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The trail opens up around the plateau section and views of the canyon are incredible in this area.
Bright Angel Trail - Grand Canyon N.P.
Closest available address
9 Village Loop Drive Grand Canyon Village, Arizona 86023
South Rim facilities are usually open year round. Daylight hours are best for trail.
Best time to visit
Grand Canyon Village
The Bright Angel Trail is one of the two trails in Grand Canyon National Park that connect the canyon's South Rim to the Colorado River. A 12 mile roundtrip hike and 3,740 foot elevation change leads from the South Rim to Plateau Point, which overlooks the river. Depending on how far you go, Bright Angel Trail can be a formidable hike due to elevation changes and weather.
The trail follows a path first used by Indians for thousands of years. It was traveled by miners in the late 1800s to access their mining claims. When canyon visitation began to boom, miners started charging a lucrative toll to use the trail. This practice continued up to 1928, when the National Park Service prevailed in a court case regarding trail ownership and the tolls ceased.
Bright Angel Trail is very popular and you will have plenty of company most of year. The elevation at the south rim is 6,850 feet, and as one descends into the canyon temperatures tend to get warmer and the environment more arid. In summer the trail can be more challenging due to the heat. There are several shelters on the trail and water is generally available seasonally. Mule droppings are a constant menace.
Plateau Point is as far as the National Park Service advises for a day hike, and it took about 8 hours for the 12 mile roundtrip with several stops. Progress was slow for the first 2 miles because the trail was covered with ice. Spring and fall are better times of year to hike. Aside from the ice, the trail gets much harder on the return because of the prolonged ascent, so be realistic about your condition and check the time when deciding how far to go. The trail itself was in good shape and seeing the canyon from various angles and elevations was spectacular. This is a fine choice for experiencing the park in a meaningful and memorable way if you have the time and ability. Note that there is parking around the trailhead, but it can be hard to get a good spot in busier times.
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3/18/2013 3:35:57 PM
How can you call yourself "guyonthego" when you clearly couldn't even "go" all the way to the canyon bottom? What a waste, why even bother. I rate this review a zero.
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