Bright Angel Trail

One of the most popular trails at the Grand Canyon is the Bright Angel Trail.  You walk or take a mule down an incline of 4,380 feet from the top to the Colorado River.  The average slope is at a grade of 10% the complete trail.  After you get to the bottom of the canyon, it takes about another 1.9 miles to walk to the Bright Angel Campground and Phantom Ranch along the River Trail.  There are two other trails which join the Bright Angel Trial; Tonto Trail which leads to the Monument Use Area to the west, and South Kaibab Trail which heads to the east.

If you want to stay at the campgrounds below, you need to get a permit.  If you are in groups or parties, there is a limited about they will allow at one time.  They issue these permits on a first-come, first-served basis, on the 1st of each month, and up to four months ahead of the date you plan to camp there.

There are several hazards for those choosing to hike this trail.  It is grueling especially hiking back up and many have suffered from dehydration.  You need to plan for the altitude change and drink plenty of water.  Other dangers are sudden rainstorms, flash flooding, loose footing, ice, rock falls, encounters with wildlife, and extreme heat.  The trails are narrow and often you will run into the mules along the way.  The mules always get the right of way.  Many hike this trail every year and are prepared for all.

The trail was created by the Havasupai people as an access to the water below at Garden Creek.  The Havasupai lived in that area until 1903 when President Theodore Roosevelt arranged for them to leave to make way for the park.  The last of Havasupai left in 1928 and had to be forced out by the National Park Service.

Of course, there has been paranormal activity on the trail as well.  Some have seen apparitions along the way.   Perhaps they are the souls who met their demise on the trail or Havasupai spirits.


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