Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
6,231.00 ft (1,899.21 m)
Trail type
32.90 mi (52.95 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 Granite Rapids is a 33-mile out-and-back journey recommended as a 1-2 night backpacking trip. This adventure offers a profound immersion into the canyon's depths, showcasing spectacular views, diverse ecosystems, and the raw power of the Colorado River at Granite Rapids. With substantial distance and significant elevation changes, this hike is designed for experienced backpackers ready to tackle one of the park's iconic routes.

Embarking on this route from Bright Angel Trail to Granite Rapids and back is an epic undertaking that promises a lifetime adventure. Hikers are rewarded not just with the physical challenge of the trek but with unforgettable encounters with the grandeur and beauty of one of the world's most awe-inspiring natural wonders.

Starting/Ending Point: Bright Angel Trailhead, Grand Canyon National Park
Difficulty: Rated as strenuous due to length and extreme elevation changes.
Recommended Duration: 1-2 days
Best Time to Visit: Late spring and early fall, to avoid the extreme heat of summer and the icy conditions of winter.


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.

Reaching Granite Rapids is a trek highlight, where the Colorado River's power is both seen and heard. The rapids offer a mesmerizing spectacle, and the nearby beach provides a perfect spot for a break or an overnight camp, with the sounds of rushing water as your backdrop.


Camping is available at Indian Garden Campground and near Granite Rapids for those with the appropriate backcountry permits. 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 Vistas. Areas of Solitude. Incredible canyon views. Wildflowers.


Permits require advanced planning. Bright Angel can get crowded.

Trailhead Elevation

6,818.00 ft (2,078.13 m)

Highest point

6,818.00 ft (2,078.13 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Bird watching
Geologically significant

Typically multi-day


Permit required


Permit self-issue on site



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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