautiful and brutal hikes I’ve ever done. Get there early to beat the sun on the descent, and make sure you pack plenty of salty snacks because water is not enough. If you’re an experienced hiker, you’ll have a great time and see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. If not, you may end up one of the over 500 people yearly who end up trying to call for a med evac.

hiking
11 months ago

What a awesome hike, its not for the unprepared, take a good look down the switchbacks from 3 mile house and make your best judgement, its not a cakewalk. It does however have water and some shade, if you take advantage of a early start the hike is a epiphany, bring long sleeves and long pants and a head cover the sun is brutal, stop to rest and side step the mule crap.

hiking
11 months ago

Experienced climber and it took 3:45 r/t with a 15 minute stop at Indian Gardens. This is a strenuous down and back hike. Many novice hikers are unprepared for the ascent out of the canyon and the afternoon heat. There are often crowds at the 1.5 and 3.0 mile water areas seeking shade and recovery time. Many people look like they are not accustomed to a mile plus walk on level terrain, never mind a 9.0 mile r/t with big elevation change. Think twice before letting the allure of the Canyon draw you in - it is beautiful but, as they say, descending is optional, ascending is mandatory and no one is going to carry you out!

hiking
11 months ago

Well maintained, and a beautiful way to experience the Canyon on a day hike. The garden is absolutely stunning and well worth the trek. I have also camped there, and loved the night of rest after climbing up from Phantom Ranch. The trail has clean resthouses and some shade, but make sure to check and see if the water pipe is available. I did not check and discovered water was off at the 1.5 mile resthouse on my way out. Beware of distracted tourists for the last half mile to the top. Many don't move out of the way and can create hazardous conditions. Rangers and volunteers frequent the trail and were very helpful to a few of our group members who needed an extra hand. A few trail angels provided electrolytes and salt to our group and we are forever grateful. Please be prepared for this hike. The garden is alluring and I can see how it distracts hikers and gets them into trouble. Getting down there is easy. Climbing out is no joke. Start early and plan to be out before well before noon, especially in the warm months.

hiking
Mon May 20 2019

Really fantastic! So rewarding to see the canyon from this perspective and the cool Creek in Indian Garden is a welcome relief for rest before you head back up, up up. Hard and potentially crowded on the first 1.5 - think tourist in tennis shoes who don’t all get that you should yield the right of way to weary hikers trying to keep momentum on the way back up. We hiked in May 8am start. My first down then up hike- different for sure! Trekking poles really helped. Weather was cool. Packed lots of water- more than I thought I would need. Excellent rest houses at 1.5 and 3.0 mile marks and of course good facilities at 4.5 mile point at Indian Garden. Use the rest houses to assess how you are doing on way down in case you need to lessen your plan. We walked around IG a bit for lunch so our mileage was longer than stated. On the way up, it was warmer and we strategically stopped every .5 miles for a small rest and drinking. All in finished up around 3:20 pm. Burnt calves for 2 days following. Would do it again for the beauty.

hiking
Wed May 01 2019

Great hike! We did this on Sunday. Need plenty, plenty of water. One thing nice is when you get to the garden, there is a water spout to refill. We took camelbacks and honestly I would recommend one that holds a gallon of water. Very easy going downhill, but watch out....,,,coming back up you’ll need to take many, many breaks. This was our first hike of the season and really kicked our butts, but we were glad we did. We’re in our 40s and 50s. Legs ache since you’re having to take long step ups here and there, and unless hiking, you’re not lifting your legs up high. We went a mile or two passed the garden. Took us 7 hours to complete. We started around 8am and finished up around 3pm. Great workout for sure! Burned double the calories. Bring Gatorade or something similar as well! There’s a nice place at the garden to eat your lunch with lots of shade and picnic tables.

Mon Apr 15 2019

felt like a theme park with the massive amount of tourists on the trail. however, views were spectacular of course and the garden was also awesome. pack water and go early to avoid the Disneyland-like crowds

hiking
Mon Apr 08 2019

Beautiful trail! Started at around 08:30 and finished round trip around 15:30. We had lunch in Indian Garden for about an hour. This was my first hike ever and it was absolutely breath taking! On the way back up we experienced a little rain and the beginning of the trail became muddy. Definitely recommend starting this trail early in the morning to avoid crowds.

hiking
Tue Mar 19 2019

Beautiful, easy to follow, large trail. Can get crowded

hiking
Fri Jan 04 2019

I have done this trail 5 times.. mostly with visitors from Costa Rica. It is the most hard hike I have done! Last time I trained for about 7 to 8 weeks, hiking every day and doing yoga. The outcome was much more pleasant and finished with a smile on my face. I absolutely love the Grand Canyon and I am preparing for the whole ride to the bottom and up!

Sat Oct 27 2018

Absolutely fantastic. With every step. I should point out that I’m not usually hiking but I can’t imagine it gets any better then this. I however want to make a remarks about all the previous reviews. When reading them I got really scared and almost didn’t do the hike. In reality the hike wasn’t that tough. I’m 57 years old and me and my wife started 09;00 AM. We hit Indian Garden by 10:30 and had a 10 min break. We went back up to 3 mile point and had lunch. We were back at the rim at 1:00 PM. The hiking time was 3 hours 20 min and rest time was 40 min. I fully understand that we had temperatures at start around 50F and ending around 60F and that makes a huge difference. However, my point is that unless it is 104F you don’t have to start that early and you can easily do the hike in 4 hours including breakers.

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