Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,607.00 ft (1,099.41 m)
Trail type
14.50 mi (23.34 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Bright Angel to Horn Creek Camp is a 14.5-mile out-and-back journey in Grand Canyon National Park. This adventure offers spectacular views, diverse ecosystems, and opportunities for solitude. This route can be completed in a day or as an overnight backpacking trip and is recommended for experienced hikers comfortable with desert hiking.


Your adventure begins at the Bright Angel Trailhead, located near the Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. The Bright Angel Trail offers a well-maintained path into the canyon, featuring rest houses and seasonal water sources at various intervals, making it one of the park's most popular trails for its accessibility and stunning vistas.

The descent starts with a series of switchbacks, cutting through layers of geological history on your way down to Havasupai Garden, an oasis providing lush contrast to the surrounding desert landscape. Here, hikers can rest and refill water before continuing on the more rugged portion of the trail toward the Tonto Platform.

Leaving the crowds behind on the Bright Angel Trail, the path meanders west along the Tonto Trail. The expansive views of the inner canyon unfold, with the mighty Colorado River becoming increasingly prominent. Navigating across the Tonto Plateau reveals the Grand Canyon's raw beauty. Springtime wildflowers along the Tonto Trail can be particularly stunning.

As you approach Horn Creek Camp, the environment transitions to a more secluded and tranquil setting, offering a peaceful respite from the more crowded sections of the trail. The camp itself is situated near Horn Creek, which, due to radioactivity from nearby uranium deposits, should not be used for drinking, even with treatment.

Starting/Ending Point: Bright Angel Trailhead, Grand Canyon National Park.
Best Time to Visit: Late spring and early fall, to avoid the extreme heat of summer and the icy conditions of winter.


The Grand Canyon is home to a rich diversity of plant and animal life. Along the Bright Angel Trail, you might spot mule deer, bighorn sheep, and a variety of bird species like the blue-throated hummingbird and the peregrine falcon. The flora includes a range of species from desert scrub communities at higher elevations to riparian vegetation in the canyon's depths.


Permits are required for all overnight stays and should be obtained well in advance from the Grand Canyon National Park's Backcountry Information Center. Always follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on this fragile environment.



  • Water availability is limited, especially beyond Indian Garden. Plan accordingly and treat water from natural sources.

  • The canyon's weather can be unpredictable, with potential for sudden changes. Prepare for extreme temperatures, both hot and cooler conditions, depending on the season and time of day.

  • The trail's strenuous nature requires physical preparedness. Ensure you're equipped with adequate food, water, first-aid supplies, and emergency gear.


The Bright Angel Trailhead is accessible from Grand Canyon Village, with parking available nearby. During peak tourist seasons, consider using the park's shuttle service to reach the trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Scenic Views. Solitude. Desert Wildflowers.


Lack of Water. Lack of shade.

Trailhead Elevation

6,816.00 ft (2,077.52 m)

Highest point

6,816.00 ft (2,077.52 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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