Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail
5
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One of the two superhighways of the Grand Canyon, this well maintained and popular trail offers breathtaking vistas, some shaded areas.
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  • Wanderer569133
    Saanich, Canada1 contribution
    Trip of a lifetime!!
    A challenging backpack. We did it on our own and camped at the bottom of the canyon near the river. The views!!! One of the best outdoor experiences of a lifetime. On the way up there was a rainbow below us and someone out of sight playing a flute. Doesn’t get better than that. Did the trip in the 90’s.
    Visited May 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 February 2023
  • JRMADA
    United States3,377 contributions
    Most Popular Trail
    This is a challenging trail specially if you are novice hiker. The views are superb, and it is not recommended to hike it down and back in one day. Extra caution is required during or after inclement weather. It can be very dangerous when icy. The temperature swing can be drastic between the rim and the bottom, so plan accordingly. Adequate footwear is recommended and plenty of water and salty snacks. Not suitable for people with mobility restrictions and young children. Enjoy
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 April 2023
  • e-claiborne
    Rhode Island90 contributions
    A little icy but wonderful views
    I hiked this as a 51 year old woman in decent shape. I’m not athletic and had to walk slowly going up, but had no problems going to mile and half rest stop and back. It was a unique experience to be hiking below the rim. The trail is very well maintained, but still had ice and snow on some upper parts in mid April. Foot traction and hiking poles were very helpful.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 15 April 2023
  • samjj
    203 contributions
    Hiking to the 1.5 Mile Rest House
    I'll write the review that I wish I had seen when I was researching this activity. I am a 64 year old woman who is in good health, but not in tip-top shape. I am not a couch potato by any means, but I don't participate in any sports or belong to a gym, and I could use to lose 15 pounds. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to complete the hike to the 1.5 mile resthouse and back. I'm not going to lie to you, it was tough. But do-able. The hike down 1.5 miles was easy, although you really had to watch your step around the snow and ice that remained on the trail. We left at 9:15 am and made it down to the 1.5 mile rest house at 10:15. We stopped for about 10 minutes and then started the hike back up. I kept my pace steady at about 1 - 1.5 miles per house and this was slow enough that it did not raise my heart rate too high, which really made a difference (I wasn't huffing and puffing and trying to catch my breath). It was slow and steady, and I only needed to stop three times (mainly for a drink). We made it to the top at 11:50. There were a few times that I told myself that I didn't need to do this again, but that was during the steepest part of the trail. Once we got to the top I felt like I definitely would do it again. I was proud of myself and so was my patient husband! It was a beautiful and wonderful hike and seeing the canyon from within was incredible. I couldn't imagine going to the Grand Canyon and just looking at it over a fence. I hope that my review will help someone else like me decide whether or not the hike is within their physical capabilities.
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 18 April 2023
  • TeressaC_84
    Concord, New Hampshire89 contributions
    Excellent Views
    We only had a short time before sunset and we wanted to walk down into the Grand Canyon at least a little. The Bright Angel Trail was perfect for this. We are 56 and 54, reasonably fit but not big hikers. We walked down 1/2 mile and then turned around and walked up. This is a very walkable trail. You have to dodge some donkey excrement along the way but even one of us who doesn't like heights was able to walk this trail. The trail is not too skinny, at least for the short part that we walked. Of course, walking up was harder than walking down so keep that in mind then you start out. However, it was an excellent way to see how it would be to hike into the Grand Canyon. If we had more time, we would have gone farther.
    Visited May 2023
    Written 9 May 2023
  • TKStewart
    55 contributions
    Worth it for different views but not easy
    A great way to see the Grand Canyon from different view points. We hiked to the 1.5 mile mark. We took our time. Took breaks on the way up! We completed it in 2.5 hours. Remember it takes you twice as long to get back up. I would consider we are in good shape but not extremely fit. Coming back up is not easy but doable if in good shape. Hat recommended and a lot of water required! You can fill up water at 1.5 mile marker. We were there at the end of June. I recommend going in the early morning and start before 8 am. The canyon gets hotter the further you go down. To hike to the river it will require you to be extremely fit and train prior to attempting. It also takes a long time regardless so plan accordingly.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 July 2023
