Bright Angel Trail
Bright Angel Trail
5
About
One of the two superhighways of the Grand Canyon, this well maintained and popular trail offers breathtaking vistas, some shaded areas.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience Bright Angel Trail and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

5.0
2,369 reviews
Excellent
1,922
Very good
376
Average
61
Poor
6
Terrible
4

SavoyNewHaven
New Haven, CT36 contributions
Oct 2021 • Friends
Started early at 6:30, which I'd recommend, there were very few other hikers and everyone was serious about their hike. It was cold, 28 degrees, so dress in layers, because it warms up quickly. Yes, it's a little scary for novices like me, but you build your convidence quickly.
A nice easy pace down to the 3 mile mark took 1.5 hours, ate our orange and Larabar. Going up is an effort, took brief rests and reached the top at 10am. The last 1/2 mile is the most challenging as it is the steepest. By that time the trail was filled with families, photo seekers.
One of the best experiences of my life!
Written October 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Hi-It’s-Me
Boston, MA23 contributions
Aug 2021
As background, my family of four is in relatively good shape with lots of day hike experience but nothing overly aggressive. Kids are 10 and 12. We decided to play this one conservatively based on other reviews, hiking only to the 1.5 mile resthouse. The hike was strenuous but manageable. Once to the resthouse, we debated whether to push lower but decided that the views, while stunning, weren’t perhaps variable enough to justify the incremental effort. We decided our short time at the Grand Canyon would be better spent exploring more of the rim. Weather at the end of August was hot (80s and 90s) but not oppressively so,. I would highly recommend leaving as soon after sunrise as possible to beat the worst of the heat. Definitely a great beginners hike to get some experience below the rim.
Written September 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

himmelcat13
Howell, MI188 contributions
May 2022
Do NOT underestimate the hike up. As a sign states very accurately 'going down is optional, going up is mandatory' That being said, if you want to completely immerse yourself in the grand canyon, this is the hike to do. You don't truly understand the depth until you start going into the belly and realize just how long it took to go so little. START EARLY, bring water and proper hiking gear, and unless you are physically fit, do not try going down to the colorado river and back in one day. We went down to Indian Gardens, 9 miles rt, starting at 6am and arrived about 8am, hitting about a 1.5 miles every 30 minutes on average with stops for photos. However, the way up took twice as long, about one hour for every 1.5 miles, and by the time we reached the surface at 11:15 am, there was barely any shade left. We were fortunate to have cooler weather for our hike (about 60 degrees at Indian Garden when we were there) but we were still very warm due to the exertion of going up 3,000ft. When we were at Indian Garden, we overheard people asking for directions to the colorado river, which was another 4 miles away, effectively making it a 17ish mile round trip which was far too long to do in a day by the time they arrived. If you're hoping to go down to the river, either spend the night in phantom ranch (which books up far in advance) or leave very early in the morning with headlamps on. We also saw quite a very people in sandals, flip flops, carrying purses and not paying attention to where they were going and what they were doing, and even saw someone need helicopter rescue at Indian Gardens while we were on our ascent. Do not be fooled, this is a hiking trail through and through, and planning ahead for that will save you a lot of agony. Overall, we felt like this was the quintessential experience for hikers wanting to truly experience the grand canyon more than just gawking, but if you're not prepared you will regret it.
Written May 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bob Kramer
Ankeny, IA134 contributions
Feb 2022 • Couples
I cannot say enough positive things about our visit to Bright Angel Trailhead at the Grand Canyon National Park. First off, I should mention that we went in February of 2022, and as you know at that time most of the tourists are gone. As you will see, we had the trailhead, and park nearly to ourselves. When we arrived at about 10:30 a.m., it was in the low 30s. But, by noon it was in the upper 40s, and by 1:30 when we left it was in the low 50's. As you can see the sky was perfectly blue and there was no wind.
We are in our late 60's, and had no difficulty hiking down quite a distance on the trail and into the canyon before we turned around and came back up. So, I would recommend not missing this attraction.
If you have the opportunity to visit this beautiful park and the Bright Angel Trailhead as we did, try to visit in the off season, as you will find it much more pleasant for you.
Written August 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Joseph P
San Jose, CA398 contributions
Apr 2021
We're older so we knew we were not going all the way down. But we took our time, saw a petroglyph that another hiker pointed out only about 100 - 200 ft from the start under the rim, and hiked down to the archway in the trail. About 40 minutes total and returned.
Written May 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

IndyKevin317
Indianapolis, IN105 contributions
Nov 2020 • Couples
This trail was the highlight of our trip. We hiked down to Plateau Point and back in less than 8 hours. We could have done it much quicker had I prepared myself for the hike. You might be able to go to the 1.5 or 3.0 mile mark and back with little to no training or preparation, but I wouldn’t recommend going past that point if you are not in shape. If you can’t hike 12 miles on flat ground you won’t be able to do it here either.

