What should I know about the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon?
The Bright Angel Trail is one of the most popular trails in the Grand Canyon. It's longer than the South Kaibab Trail, and that means it's not as steep as the Kaibab. The hardest parts of this trail are the switchbacks near the top, which are a grueling way to finish the hike, and the switchbacks down to the Colorado River.
There is also drinking water available along this trail (although you should still carry your own supply of water, too). There's a natural resting point at the oasis of Indian Gardens, where you'll find a campground, ranger station, shade, water, and a small creek. At the bottom of the canyon, near Phantom Ranch, is Bright Angel Campground.
The day hike trail to Plateau Point also leads off the Bright Angel Trail from Indian Gardens. Indian Gardens is about 4.5 miles down the Bright Angel Trail, and it takes about 2 hours to reach the area, and about 4.5 hours to hike back out from Indian Gardens.
There is a downside to the Bright Angel Trail. It's so popular; it's the most congested trail in the canyon. The mule trips all use the Bright Angel too, and there are several mule "watering holes" along the trail (use your imagination here), that are difficult to avoid. Mules tend to use the same spot to relieve themselves over and over, so these holes can get pretty rank. This trail to the river is also longer, and so it's a more time-consuming way to reach the river and Phantom Ranch.
If you're not in good shape, don't attempt to hike any of the trails in the canyon. Walk a few hundred feet below the rim, enjoy the view, and see how hard it is just to hike out that short distance. Then go for a walk along the rim, and leave the inner gorge to experienced hikers.
Grand Canyon Frequently Asked Questions
What should I bring with me on my Grand Canyon air tour?
Can my group charter a plane for a personalized airplane ride at the Grand Canyon?
Where is the Arizona Planes of Fame Museum?
Why is there a Ford Tri-Motor parked at Grand Canyon Airport?
Can I take a helicopter tour combines with a raft trip?
Can I take a helicopter flight over other areas in Northern Arizona?
What can I expect from my Grand Canyon helicopter ride?
Why can't helicopter tours fly below the rim of the Grand Canyon?
Where can I find Grand Canyon wedding tours?
Are there smaller, more intimate tours offered on the Grand Canyon's South Rim?
Can I combine A Grand Canyon South Rim tour with lodging?
What are some of the most popular tours at the Grand Canyon South Rim?
Do some tour operators offer guided hiking tours of the Grand Canyon?
What is the Grand Canyon Field Institute and what type of tours does it offer?
Are there free tours at Grand Canyon South Rim?
Can I ride or rent a bicycle in the Grand Canyon?
Can I hike to the Colorado River and back in one day?
Can't I just take a shuttle bus to the West Rim and Yaki Point?
Who was Major John Wesley Powell, and why is he important to the Grand Canyon?
Are there specialty Grand Canyon rafting trips available?
How do I apply for a non-commercial rafting permit in the Grand Canyon?
What kinds of boats do river runners use in the Grand Canyon?
Can I hike down to meet a Grand Canyon rafting trip and continue on down the river?
How and why are rivers rated for their whitewater?
What should I bring with me on my Grand Canyon river rafting trip?
What can I see from the Colorado River that I might not see from the rim of the Grand Canyon?
I don't think I'm up for Grand Canyon white water rafting, is there another alternative?
What's the history of the Williams train depot?
What is the history of the Grand Canyon railroad?
Is there train service to the Grand Canyon?
Did the Santa Fe Railway really help develop the South Rim of the Grand Canyon?
When do the steam trains run on the Grand Canyon Railway?
Is there a Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams?
Who was Fred Harvey, and why was he important to the Grand Canyon?
What classes does the Grand Canyon train offer?
Can I purchase Amtrak tickets to Williams and purchase a ticket on the Grand Canyon train tour at the same time?
How far ahead should I make reservations if I want to stay at one of the Grand Canyon hotels?
Who designed the Bright Angel Lodge at the Grand Canyon?
What's the nicest hotel located inside Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona?