  • Kristian M
    Copenhagen, Denmark439 contributions
    Interesting hike
    Good hiking trip towards the Bottom of the Valley. We only did 15/20 minutes each Way Down and back up again. This is a fine dirt path that gives a good understanding of how Big the Valley is. I suggest good shors but the top of the Valley has a good path. It is steep but not Extreme as you walk back up. The path does get hotter and hotter as you walk Down.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 19 July 2023
  • Kevin
    Mountain View, California89 contributions
    VERY challenging, but the views at Plateau Point were more than worth it!
    Disclaimer: the Bright Angel Trail technically goes for a long distance, but for the average person I would recommend you only go as far as you can...the 1.5 mile or 3.0 mile rest stops are good turnaround points if you wanted to go into the canyon but not hike all the way down to the Colorado River. And unless you already have a reservation to stay overnight at Phantom Ranch at the bottom, definitely do not attempt to hike down far and back in one day. So since my friend and I couldn't stay at Phantom Ranch, the next best thing we could do was hike down to Plateau Point for a day hike, which takes over 6 miles to get to from the top of the Bright Angel Trailhead at the rim (and the same distance to get back out). I would not recommend the average person do this, as I'm usually pretty fit for hiking and my knees began to hurt in the middle of the hike, which made it a bit harder for me to hike back up....and I was VERY sore for days. Do your research, assess your fitness level, and make the best decisions on how far down you want to go before turning back around. Remember that it gets much hotter the deeper you go into the canyon, and on average takes you twice as long to hike back out compared to hiking down. We started at around 6:45am and returned at 5:00pm, and this included breaks and spending about an hour at Plateau Point. It had some incredible views overlooking the Colorado River (you are about 1600 feet above the river), and we were lucky to also have a handful of California Condors flying right above us. We also got a lucky break with the weather, as it was much cooler than usual (high temps at the rim was low 60s, so it was about 75ish degrees down at Plateau Point), with cloudy skies and on and off rain. Keep in mind though that usually for September it will be sunny and warmer, with many parts with no shade from the canyon walls. Bring a hat, sunglasses, lots of sunscreen, a ton of water, some sports drinks to refill on salt and electrolytes, and lots of salty snacks to eat along the way. And make sure you take as many breaks as you need. Remember that it is optional to hike down, but mandatory to hike back up. If you hike this trail, start as early as possible to beat the heat.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 29 September 2023
  • orangegecko23
    Syracuse, New York243 contributions
    Breathtaking views and it was great to get on the trail
    This was our first view of the grand canyon and it was breath taking. We stood there for a minute or two and couldn't believe this was real. The depth and rock formations were just amazing. We hiked about and hour down to the toilet building, then back up about an hour if you stop for photos.
    Visited November 2022
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 October 2023
  • ConfederateMike
    Glasgow, Kentucky377 contributions
    A must-do hike for anyone visiting the canyon
    We hiked to the 1.5 mile rest area and then back up. Our fear of heights passed after just a short while because we were focused on getting to the rest area then surviving the hike back up. We all had a sense of accomplishment when we finally made it back. We all had an appreciation for anyone who could make it to the bottom of the canyon and back up.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 21 October 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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ConfederateMike
Glasgow, KY377 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
We hiked to the 1.5 mile rest area and then back up. Our fear of heights passed after just a short while because we were focused on getting to the rest area then surviving the hike back up. We all had a sense of accomplishment when we finally made it back. We all had an appreciation for anyone who could make it to the bottom of the canyon and back up.
Written 21 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dacen K
Spokane Valley, WA40 contributions
Oct 2023 • Couples
Did this the second day of enjoying the park. Did not go all the way to the bottom. But went to the second water station. This is a very difficult hike, so be prepared if you are going to tackle it. Unbelievably beautiful .
Written 15 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

