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How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

The last leg of our 5-day hike will be from Bright Angel campground to the South Rim via Bright Angel trail.

I've read trail descriptions and and such and understand the rule-of-thumb equation to estimate the time but I'm interested in hearing about "actual" data from those who have done the hike.

Thanks!

South Jersey, USA
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1. Re: How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

I just did this last week and of course you should be able to do this hike anywhere between 5-7 hours, but everyone is different. It took me 11 hours because I got into some big time trouble!!!

Keep an eye out for my TR and it will explain all!!!

SJG

Seattle
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2. Re: How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

Yes, everyone is different, and as SJG says, one can run into unexpected circumstances.

But all 3 times we have hiked up, it has taken 5 or 6 hours, depending on how much gear we were carrying (full overnight packs versus lighter pack for staying at Phantom.)

Evanston, Wyoming
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3. Re: How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

The first time I did it, it took me about 8 hours 'cause I had worked at the canyon for about a year and had heard the horror stories about people flaming out from trying to do it too fast, so I played it VERRRRRY safe.

Each time I did it, I shaved off some time, but still, didn't treat it like a race. The last time I did it, I came in at just under 6 hours.

And each and every time, upon reaching the top, I immediately treated myself to some ice cream from the Bright Angel fountain. :) Now THAT's my idea of "having a cold one."

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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4. Re: How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

Thanks for the feedback.

I do realize that everyone is different and it's not like we're on the clock or anything. Even within our group, I'm expecting my son to be speedy gonzales while my husband brings up the rear cursing me the entire way...

We're more or less trying to decide if we can stay for the late-seating breakfast at Phantom Ranch. Our plan is to drive back to LV that evening and we'd also like to be able to have that ice cream before hitting the road.

Chattanooga...
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5. Re: How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

In a September back when I was 46 and not in the best of shape, it took me right at 6 hours to climb from river to rim. I was traveling very light, and took a good 1/2 hour break at Indian Gardens. The River Trail probably took about an hour.

After staying the night at Phantom four years later in May when I was in much better shape, I was on the trail from Phantom about 6:30 and topped out around 2:00-2:30. That still includes a good 1/2 hour at Indian Gardens, which I think we reached around 9:00-9:30. That was with a day pack, still kinda light, but we were pretty much just cruising and enjoying the experience from 3-mile house on up. Two other members of our part made it up an hour earlier.

Even with heavier backpacks, if you're pretty strong, you could probably match my second time. Myabe even do better if you want to push on through. But I always felt like once I got to 3-mile house, it was time to ease off the throttle and just bask in the experience.

Sedona, AZ
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6. Re: How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

Your plan for the day is really a long one. Half of the fun of hiking out of the canyon is the relaxation after wards. To plan on an ice cream and then a 5 hour drive back to LV is more than I would do. Can you find the time to spend the night at the GCNP or even somewhere just a short distance down the road? Maybe Williams?

Driving that far after such a strenuous day is not recommended.

Seattle
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7. Re: How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

Excellent point, RedRox! It is indeed great to be able to spend the afternoon and evening at the rim, looking back down on the trail st see where you've been, walking a bit to shake out tight muscles, and just generally enjoying the place. I would have found it very sad to jump in the car and leave the same day we hiked out.

Can you possibly squeeze in another night at or near the rim, before you drive back to Vegas? That way you will be fresh and ready for the drive the next morning. Your muscles will thank you.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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8. Re: How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

Actually, I've done both and found that I liked getting the drive over with while we were still on a high from hiking out. I tend to crash the next day and a long drive is about the last thing I want to do.

Anyway, we did weigh the pros and cons but, in the end, what tipped the scale was that South Rim lodging was more than twice that in LV. As nice as relaxing on the porch at El Tovar after the hike sounds, we'll have had 6 days/5 nights in the Grand Canyon by then and I think we'll all be ready for a big hotel room, a hot-tub and room service!

Evanston, Wyoming
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9. Re: How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

Boy am I glad you told us you were trying to drive back to Vegas after you got out of the canyon... I got one word of advice: DON'T! You'll be in no mood to do anything but relax after that hike. A 5 hour drive will be hell on earth. Plus it's best if you can move around afterward - sitting in a car for 5 hours after a hike like that will leave you stiff beyond belief! If there's any way possible to change your plans to stay overnight at the canyon the night of your hike out, please try to do that.

As to which breakfast seating you should choose, do the earlier one (5:00 AM), that way you're well up out of the hot part of the canyon by the time the sun is passing overhead.

Ann Arbor, Michigan
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10. Re: How long did it take you to hike up Bright Angel trail?

Well, K-bot, maybe this is another one of those "everyone is different" kind of things. I've done it both ways and know I react and know which I prefer. In anycase, this part of our plan is settled.

I realize that the early seating breakfast is preferable but the only reservations available were for late seating. I've been calling Xanterra often but no luck as of yet. So, in case early seating never becomes an option, we're trying to decide if we can stay for the late seating breakfast.