Day Hiking the Bright Angel Trail of the Grand Canyon

This old Indian trail is now the most popular trail hiked in the Grand Canyon.  Bright Angel is an excellent way to see the canyon up close without having to plan for a difficult overnight hike (but you can do an overnight to the bottom and back if desired). Carrying water is highly recommended all year, especially in the summer.  You’ll be able to refill your water container seasonally at rest houses at 1.5 and 3 miles, and all year at the Indian Garden at 4.6 miles.

The National Park Service recommends the 3-miles resthouse as a good turn around spot, but if you continue in the summer it’s highly recommended that you turn around at the Indian Garden at 4.6 miles (making a 9.2 mile round trip).

I hiked this trail a few years ago and still have good dreams about the canyon.  If you’ve seen the Grand Canyon you understand why I say that it can’t be described in words or truly shown in pictures.  If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon I suggest this day hike as a way to experience this natural wonder.

Pros and Cons of Hiking the Bright Angel Trail


Amazing views

Well maintained

Provides some areas of shade

Water available (seasonally at some resthouses)

Easy walk down




You still should carry water as it’s limited and not always available

Difficult walk back up (don’t forget about this as you stroll deeper and deeper into the canyon.)


Hiking Tips for the Bright Angel Trail

Carry water bottle or Camelbak

Be physically prepared / in shape

Wear comfortable but sturdy shoes or hiking boots

Bring moleskins for blisters

Bring extra socks in summer

Layer your clothing as it can be cool if you start early, but can quickly become hot

Wear a broad brimmed hat, carry sunglasses, and sunscreen