That being said, regardless of all the pain I was in for the next 3 days, it was worth it. It was so amazing to stand at the rail at Plateau Point and look down at the Colorado River below and the 360 degree views of the Grand Canyon. I would do it again, but I will be ready next time. I would also recommend you have good hiking boots/shoes and trekking poles. Of course bring plenty of water and food/snacks because you are going to need it. Layer your clothing. Temperatures started in the 40s at the top on the South Rim to 60s at Plateau Point back down into the 30s by the time we got back to the top.
Written December 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Justin T.
Lancaster, PA125 contributions
Jun 2021
Definitely do this trail over South Kaibab, particularly if you don't have experience hiking much. This trail did not seem as slippery, and it is also easier. There are also rest stations and water stops (not all are available all year), which South Kaibab did not have. There is also a really nice portion of the trail that is relatively flat about 3.5 miles down and a wooded section.

Naively, when we first planned this trip we thought about hiking down to the river and back in a day. We ended up ditching this plan. There is absolutely no way. We ended up stopping four miles down at Indian Garden. That wasn't even halfway to the river! I couldn't believe we'd only gone four miles.

I would not recommend going beyond Indian Garden, and even that will be too far depending on the person. There was a sign to the effect of "going down is optional...going up is mandatory." Bring lots of water and Gatorade...more than you think you'll need. I saw some people walking with one water bottle. This is a really, really bad idea.

Be smart, take it slow, and have fun!
Written June 24, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

travelingAnthony
Hampstead, NC36 contributions
Jun 2020
Beautiful, well-kept trail that allows a special vantage point of the canyon and rim. We headed down, not sure how far we'd go knowing that every 100 easy feet forward represented anther 100 tough feet back. I took advantage of those we passed by asking them at what point did they turn around. Just as they're huffing and puffing, sweating bullets and looking like they can keel over at any moment, that's when I would pepper them with questions. Amusing, and I also found you get closer to the truth that way.
For those who are afraid of heights like me, just look down for the first ten minutes. You'll be fine. Eventually, the trail has a semi-gradual slope off to the side, enough that I was actually able to enjoy the view. 3 quarts of water and a nose bleed later, we made it just past the 1.5 mile marker. After getting accosted by rock squirrels at the water spigot, we took in the amazing view of the rim above us. Well worth it.
Heed the warnings though and the best way to do that is to be honest with yourself. There are some shady areas and plenty of encouraging hikers. Just take your time and get below the rim somehow.
Written June 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Keith
70 contributions
Sep 2020
We did this hike the same day we did Kaibob. We only went to the mile and a half mark as we were totally spent from our earlier hike. Very hot day inside the Canyon as we were told temps were around the 110 degree mark. There are water stations along the way, so that's helpful. Kaibob Trail for us was a bit more scenic, so we preferred it over Angel. Hiking down is easy, just don't forget.....you have to hike back up.....which is the hard part. Next time we plan to get down to Indian Garden (4.5 miles), tho several hikers we ran into that got that spot, said the payoff wasn't really worth it. Fun hike!
Written September 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Travellinguy2013
Dallas, TX116 contributions
Jun 2021
This is one of if not the most popular trail that actually goes into the canyon. First time I was there, I was confused to discover it gets hotter as you go deeper. Apparently cold does not sink at the GC. And apparently I was not the only one who didn't realize this. We came across dozens and dozens of people who looked like they were seriously about to die within the top quarter mile of this trail. So I strongly advise staying on the rim if you are not in shape. While it was only about 80 degrees on the rim, it quickly rose above 90 not far below it, and was over 100 down by the river. If you are in shape for it though, this is one of the best hikes in the west.
Written July 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 2,048
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Bright Angel Trail (Grand Canyon National Park) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Bright Angel Trail

We recommend booking Bright Angel Trail tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 5 Bright Angel Trail tours on Tripadvisor