12. September 2014 · Comments Off on Grand Canyon: Bright Angel Trail · Categories: Uncategorized · Tags: , , , ,
One of my favorite photos ever. My boys enjoying America's beauty.

One of my favorite photos ever. My boys enjoying America’s beauty.

On the 2nd full day of our Grand Canyon trip, we decided to get an early start and hit the Bright Angel Trail.

The Bright Angel Trail originates at the heart of the “touristy” part of the South Rim Grand Canyon park. It’s a well-maintained trail, in part because this is the trail that the mules use for those tours. Because of the accessibility, it’s definitely more crowded than the remote Hermit’s Trail.

We drove our vehicle from the campground and found some parking about 1/2 mile from the trailhead.

At the Bright Angel Trailhead, which is adjacent to the Bright Angel Lodge.

At the Bright Angel Trailhead, which is adjacent to the Bright Angel Lodge.

The trail itself is very easy to negotiate. The kids had no problems, and I didn’t even have to worry about their getting too close to the edge; there was plenty of width to most of the trail.

In addition, we went early enough in the morning that much of the trail was still in shadow, although on our way back up to the rim, it became quite sunny.


If you get up close and personal below the rim, you find quite a bit of wildlife. I was surprised at how many trees and animals could be seen.

We hiked approximately 1 1/2 miles down the trail, perhaps 750′ down. We were attempting to go down five layers: that was the goal Jacob had set. He wanted to see the iron-rich Redwall Limestone layer. We barely got down to that layer before I decreed we needed to turn around. I got too nervous to go any further with the boys.

It’s important to remember that any venture down below the rim requires you to come back UP from any distance you choose to descend. This makes for a very daunting task. I was constantly worried that, the further we descended, the more difficult it would be for Timmy to come back up. He isn’t as enthusiastic about hiking as his brother.

However, Timmy did just fine. He enjoyed the Grand Canyon hikes quite a bit.

We spent just over two hours on the hike. We took several breaks on the way up, stopping for snacks and water. We talked to several other parties who were hiking at about the same speed we were. It’s remarkable learning how far away people travel to see the Grand Canyon.

After we got back up to the rim, we stopped for ice cream at the Bright Angel Lodge soda fountain.

If you ever go to the Grand Canyon, take a trip below the rim! You’ll be glad you did. The geology is amazing! The Bright Angel Trail is perfect for beginners.