Bright Angel Trail

A dirt trail with steps descends into the canyon past a short cliff of white limestone.
Enjoy the hike! But don't forget to plan for the uphill part!

NPS/Ty Karlovetz

Quick Facts
Grand Canyon Village
Corridor Trail

Restroom, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Toilet - Vault/Composting, Trailhead, Water - Bottle-Filling Station, Water - Drinking/Potable

The most popular hiking trail into Grand Canyon, the Bright Angel Trail lets hikers walk in the footsteps of the canyon's Indigenous Peoples, miners, 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.

Current Closures of Bright Angel Trail

The closures are for waterline replacement work. 
    1/2 mile from the Trailhead down to the Silver Bridge, including Havasupai Gardens Campground.
    CLOSURE DURATION: December 1, 2023, through April 14, 2024
    East of Horn Creek to the South Kaibab Trail (the Tipoff)
    CLOSURE DURATION: December 1, 2023, through April 14, 2024
    CLOSURE DURATION: October 12, 2023, through March 14, 2025

Trail Closure - FAQ for Hikers

Where can people day hike - now that Bright Angel Trail is closed?

Visitors can still have a below the rim experience on the Bright Angel Trail, as it will remain open from the Trailhead to nearly 1/2 mile down the trail to the turnaround point (during the December. 1, 2023 through April 14, 2024, closure period.

Alternatively, there are other day hike options on the South Rim of Grand Canyon. The Canyon Rim Trail stretches nearly 13 miles from the South Kaibab Trailhead to Hermits Rest, featuring numerous overlooks offering panoramic views of the Grand Canyon. It’s wheelchair accessible from Lookout Studio to South Kaibab Trailhead, with various shuttle bus stops along the trail.

Visitors looking for longer day hikes into the canyon can hike down the South Kaibab Trail to Ooh Aah Point or Cedar Ridge and back to experience some of the steep and challenging terrain. Since there is no parking at the South Kaibab Trailhead, we suggest parking at the Visitor Center, then taking the Kaibab (Orange) Route shuttle bus to the trailhead. It is a 9-minute ride from the Visitor Center to the South Kaibab Trailhead. Details and schedule > 

  • If trail users need access to or from the South Kaibab Trailhead when the shuttle buses are not running, please contact Xanterra Taxi Service at 928.638.2631.

During the winter months, icy trail conditions are present on the upper reaches of all inner canyon trails, as well as along the Canyon Rim Trail.

Visitors should not attempt these hikes or walks without assessing conditions and managing risk by wearing foot traction and using hiking poles. Both foot traction and poles are on sale in the shops and stores throughout Grand Canyon Village. More winter hiking tips >


Bright Angel Trail Destinations (When it Reopens)

First Tunnel
0.1 miles (0.2 km) roundtrip / 20 minutes

Second Tunnel
1.8 miles (2.9 km) roundtrip / 1-2 hours / 590 feet (180 m) elevation change

Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse
3 miles (4.8 km) roundtrip / 2-4 hours / 1,120 feet (340 km) elevation change

Three-Mile Resthouse
6 miles (9.6 km) roundtrip / 4-6 hours / 2,120 feet (645 m) elevation change

Havasupai Gardens - Check with a park ranger before attempting as a day hike.
9 miles (14.4 km) roundtrip / 6-9 hours / 3,040 feet (925 m) elevation change

Plateau Point - Check with a park ranger before attempting as a day hike.
12 miles (19.6 km) roundtrip / 9-12 hours / 3,080 feet (940 m) elevation change

Consult a park ranger before heading down to the Colorado River for safety tips and overnight permits. Destinations below Havasupai Gardens are not recommended day hikes due to the long distance, extreme temperature changes, and an approximately 5,000' (1,500 m) elevation change each way.


Water is available seasonally (May through October) along the trail at Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse and Three-Mile Resthouse, as well as year-round at Havasupai Gardens.

However, water availability is subject to weather conditions and may be interrupted by pipeline breaks. Check at the Visitor Center or Backcountry Information Center for water status on the trail.

