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“3 mile point and back. A great days hike”
Review of Bright Angel Trail

Bright Angel Trail
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$164.03*
and up
Full Day: Grand Canyon Complete Tour from...
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
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 May 6, 2014

Lots of information and warnings about doing the whole trail to the river and back...take heed..unless you are someone like Ranaulf Fiennes!! But the hike and back to either the 1 1/2 mile mark...or for me the 3 mile mark is a great way to get below the rim..and certainly after the first rest stop..the crowds!! Prepare with lots of water and energy snacks..and good shoes/boots. Poles are helpful too if like me your knees are getting old. The descent is steady and on a well marked/ maintained trail. Good views and a great hike. The two rest areas had water taps, restrooms and rangers so lots of support. I was tempted to go onto the Indian Garden (an further 3 miles and 1000ft descent)..but mindful I already had over 2000ft of ascent to get back to the top.. I thought better of it. The ascent again is steady..but relentless.. Don't let the east descent fool you. Allow at least twice the time to return (well if you are a normal walker like me) I was lucky as it was a cool day and a good breeze so ideal walking weather. I imagine on hotter days you need to double check your capabilities.

1  Thank Val J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 6, 2014

We did the trail to the plateau point and back, which took us about 7 hours (plenty of foto, drinking and eating stops included). You should start not after 8 am and do some frequent short rests.The canyon is really breathtaking if you walk down the trail. The steepest part is probalbly from the trailhead to the 1.5 mile resthouse. The trail is wide and in "good shape" so you don't have to watch your step permanently. Indian Garden is a good place for lunch and to fill up your water supplies.
If you plan to hike to the river and back and are not sure about the warnings of a dayhike, ... do it!!! It took us 7 hours for the 20 k's to the plateau point and back. We are not frequent hikers and if you plan about 9 hours it's absolutely possible to the river, but you should be a little sportive!

Thank Fabian-20131
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2014

Loved the hike out. First 4.5 miles relatively easy, left early to beat the heat. Then the elevation gain started, and the air thinned and it got much harder. Went with my 12 year old girls who did fine. Plenty of rest, water, and food. Not for kids much younger, or those unprepared. It can get hot, and is strenuous. If you are not prepared, it isn't a good time.

1  Thank Robertainez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 6, 2014

Tho longer than the South Kaibab Trail, in my opinion, it's a better option than coming back up via the South Kaibab Trail (steeper). Whereas the South Kaibab Trail is a ridge hike, the Bright Angel Trail is a valley hike, the only strenuous part is when you are getting close back to the rim and you are exhausted......the switchbacks seem endless. I took my time on my way back up from the Colorado River and stopped numerous times to chat with fellow hikers, taking pictures, and resting and took 10 hours to get back up to the rim. Remember, the enjoyment is the journey as much as the destination.

2  Thank kcchin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 2, 2014

I'm 41, my husband is 48, and we are both in good shape. Our intent was to hike down South Kaibab to Tonto, and across to Bright Angel and back up. It was supposed to be a 13 mile hike. We prepared for a long day of hiking, I was thinking something like 12 hours. What ACTUALLY happend......
We missed the Tonto trail crossing at the Tip Off and kept going down South Kaibab. When we got to the River Trail where there was actually a sign marking it, it was easy to see that it wasn't much farther to keep going on down to the river. Since we were so close to it, we kept going down. That part was amazing, and worth the whole hike. We followed the trail on over to the Bright Angel Campground where we breaked for lunch and sock airing. Our feet thanked us for that. Then, headed back up. All the way back up. The only pictures I took were going down. It was too much energy to stop for that on the way back up! For proof, I just added my Garmin details. :)
Per my Garmin watch, it was 16.6 miles, and we finished in 8 hours and 8 minutes, that included a few rest/snack/lunch breaks. The last 4.5 miles where excruciating. We were moving pretty fast the whole way (for a steep hike with heavy packs). The weather was optimal for such an adventure -in the 40's and 50's.
I would NOT recommend this in hot weather. We each had our own camelback with about 3/4 gallon of water (plus a bit of Gatorade and food). Neither of us used it all, there was about 1/4 left for us both.
I learned: that it's very hard to walk fast and eat at the same time, the hiking poles were especially helpful on the way down, and during the accent, DO NOT expect anyone to adhere to the hiking etiquette of yielding to those going up. I was nearly plowed into and knocked backwards a few times. Anger actually fuels your energy a bit, so maybe that wasn't such a bad thing after all...
Anyway, this was definitely the most challenging fitness adventure of my life, and even though it is highly discouraged by everyone, I wouldn't trade anything for the experience.

3  Thank Amy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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