Bright Angel Trail

Most Traveled – Bright Angel Trail


Only about 1% of people visiting Grand Canyon National Park venture below the rim. Most of those do it via the beautiful Bright Angel Trail. If you are looking for an opportunity to become one of those 1% and dive into the Canyon, but want some key features like water, rangers and smooth terrain then hit this main Corridor trail!

Beginning with the recently constructed new trailhead, featuring interpretive signs, bathrooms and viewpoints, the trail quickly drops you down along the Bright Angel fault line and into the ancient coral reefs of the Kaibab Limestone! It will be hard to remember that what goes down must come up as you soon get views of Indian Garden campground and Plateau Point. This route follows an ancient trail and if you keep your eyes peeled near the first tunnel, you will see the evidence of past cultures passing through. You will also want to keep your ears open in order to hear the mosaic of languages commonly found up and down this popular trail. Practice some German or Japanese phrases and you might be the hit of the trip! The Bright Angel is pleasant during any but the mid-day hours of summer as there is usually plenty of shade to be found and each mile and a half presents water and shaded rest houses.

  • Getting there: The trailhead for the Bright Angel is found on the west end of The Village. It is hard to miss with the new signs, restrooms and beautiful rockwork
  • The Hike: wander down to the 1.5 or 3 mile Resthouses or for the more adventurous (and desert adapted) reach Indian Garden at 4.8 miles
  • Elevation loss/gain: 1100 feet to 1.5 mile Resthouse; 2100 to 3.0 mile Resthouse; 3000 to Indian Garden
  • Camping: None along the trail
  • Water: From spring to fall water can be found at each resthouse and Indian Garden. **Check in with the Park Service for pipe breaks or freezing conditions that may have the water turned off!**
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A Day At The Canyon from John Burcham Photography. John Burcham is a commercial, editorial photographer based out of Flagstaff, AZ. You can see more of his work at