Hike Plateau Point via Bright Angel Trail

Details

Distance

12 miles

Elevation Gain

3000 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by John Stambaugh

You'll witness possibly the most mind blowing sunsets you'll ever see. Get the opportunity to view the Grand Canyon from the inside looking out, not to mention, you'll be getting great exercise.

Start off at Bright Angel Trailhead, then hike down into the Grand Canyon on one of the higher-quality trails. Hiking down to Plateau Point (furthest option) is well worth it.

The hike down is a total of 6 miles, with a 3,000 foot drop in elevation. As you can imagine, this means the way back out will be a little more challenging. The first 4 miles take you to the base of the canyon and the following 2 miles will lead you past Mather Campground to a scenic overlook of the Colorado River -- remember to bring your hat as this area is exposed. In fact, the whole 2 miles at the bottom is exposed and can reach temperatures up in the 100s (even in May). The water spickets are approximately every 1.5 miles, so plan accordingly.

The trip has several spots to get water and a couple bathroom stops on the way down. This trail is not very technical, but can be pretty challenging on the way down and back up. There are rescues every year for folks who don't factor in the difficulty that can be brought on due to the weather. Make sure you do your research and bring adequate supplies (water, shade, food).

If you want to stay overnight and make this an early or late day hike, there are sites available at Mather Campground.

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🥇Top Contributor

about 2 years ago

Incredible

Best hike to do if you don't have time/don't want to go all the way down to the mighty Colorado. This hike really gives you a perspective of how big the Grand Canyon really is. I highly recommend it for everyone!

🥉Contributor

almost 3 years ago

Magic in the canyons

Hiking this trail feels like a dream. You are quite literally hiking on the edge of an epic canyon. The earthy hues of the canyon seem to get more vibrant as you make your descent as you become a part of the canyon itself. The path can get quite narrow; wear proper footwear and sunscreen and bring a substantial amount of water and snacks. To soak in all the magic, pack a sack lunch to allow your eyes to settle on the views before you make your way back.

🥈 Contributor

almost 4 years ago

Wow factor

One of the best day hikes offered in the park. We stayed at Mather Campground and used the park's free shuttle service to get to Bright Angel trailhead. There are rest houses with shade and bathrooms every 1.5 miles down the trail. Some of the rest houses will also have water pumps available, depending on time of year. You pass through Indian Garden Campground on mile 4.5 which provides water and access to a ranger station. Plateau Point offers amazing views of the Colorado River that brought tears to all of our eyes.

🥉Contributor

almost 5 years ago

Great Day Adventure

Three of my friends went here for spring break in March. It's a beautiful mix of snow and warm afternoons. We wove down to Indian Creek, then all the way out to see the river. It started off chilly, but once we arrive in the "valley" the sun beat on our skin and we set out to see the Colorado River in full stride (it's pretty flat here). It's weird starting with a descent to turn around and climb. Easy trip to get into the canyon if you only have a day or so. Made it back just in time to see the sunset. Be aware of the climate changes. You'll start off shaded and cool but it will warm up as you get lower. Bring sunscreen and lots of water. Crampons were super helpful as well as we walked on some snowy/icy parts in the beginning. For the hardcore folks- great trail to run! My friend loves to run so she would run up a ways and wait for us all to catch up. It's a wider path with great views the whole way.

🥉Contributor

almost 5 years ago

Great Hike

We hiked down to the Indian gardens camp site and then spent the night there. Then woke up early and watched the sunrise down at the Colorado river. The hike back to the top was hard with all the gear but worth it. We did see a large rattle snake at the camp site so I would be careful of those.

586 total saves

4.8/5

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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