Backpack the Bright Angel Trailhead to Indian Garden Campground

Rate this Adventure Arizona Bright Angel Trailhead

Added by Lauren Schusterman

A great way to see the beauty of the Grand Canyon while avoiding the heat (and crowds) of the summer. By camping in the canyon you get to see the sunset and sunrise from the canyon.

The trail begins just outside of the Grand Canyon village at the Bright Angel Trailhead. The hike begins to descend immediately in continuous switchbacks. The trail can get very icy so shoe traction devices, while not necessary, are very useful. Along the trail there are rest houses at the 1/3 and 2/3 points on the trail to the Indian Garden campground. Eventually the trail levels out and continues flat for a bit before reaching the campsite. Once at the campsite pick a site and make sure to store your food and any hygiene products in the animal-proof storage containers.

For an optional side trip, wake up before sunrise and walk 1.5 miles out to plateau point. This part of the track is primarily flat and takes you out to a point where you can see the Colorado River. It only takes about 25 to 30 minutes each way and is well worth the extra effort.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Crampons (or other shoe traction device)
  • Warm clothes (temps drop well below freezing)
  • Tent
  • Sleeping pad
  • Food
  • Water (there is water at the Indian Garden camp site)
  • Camping permit (needs to be obtained from the Backcountry Office)
  • $10 for the permit and an additional $8 per person using the permit
  • Hiking poles
  • Camera
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



9.6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

3060 Feet


Easy Parking

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

Have you done this adventure? Have something to add? You could be the first to leave a review!

Added by Lauren Schusterman

College student at UCLA. Born and raised in Boulder, CO. In love with the outdoors and all it has to offer.

More Adventures Nearby

Hike the Abineau-Bear Jaw Loop

Arizona / Abineau-Bear Jaw loop

This trail is slightly more hidden on the northern slope of the San Francisco Peaks, but well worth the drive just outside of Flagstaff.

Kevin Kaminski
41 Saves

Camp At Waheap Campground

Arizona / Wahweap RV Campground

This modern campground is just steps from the beach and centrally located on the Arizona / Utah border -- perfect for exploring both sides of the Glen Canyon National Recreational Area.

Kelly Park
5 Saves

Backpack the Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden and Bright Angel Campgrounds

Arizona / Bright Angel Trailhead

The Bright Angel Trail is considered the park’s premier hiking trail.

Nick Tort
8 Saves