The trail begins at the Grand Canyon Village and descends to the Colorado River before continuing to the Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground.
Bright Angel Trail, Hike Length & Map, South Rim Grand Canyon
From the trailhead, hikers take on the wide path that leads through a tunnel in the rock. This picturesque setting makes it ideal for a quick photo or two. The first four miles of the trail is extremely steep, and hikers should be cautious of the numerous switchbacks as they attempt to take on one of the canyon’s most challenging hikes.
Visitors keen on taking a day hike may consider the 1.5 Mile Resthouse or the 3 Mile Resthouse, both of which provide potable water during summer. This works well for hikers who do not have much experience, but who would also like to enjoy the splendid views of the canyon.
After the first four miles, Bright Angel Trail leads to a more level path to the Indian Garden Campground. The camping site provides a respite from the summer heat and marks the last water station before reaching the river. The campground is also an excellent accommodation option, but you must book in advance as permits are required from the Backcountry Office.
From the Indian Gardens, the trail features a few gentler switchbacks before beginning the descent to the river. At this point, hikers have numerous options on where to end the hike. The River Resthouse is an ideal option because it features restrooms and shaded areas.
For avid hikers, there is always the option of proceeding the last mile to the silver suspension bridge above the Colorado River. The breathtaking views from the bridge are some of the most amazing highlights of hiking the Bright Angel Trail.