Indian Gardens 3 Day
Level 1: Beginner - Appropriate for families with kids, beginner backpackers, etc. Level 1 trips are the most “accessible” backpacking itineraries at Grand Canyon, with low mileages, low-key side hike options, and plenty of opportunity for relaxation. These trips will strictly involve well-maintained corridor trails.X
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Total Distance with loaded backpack: 9.6 miles (15.4 km). Elevation loss / gain: -4,380’ / +4,380’ (-1,336 m / +1,336 m).
Day 1: Grand Canyon Village to Indian Garden campground, via Bright Angel trail. 4.8 miles (7.7 km), -3,060’ (-933 m), Strenuous. Backpackers begin their trip with a drive into Grand Canyon Village to the trailhead. The Bright Angel Trail engages hikers immediately with ancient pictographs, stunning geology, and outstanding views. Lunch can be enjoyed along the trail, or at Indian Garden campground after the day's hike is complete. From Indian Garden, there are several options for day hiking, including a sunset dinner option at Plateau Point, overlooking the Colorado River. Ask your guide for more information. En route: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available at Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse and Three Mile Resthouse. At camp: potable tap water and enclosed composting toilets available.
Day 2: Indian Garden to Colorado River, via Bright Angel trail. One way: 3.2 miles (5.2 km), -1,320’ (-403 m), Strenuous. Following breakfast, ambitious hikers can head down the trail to the Colorado River, and possibly to Phantom Ranch (an additional 1.6 miles / 2.6km), known for its cold lemonade and shady cottonwood trees. This hike follows breathtaking sections of Garden Creek, Pipe Creek, and the Inner Gorge of Grand Canyon. After lunch and relaxation, hikers retrace their steps back up to Indian Garden, where dinner can be enjoyed again at Plateau Point or in camp. En route: water available in Garden Creek and Pipe Creek below Indian Garden, but must be filtered or treated before drinking; potable tap water available at Phantom Ranch; enclosed composting toilets available at River Resthouse and restrooms available at Phantom Ranch.
Day 3: Indian Garden campground to Grand Canyon Village, via Bright Angel trail. 4.8 miles (7.7 km), +3,060’ (+933 m), Strenuous. On the exit day, backpackers enjoy another hearty breakfast and a steady uphill hike out to the South Rim of Grand Canyon. At the top, our groups relax near the trailhead and savor their accomplishments over a sandwich and cold refreshment. En route: potable tap water (seasonal) and enclosed composting toilets available at Three Mile Resthouse and Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse.