The Bright Angel Trail is a wonderful way to start off a trip exploring the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Stop by the visitor center to talk to the rangers about the latest trail updates, grab yourself an Irish coffee from the Rough Rider Saloon, and head out the back door of the lodge toward the overlook. You will be rewarded with a jaw-dropping view of the Grand Canyon. For a thrill, continue all the way out to the point.
Although tours to Bright Angel Point were provided as early as the turn of the 20th century, it wasn't until 1917 that a road was built to the point. Although rough and usually blocked by fallen rocks, the road greatly increased visitation to the point.
Since 1917, Bright Angel Point has become the center for all construction and planning on the North Rim. It also was a key lookout for firefighters until the National Park Service took over in 1919. Even after the Grand Canyon became a national park, the Forest Service rebuilt a fire lookout near the point in 1929.
Bright Angel Point is the heartbeat of the North Rim. Being the central hub for lodging, information, park preservation, and tourism, it has kept the North Rim alive. The North Rim is visited by only 10 percent of Grand Canyon visitors annually, an estimated 500,000 people each year.