Where is Tusayan, and what resorts and hotels are located there?
What other hotel options are located inside Grand Canyon National Park?
I'm not into history. Are there any contemporary hotels at the Grand Canyon?
Where is Havasupai, and what makes it so special?
Is there any lodging beneath the rim of the Grand Canyon?
Do employees and staff members really live AND work at the Grand Canyon?
What is the Hualapai Nation?
What is Grand Canyon West?
Is the Grand Canyon Skywalk really safe for visitors?
Where can I get the best photos of the Grand Canyon?
Are there any activities kids can enjoy during our Grand Canyon vacation?
Should I purchase a tour package to visit the Grand Canyon?
When's the best time to visit the Grand Canyon for a relaxing vacation?
The Grand Canyon Music Festival has a long history at the Grand Canyon, and provides high-quality entertainment in a beautiful setting.
Are there short introductory hikes that will teach me more about the Grand Canyon?
What makes Grand Canyon's North Rim so different?
Can I camp inside Grand Canyon North Rim?
Aren't the views of the canyon the same from the North Rim?
What's the weather like on the North Rim?
What should I bring with me on a mule ride?
What's the history of the Grand Canyon Lodge?
Is the Grand Canyon North Rim Lodge the only lodging inside the park?
What's Teddy Roosevelt's connection to the Grand Canyon?
Who is "Brighty of the Grand Canyon?"
Are there specialty tours of the Grand Canyon available, such as geology tours?
What kind of Grand Canyon adventure tours are available?
Do some of the airlines offer a Grand Canyon group tour for visitors?
Do I really need to take a tour to see the Grand Canyon?
Are there restrictions on riders for the Grand Canyon mule ride?
Is there a Grand Canyon guided tour that takes in other parks or areas of interest nearby?
What should I look for when I choose a Grand Canyon tour company?
Who offers mule rides in the Grand Canyon?
What should I look for in a Grand Canyon tour package?
Are there hiking tour packages available at the Grand Canyon?
What helped created Grand Canyon Arizona?
What are some of the basic facts about the Grand Canyon?
What should I know about safety at Grand Canyon National Park?
Where is the Grand Canyon?
What's Grand Canyon weather really like?
What is included in most Grand Canyon bus tours?
Where are the Hopi mesas in relation to the Grand Canyon?
Where can I pick up Grand Canyon bus tours in Las Vegas?
Do Las Vegas Grand Canyon tour companies offer other services, too?
What is Grand Canyon West, and how far is it from Las Vegas?
Is there a Las Vegas Grand Canyon tour available to see both destinations?
Can I make a Grand Canyon tour from Las Vegas in one day?
What extras are offered on Grand Canyon helicopter tours?
What is a National Park Pass?
Is there lodging in the village of Supai?
Is there lodging in Grand Canyon West?
What's the closest resort to the Grand Canyon Airport?
What other lodging is available in Tusayan near the Grand Canyon?
Who offers extensive nightlife in the Grand Canyon?
Why isn't it a good idea to hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim in one day?
Are there other hiking trails inside the Grand Canyon?
Do I need a backcountry permit for a day hike at the Grand Canyon?
When do I need a backcountry hiking permit at the Grand Canyon?
What should I know about the Bright Angel Trail in the Grand Canyon?
What do I need to know about the Kaibab Trails at the Grand Canyon?
Why do I need to filter my drinking water when I hike in the Grand Canyon?
What are some of the things I should know before I hike the Grand Canyon?
What's so special about the El Tovar Hotel at the Grand Canyon?
Why is the Arizona Room a local favorite at the Grand Canyon?
Why are California Condors living at the Grand Canyon?
Who were the Kolb brothers of the Grand Canyon?
Where is the Grand Canyon Village Historic District?
How old is the Hopi House at Grand Canyon National Park?
What's a good trail to follow after the sun goes down in Grand Canyon?
What pine trees smell like vanilla?
How long should I give myself to really see and experience the Grand Canyon?
How can I find work at the Grand Canyon?