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  • Map It!

Bright Angel Trail

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Phone
General Visitor Information:
928-638-7888
Address
Grand Canyon, AZ 86023
Basics
Length:
Varies
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
Varies
Season:
Hikable year round

Description

The Bright Angel Trail begins just west of Bright Angel Lodge and descends all the way to the bottom of the canyon at Phantom Ranch along the Colorado River. It offers spectacular views of the canyon.

The trip all the way down and back up is an overnight trip, but there are a series day trips available that go part of the way down and then back up. These range in distance up to 12 miles roundtrip. The chart below gives distances to various points along the trail.

The trail is quite steep and challenging at points. There is water available May to September (but it is subject to pipeline breaks).

This trail should not be confused with Bright Angel Point Trail on the North Rim.


Destination Distance (in Miles) Elevation Feet
(Destination)
Services: W = Water; T = Toilet/Restroom; E = Emergency Phone
To Destination Round
Trip
Services Notes
W T E
1st Tunnel 0.18 0.36 6708 Not too steep, good for view in the canyon.
1st Switchback 0.45 0.9 6560 Good turn-a-round point for small children. Will start getting steeper trail.
2nd Tunnel 0.75 1.5 6240 Steep switchbacks after tunnel.
1.5 Mile Resthouse 1.5 3 5720 X X X Water available seasonally only. Good turn-a-round for first time canyon hikes, causal hikes and late starters.
2 Mile Switchback/Corner 2 4 5490 Trail sign marks location, trail will get steeper from here.
3 Mile Resthouse 3 6 4760 X X Water available seasonally only. Great turn-a-round point.
Indian Gardens 4.6 9.2 3800 X X X Water available year round. Need to get an early morning start and be in good condition.
Plateau Point 6.1 12.2 3770 Views of the river. NO shade. This hike is extremely strenous due to the distance.
Colorado River 7.9 15.8 2400 Hiking to the river or Phantom Ranch as a day hike is not recommended! The distance, temperature and elevation change cause even the most experienced hikers to have difficulty. This could result in the hiker needing medical help and can result in death.
Phantom Ranch 9.6 19.2 2546


Books

Hiking Grand Canyon National Park provides first-hand descriptions and detailed maps for all the developed trails as well as tips on safety, hiking with children, access, and services.

Fully updated and revised, this guide includes short descriptions and maps of seventeen easy day hikes in the Grand Canyon National Park.

Length:
Varies
(19 mile roundtrip to Phantom Ranch)
Difficulty:
Intermediate
Time:
Varies
(Overnight to the River)
Elevation Change:
Elevations vary depending on trail
Season:
Hikable year round

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Below are the Free Visitor Guides for Grand Canyon National Park. More Visitor Guides are available in Arizona. Click here to view them all!

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Request this Free Visitor GuideRequested! You're all set! Request a few more Visitor Guides, or complete the form below to receive your guides by mail.