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Review of Bright Angel Trail

Bright Angel Trail
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Full Day: Grand Canyon Complete Tour from...
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Owner description: One of the two superhighways of the Grand Canyon, this well maintained and popular trail offers breathtaking vistas, some shaded areas, plus a number of rest stops that have drinking water.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

We did a rim-to-river-to-rim hike and stayed at the Phantom Ranch in January. We hiked up the Bright Angel Trail. It is almost like you are in a different canyon that the South Kaibab trail. Near Indian Gardens, we saw several deer! The creek allows for more vegetation to grown.

This trail was much more shaded than the South Kaibab. Also, there was water available at Indian Gardens. There was very packed ice near the top; I put on my yax-trax, but they didn't do much good as it was very solidly packed down. Just go slow.

For a day hike, consider either the 1.5 mile house, the 3 mile house, or Indian Gardens. We came across one hiker that was doing a day hike to Plateau Point (certainly doable in winter...it was a pleasant 40 degrees...you would want to do this with caution in the summer).

1  Thank warrenville111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 15, 2014

Me and my partner, both of whom love hiking, had a wonderful time hiking this trail despite it being December. Unfortunately we had only limited number of hours (as we were to meet the bus that would take us back to Vegas at 3.00PM, and we started around 10.30AM) so we couldn't go very far.

Still it was a spectacular scene, the view from this trail. Only about 30 minutes into the hike you descend enough to more or less cut you off from the rest of the world so you can enjoy the magnificence of the Grand Canyon at it's best. We hiked for about 1:30 hours downward, and since it was December and there was ice in some part of the trail we had to be extra careful so the going was slow. Also there was quite a number of people both going downwards and upwards, which was kind of nice.

I strongly recommend using crampons for your shoes (small spiky things you can fit to the bottom of your shoes) to improve your grip, in case you hike during the winter. Also, go early! That will leave you enough time to descend as further into the canyon as you wish, although I suppose a stay at the Canyon itself would be best.

Carry enough water and some high energy food such as chocolate bars. But make sure not to pack unnecessary things as the hike back up could be challenging if you have lot of weight. Also dress for weather; it could get very cold during winter.

All in all absolutely loved the experience.

Thank Sachintha G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 15, 2014

I did the hike down the Grand Canyon and back up on April, 2013. Total time was 10 hours from 7am to 5pm - 3.5 hours down, 5.5 hours up and one hour at the bottom and lots of photo stops – 270 pics with a DSLR and an iPhone. Spectacular and well worth it though I much preferred the South Kaibab Trail (down) to the Bright Angel Trail (up) which I found a bit boring by comparison.
Would not like to do this on a hot day. I had a perfect day – sunny and around freezing at the start and probably around 70 at the bottom. Although I am over 65, I am a fit, reformed marathoner. Do not attempt this hike on a hot day and/or if you are not fit.
The Bright Angel Trail is more of a valley trail – less views but more shade – it is longer and less steep – 4460’ vertical and 9.9 miles. There is water at the bottom and at several points on the Bright Angel Trail. There is no water available on the South Kaibab Trail which is more open, along a ridge, with outstanding views and panoramas – it is steeper and shorter – 4860’ vertical and 7.4 miles.
Advice is take lots of water, especially on a hot day. Being cautious, I took too much water, especially for the cooler weather in April. Dress in layers. I used a hiking pole and found it to be very helpful both down and up.
Great experience and I would love to do it again, although I might do South Kaibab up and down next time.

1  Thank Whistledown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2014

For anyone visiting in the winter, read this review. Bring crampons. I was told Jan 2014 didn't have near as much ice as usual Januarys, but still, it was icy in the first 15 minutes and I fell a few times and twisted my ankle ever so slightly....nothing too bad though. If you can buy some YakTrax, Stabilicers, etc, you will be glad you have them. Trust me.

I just hiked down into the canyon to the 3 mile mark. Round trip took me about 6 hours. Going back up was hard. Very hard. There is one point where you think you are about to be done because you just look close to finishing but when you round the corner, you see you probably have another .75 mile up to go. It was a huge bummer. The canyon is gorgeous but that is a given that everyone already knows. I stayed at Bright Angel Lodge. If you are considering staying on the rim or maybe in Tusayan, stay at the rim!!! I was considering Tusayan but am sooo glad I did not. The views you have outside your doorstep are incredible!!! Plus when done with the hike, you will be so glad you can just go collapse on your bed without any hassle. The trail is just steps away from the lodge. Try to stay there if staying on the rim. I wrote a review of the Bright Angel Lodge a few minutes ago. Check it out if you wanna see what I thought about it overall!

1  Thank emis100
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 12, 2014

This trail is located behind the Bright Angel Lodge. This is the high light of the Grand Canyon for me. I am just in awe in the natural beauty and grandeur of my surroundings. You need to be in decent shape to hike this trail and you need lots of water and snacks to keep your energy up. Wear shoes with good treads to avoid slipping, especial in winter time. You should go at least as far as the Indian Garden to feel a sense of achievement in a good day's hike.

Thank kelli H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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