See jagged cliffs, flowing creeks, sandstone tunnels, native gardens and desert vegetation when hiking this Grand Canyon South Rim trail.
Bright Angel Trail is a long-distance hiking trail beginning at Grand Canyon Village. The well-maintained trail features extraordinary views of the region’s sandstone canyons and rugged landscape. Plan to hike sections of Bright Angel Trail in a day or stay in one of two camping sites along the track.
Begin your journey at the South Rim’s Grand Canyon Village. The trail then follows the course of Garden Creek, toward the Colorado River. On the first leg of the trail you will pass through two impressive sandstone tunnels. After the second tunnel the walk begins to get steeper. Take a short break at a rest house located 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) into the hike.
Indian Garden is about 4.5 miles (7 kilometers) from the beginning of the trail. With water and picnic tables, the garden is a great place to stop for lunch. Indian Garden covers a section of Garden Creek and features tall cottonwoods and other native plants. If you’re hiking a summer daytrip, the National Park Service highly recommends you turn back after resting at the garden.
From Indian Garden, take the 1.5-mile (2.4-kilometer) Plateau Point trail for striking views of the Colorado River. Indian Garden also features a continuation of Bright Angel Trail, leading toward Phantom Ranch and Bright Angel Campground at the bottom of the canyon. The main trail also features views of the Colorado River and beautiful cotton-tree-lined areas.
Water is available at the covered rest houses and at Indian Garden; however, packing extra water is advised. The region is known for its extreme temperatures, so wear suitable hiking footwear and comfortable clothing. Before you embark on your hike, pick up a National Park Service backcountry permit, which is required for camping in the Inner Canyon campgrounds. Find the beginning of the trail at Grand Canyon Village, about 80 miles (130 kilometers) from Flagstaff, Arizona.
Bright Angel Trail has been designed with visitor safety in mind; however, pack supplies and plan your journey appropriately to ensure an enjoyable and safe hike.