Bright Angel Trail - Grand Canyon
About a mile on the trail
Directions to Trailhead: Located on the South Rim, the trail begins just west of Bright Angel Lodge. Follow the path along the rim, the trail starts by mule corral.
Trailhead Elevation: 6,785 feet.
Trail Condition: Maintained dirt trail. Steep. Well defined. Some shade on trail, mostly from canyon walls and dependent on time of day.
The Bright Angel Trail offers wonderful views all along the trail. Even though the Bright Angel has water along the trail, you need to carry water.
Indian Garden 4.6 miles, 9.2 miles round trip, 3800 ft. elevation
Plateau Point 6.1 miles, 12.2 miles round trip, 3770 ft. elevation
Day time Temperature 110°F
Besides breath taking views on this trail, there is also the breath taking odor of mule droppings, very unpleasant on a hot day.
It was worth it!
"DO NOT attempt to hike from the rim to the river and back in one day, especially in May to September". These signs, as well as at rangers at the information station, warn tourists.
So my original plan was to hike only to the 3 Mile Resthouse mainly since I got to the trailhead at 2:30 p.m. Walking for a while, I realized, I had already pass the sign and was heading close to Indian Garden point. Feeling I had lots of energy, good food and water, I decided to continue on the trail. Past the Indian Garden point, I left my back pack on the trail and ran to the Plateau Point for a view and to take a few photos. This part of the trail is almost flat. Running back, I noticed, I was loosing daylight. (Since this trip, I carry my head lamp in my back pack at all time). I finished my hike at 9:30 pm. Totally exhausted, I walked to the lodge to report a few people slowly walking far behind me in the canyon.
I will never forget the five steps on the stairs to the parking lot, as that night those seemed impossible to walk down. Followed by the struggle to step out of the car, to fill up gas on the way back to Phoenix.