Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023Bright Angel Trail brochure
In-depth information is found on the Grand Canyon National Park website.
Trail Condition: Maintained dirt trail. Steep. Well defined. Some shade on trail, mostly from canyon walls and dependent on time of day. Give uphill hikers the right of way. Upper portion of trail may be extremely icy in winter or early spring.
Directions to Trailhead: Located on the South Rim, trail begins just west of Bright Angel Lodge. Follow path along rim, trail starts by mule corral.
Trailhead Elevation: 6,850 feet.
Services: Randomly patrolled by park rangers. Water available year-round at trailhead and at Indian Garden. Ranger Station at Indian Garden. Water available seasonally along trail.
See all hotspots at Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon is considered one of the finest examples of arid-land erosion in the world. Incised by the Colorado River, the canyon is immense, averaging 4,000 feet deep for its entire 277 miles. It is 6,000 feet deep at its deepest point and 18 miles at its widest. However, the significance of Grand Canyon is not limited to its geology.
The Park contains several major ecosystems. Its great biological diversity can be attributed to the presence of five of the seven life zones and three of the four desert types in North America.
The five life zones represented are the Lower Sonoran, Upper Sonoran, Transition, Canadian, and Hudsonian. This is equivalent to traveling from Mexico to Canada.
The Park also serves as an ecological refuge, with relatively undisturbed remnants of dwindling ecosystems (such as boreal forest and desert riparian communities). It is home to numerous rare, endemic (found only at Grand Canyon), and specially protected (threatened or endangered) plant and animal species.
Over 1,500 plant, 355 bird, 89 mammalian, 47 reptile, 9 amphibian, and 17 fish species are found in the park.
The most popular hiking trail into Grand Canyon, the Bright Angel Trail lets hikers walk in the footsteps of Native Americans, canyon miners and pioneers, and early tourists as they descend into the canyon's depths. Offering big views, morning and afternoon shade, resthouses, vault toilets, and drinking water during the summer, this trail offers an excellent first trip into the canyon.
*Note that all trails into the canyon are steep and difficult.