Bright Angel Trail --> Plateau Point Trail, Grand Canyon NP, AZ

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Grand Canyon, Arizona

Bright Angel Trail --> Plateau Point Trail, Grand Canyon NP, AZ Reviews

gallantleo gallantl…
3 reviews
Worth the Hike! Apr 24, 2011
WARNING: Do Not attempt to hike from the rim to the river and back in one day!

I didn't. I went as far as they recommended, Plateau Point (12.2 miles round-trip) and it was worth it. Looking at the river from Plateau Point is amazing and worth the extra 3 miles round-trip from Indian Garden.

The Grand Canyon is amazing and looking at it from the top is definitely different than looking at it from below. To be honest, there wasn't too much change in scenery on the way down to Indian Garden but it was stunning nevertheless.

Plateau Point is my favorite along this trail. I will be coming back one day to go to the bottom. I'm glad I didn't do it this trip because I want to stay at Phantom Ranch and enjoy the bottom instead of rushing back up. Phantom Ranch is very popular and need to be reserve early.


--You need water. It wasn't an issue on the way down for me but on the way up, it was. There was only water at the 1.5 Mile Resthouse and the Indian Garden when I went in mid-April. Somehow, I managed to drink 2 liters between the two stops (3 miles apart) and was dying of thirst about 0.5 miles from the 1.5 Mile Resthouse on the way up. I've hiked 6-10 miles round-trip in San Diego without finishing my 2 liters. Finishing 2 liters in 2.5 miles surprised me. BRING ENOUGH WATER!

--You need to bring food. An apple can be somewhat thirst-quenching and you need the energy. We also had beef jerky, granola, chip, dried fruits, fruits, bagels and peanut butter.

--Bring sunblock. The 12.2 miles took about 9 hours total. High noon definitely slowed us down.

--Rest appropriately and pace yourself. It gets hot as you go down. On the way down, we were going about 1.5 miles/40 minutes and on the way up, 1.5 miles/hour.

--From the beginning of the trail to Indian Garden, its ~3000 ft in net elevation change. To Plateau Point from Indian Garden, ~30 ft net elevation change.

--Know your limits. Don't be a sad statistics.

Happy Trails All!
At the beginning
Indian Garden
Plateau Point
Plateau Point
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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mypictures4u mypictur…
30 reviews
Hiking Bright Angel trail, Grand Canyon Sep 01, 1996
If you travel through the Southwest of the U.S. the Grand Canyon it is obvious that the Grand Canyon is a must-see. Most people just stop at some of the viewpoints along the rim. More time is needed to hike down into the canyon. It is worth doing!

In 1996 (August) my cousin and I chose to take the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point which is located directly above the Colorado river. This is the furthest recommended day hike from the South Rim (6 miles one way).

We started arround 6:00 in the morning with one gallon of water each. At this time temperatures were moderate and the trail offered some shade. The first mile of the trail following the Cinch-up-curve is the steepest part of the hike. No problem at this point of time, though. But a thought rushed into my mind: "The way up will probably be strenuous..." We passed the 1.5 mile rest house and the 3 mile rest house and took some time to take pictures (there is a nice spot nearby the second guest house). After that the trail becomes steeper again.

Some 3/4 mile ahead of Indian Gardens we entered the Tonto Plateau. From this point the path levels. It could be easy going but since the trail does not offer any shade beyond this point you should refill your bottles at Indian Gardens. Which we did.

After 4 hours of walking and resting we reached the designated target of our hike: Plateau Point. The viewpoint offers spectacular views of the Colorado river and the surrounding landscape. The great vista combined with a light breeze let us forget that the exhausting part of the hike was yet to come.

The way back was not strenuous. It was most strenuous because of the stifling heat. When we reached Indian Gardens again and stopped for another refill the thermometer read 108.0 °F. And still rising. To cut a long story short: It took us five hours (including several breaks) to reach the rim again.

Total elevation:

3100 feet (945 m)


12.2 miles

Please note:

- you should be in fair hiking shape

- bring extra water ( I drank about 9 litersy!)
On the way back
North-eastwars view from Plateau P…
Plateau Point
Crossing Tonto Plateau
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
venusgurl28 says:
and you did it all in one day?! I do not reccommend it to anybody!!! i think it's a suicide to do it in one day all the way down! You were very brave! For more info on the several days hike to the canyon, you can visit my Grand Canyon review
Posted on: Oct 12, 2008
brainsyke says:
what would you recommend if someoen wants to spend just the weekend at the grand canyon and return back to Chicago?
Posted on: Mar 28, 2008
thenewextrememimi says:
Thanks, this is helpful!
Posted on: Oct 23, 2007

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