Bright Angel Trail Description
All-Star Grand Canyon Tours leads customized day hiking tours and private backpacking tours in Grand Canyon, one of the hardest places in the world to hike; we design backpacking trips that are best suited to your family or group . The Bright Angel Trail is one of the two corridor trails or superhighways of the Grand Canyon that are considered to be the easiest hikes in Grand Canyon; the other trail is the Kaibab Trail, both the North Kaibab and South Kaibab Trails. These trails are well maintained and they are wide enough to accommodate the mules of Grand Canyon. All-Star Grand Canyon Tours recommends hiking to the Colorado river in two days, spending the night at Indian Gardens Campground; roughly halfway to the river. The Bright Angel Trail during certain times of the day can offer shade, while other trails may not offer this comfort. Water is also available on the Bright Angel Trail at the One-and-a-Half-Mile and Three-Mile Rest-houses, Indian Gardens, and the Bright Angel Campground. Toilets are available on the Bright Angel Trail at the One-and-a-Half-Mile rest-house, at Indian Gardens and at Bright Angel Campground.
History of the Bright Angel Trail:
Prior to the use of Grand Canyon by white settlers, the Bright Angel Trail was used by the Havasupai people to descend into the Grand Canyon to their farms at Indian Garden. These people were farming squash, beans, and corn using a terracing system and irrigating their crops with the waters of Garden Creek. In the late 1800's the trail was improved upon by prospectors. Ralph Cameron, a miner, realized that tourism was the new "money" of the area, and bought out his partners and took control of the trail. He lengthened the trail to reach the Colorado River and charged a $1 toll to use his Bright Angel Trail. At the time $1 was quite a lot of money to charge to use a trail, and to keep the Grand Canyon and the Colorado River accessible to those that could not afford his fee, the Park Service constructed the South Kaibab Trail. In 1928 Ralph Cameron transfered ownership of the Bright Angel Trail to the National Park Service, who to this day maintains control of the trail.
Mileages are as follows (one-way):
- Indian Garden - 4.6 miles
- Plateau Point (via Plateau Point Trail) - 6.1 miles
- Colorado River - 7.7 miles
- Bright Angel Campground (via the River Trail) - 9.3 miles
- Phantom Ranch - 9.8 miles
- North Rim (via North Kaibab Trail) - 23.8 miles
- Rim - 6860'
- Indian Garden - 3800', 3060' below rim
- Colorado River - 2400', 4460' below rim
Pros and Cons of Hiking the Bright Angel Trail:
- Well developed and maintained trail with water and bathroom facilities conveniently located
- Developed campgrounds
- More park rangers and emergency crew than any other trail
- Sections of hike can be mule supported
- Phantom Ranch has meals and beverages that can be enjoyed..... even alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine
- Good Family Hike
- Best Beginner Hike
- For those not interested in camping, cabins and dormitories are available.
- Remains of ancient civilizations can be observed on this hike.
- Can be part of a Rim to Rim Hike
- Can be crowded
- Campgrounds can be loud
- Mule traffic
- The hardest overnight permits to get are Indian Gardens and Bright Angel Campground