CanuckAlberta
Alberta634 contributions
Sept 2023 • Couples
An amazing, semi-accessible viewpoint that is short stroll from north rim visitors center. The path is paved but maybe a little steep and narrow for some accessible visitors. Breathtaking views and vistas, be sure to walk the trail below the Lodge as well.
Written 3 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

orangegecko23
Syracuse, NY243 contributions
Nov 2022 • Couples
This was our first view of the grand canyon and it was breath taking. We stood there for a minute or two and couldn't believe this was real. The depth and rock formations were just amazing. We hiked about and hour down to the toilet building, then back up about an hour if you stop for photos.
Written 3 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kevin
Mountain View, CA89 contributions
Sept 2023 • Friends
Disclaimer: the Bright Angel Trail technically goes for a long distance, but for the average person I would recommend you only go as far as you can...the 1.5 mile or 3.0 mile rest stops are good turnaround points if you wanted to go into the canyon but not hike all the way down to the Colorado River. And unless you already have a reservation to stay overnight at Phantom Ranch at the bottom, definitely do not attempt to hike down far and back in one day.

So since my friend and I couldn't stay at Phantom Ranch, the next best thing we could do was hike down to Plateau Point for a day hike, which takes over 6 miles to get to from the top of the Bright Angel Trailhead at the rim (and the same distance to get back out). I would not recommend the average person do this, as I'm usually pretty fit for hiking and my knees began to hurt in the middle of the hike, which made it a bit harder for me to hike back up....and I was VERY sore for days.

Do your research, assess your fitness level, and make the best decisions on how far down you want to go before turning back around. Remember that it gets much hotter the deeper you go into the canyon, and on average takes you twice as long to hike back out compared to hiking down.

We started at around 6:45am and returned at 5:00pm, and this included breaks and spending about an hour at Plateau Point. It had some incredible views overlooking the Colorado River (you are about 1600 feet above the river), and we were lucky to also have a handful of California Condors flying right above us. We also got a lucky break with the weather, as it was much cooler than usual (high temps at the rim was low 60s, so it was about 75ish degrees down at Plateau Point), with cloudy skies and on and off rain. Keep in mind though that usually for September it will be sunny and warmer, with many parts with no shade from the canyon walls. Bring a hat, sunglasses, lots of sunscreen, a ton of water, some sports drinks to refill on salt and electrolytes, and lots of salty snacks to eat along the way. And make sure you take as many breaks as you need.

Remember that it is optional to hike down, but mandatory to hike back up. If you hike this trail, start as early as possible to beat the heat.
Written 29 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

krr809
Los Gatos, CA5 contributions
May 2023 • Family
One of the Best hikes ever, done it many times. Loved the views and the difficulty, perfect amount of climbing.
Written 5 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kristian M
Copenhagen, Denmark439 contributions
Jul 2023 • Family
Good hiking trip towards the Bottom of the Valley. We only did 15/20 minutes each Way Down and back up again.

This is a fine dirt path that gives a good understanding of how Big the Valley is. I suggest good shors but the top of the Valley has a good path. It is steep but not Extreme as you walk back up.

The path does get hotter and hotter as you walk Down.
Written 19 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TKStewart
55 contributions
Jun 2023 • Couples
A great way to see the Grand Canyon from different view points. We hiked to the 1.5 mile mark. We took our time. Took breaks on the way up! We completed it in 2.5 hours. Remember it takes you twice as long to get back up. I would consider we are in good shape but not extremely fit. Coming back up is not easy but doable if in good shape. Hat recommended and a lot of water required! You can fill up water at 1.5 mile marker. We were there at the end of June. I recommend going in the early morning and start before 8 am. The canyon gets hotter the further you go down. To hike to the river it will require you to be extremely fit and train prior to attempting. It also takes a long time regardless so plan accordingly.
Written 1 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TeressaC_84
Concord, NH89 contributions
May 2023
We only had a short time before sunset and we wanted to walk down into the Grand Canyon at least a little. The Bright Angel Trail was perfect for this. We are 56 and 54, reasonably fit but not big hikers. We walked down 1/2 mile and then turned around and walked up. This is a very walkable trail. You have to dodge some donkey excrement along the way but even one of us who doesn't like heights was able to walk this trail. The trail is not too skinny, at least for the short part that we walked. Of course, walking up was harder than walking down so keep that in mind then you start out. However, it was an excellent way to see how it would be to hike into the Grand Canyon. If we had more time, we would have gone farther.
Written 9 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steveh3Texas
Southlake, TX798 contributions
Apr 2023 • Couples
Trail starts right near all the rim hotels. We went to the 3 mile rest area, so 6 miles round trip. Drop in elevation of 2,000 feet. We loved the views. Trail is super wide and smooth. Pack lunch and lots of water. A “must do” if staying at the Grand Canyon, even if you do a shorter hike.
Written 7 May 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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BRIGHT ANGEL TRAIL: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Bright Angel Trail