Even though the Bright Angel Trail has water stations along the trail, carrying your own water is still necessary. Water from natural sources such as creeks and springs should be purified. When hiking in a group, each person should be carrying water.

Trail Description

Bright Angel Trail is considered the most popular hiking trail in the park. Well-maintained and graded for stock, it is fairly easy to walk down. This can be a blessing or a curse. Wide views of the inner canyon and distant formations often distract hikers from just how far down the trail they've walked. The return hike back up and out of the canyon is far more difficult and requires much more effort. Plan for at least twice as much time back up as it took to go down.

While South Kaibab Trail follows a ridge line, Bright Angel Trail is tucked deep within a side canyon along a massive fault, which keeps the trail in this side canyon for the first few miles. The majority of the trail's elevation change takes place in the upper four miles via a series of switchbacks that seem endless. Views are framed by massive cliffs, with more plant and animal life thanks to a higher degree of shade and natural water sources. If you're interested in geology or wildlife, this is a trail with complementary features. You can expect to see mules on the trail as well. See below for more information.

The trail levels out as it approaches Havasupai Gardens, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) and over 2,000 vertical feet (925 meters) below the rim. This destination is an oasis within the canyon, home to the Havasupai People until they were forced to leave when the National Park was established. From here, you might consider the relatively flat (but very exposed) 3-mile (4.8-km) round trip hike to Plateau Point for sunrise or sunset.

Hikers interested in planning a trip beyond these destinations should consult a park ranger.

Hike Smart

Make a Plan
Once you have researched your trip and are confident in what to expect on the trail, communicate your plan to someone who will notice if you are overdue and report it to 911.

Check the Weather
Summer temperatures in the shade routinely pass 100°F (38°C). Avoid hiking between 10 am and 4 pm, the hottest times of day.

From July to September, monsoons can build large, violent lightning storms. Seek shelter immediately.

During late fall, winter, and early spring, temperatures regularly drop below freezing, and upper portions of this steep trail can become dangerously icy. Over-the-shoe traction devices are highly recommended during these times of year. Consult a park ranger for current trail conditions.

Before heading down into the canyon, consult the signs at the trailhead for trip planning and current weather, trail information and trail closures. (or visit our Key Hiking Messages webpage).

Pack Properly
Before your hike, it is critical to determine your needs for fluids and for snacks high in calories and salts. Consuming twice as many calories as during normal exercise is realistic for summer canyon hikes. The hike out of the canyon will likely take twice as long as the hike down. Wearing sun hats and cool, wet clothing will help regulate your core body temperature during warmer hikes.

Energy Balance
Your body needs energy-balancing: proper nutrition and hydration are critical to your hiking success! Eat and drink while resting, sip fluids only when thirsty.
Too little water leads to dehydration and heat stroke. Excessive hydration and insufficient salt intake causes hyponatremia—a seizure-producing, electrolyte disorder. If you do not feel well: seek shade, get wet, cool off, eat, and rest. Turning around may be your best option.

Mules and Hikers

Mules use this trail regularly.
Expect to encounter aromatic evidence of them on your hike!

Always give mules the right of way.
Encounters between hikers and mules have resulted in injuries to packers and even death to mules. To ensure safety for yourself, other trail users, mules, and mule riders, follow these steps when encountering mules on the trails:

  1. Step off the trail on the uphill side-away from the edge.
  2. Listen for and follow the directions of the wranglers.
  3. Remain completely quiet and stand perfectly still.
  4. Only return to the trail when the last mule is 50 feet (15 m) beyond your position.


A permit is required for all camping below the rim of Grand Canyon. Learn more and apply online, or request a permit in person at the Backcountry Information Center.

  • Only camp in designated campsites - Havasupai Gardens Campground offers 15 small group sites and 1 large group site. Stock is not permitted.
  • Bright Angel Campground, located on the north side of the Colorado River at Phantom Ranch, offers 30 small group sites and 2 large group sites. Stock is permitted here!

Grand Canyon National Park

Last updated: April 5, 2024