Hiking Project Logo

greenBlue Bright Angel Point

  4.7 ( 20 ) Favorite


0.5 mile 0.8 kilometer loop


Ascent: 70' 21 m
Descent: -69' -21 m
High: 8,167' 2,489 m
Low: 8,123' 2,476 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 9% (5°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Nicholas Shannon

A short walk on a paved trail to a spectacular view of the canyon.

Nicholas Shannon

Features Views

Family Friendly A short ridgeline path to an incredible vista.


The trail begins at the log shelter in the parking area by the visitor center or at the corner of the back porch behind the lodge. Self-guiding nature trail pamphlets are available from a box along the trail.


The paved trail to Bright Angel Point provides one of the North Rims most spectacular views. Walk slowly and pace yourself; Bright Angel Point is 8,148 feet/2,484 meters above sea level (5,780 feet/1,762 meters above the Colorado River).

High altitude and an elevation change of 200 feet/60 meters warrant extra caution for those with heart or respiratory conditions. The trail also follows a narrow, steep ridge and is exposed to lightning during storms. Stay on the trail and away from the edge. If a thunderstorm should pass through, seek shelter at the lodge.

The large tributary canyon to the east (on your left as you head out to the point) is Roaring Springs Canyon, a major tributary to Bright Angel Creek. The main source of water for both of these drainages is Roaring Springs. Water from rain and snowmelt seeps deep into the North Rims Kaibab Plateau, migrating gradually southward due to the southward tilt of the plateau. Channeled by fault zones, caves, and impermeable rock layers, the water emerges spectacularly from cave-sized openings in the canyon wall.

Water from Roaring Springs has been pumped to the North Rim since 1928 and currently supplies both the North and South Rims. Power lines seen below this trail provide power to pump the water. On quiet days, you can hear Roaring Springs gushing out of a cliff 3,100 feet/950 meters below the rim.

The short walk to Bright Angel Point dramatizes the effect Grand Canyon has on its surroundings. A transition from the cool green forest of the plateau to a stunted forest of pinyon and juniper on the slope occurs within a very short distance. On flat land you would have to travel several hundred miles to experience this variation, but because of canyon topography the transition is compressed into a few hundred yards.

Flora & Fauna

Warm air surges out of the canyon. Hot sun and drying winds draw moisture from soil and rock, creating inhospitable conditions for large trees. Plants that are adapted to this dynamic environment flourish, but they are shaped by its rigors.

Farther out toward the point, plants give way to bare rock. The rocks appear worn and in some places precarious. Chances of the rocks giving way beneath you on any particular day are exceedingly small, yet you can feel and see agents of erosion— sun, water, and wind—slowly wearing the rock away. These forces shape the canyon every day. Will the rocks on which you stand be here tomorrow? Probably. One thousand years from now? Maybe. Ten thousand years from now? It’s not likely.

History & Background

The name Bright Angel originated on Major John Wesley Powells pioneering exploration of the Colorado River in 1869. Powell regretted having named a muddy creek upstream the Dirty Devil. Later, when he found a creek with sparkling clear water, he gave it the more reverent name, Bright Angel, after a character in Miltons Paradise Lost. The name has since spread, adding its charm to several Grand Canyon features.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Dogs Allowed

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.


Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In


Jun 22, 2019
Kelsey Stratman
Jun 19, 2019
Jamie Van Fossen
Beautiful! Take your time if heights bother you. — 11h 00m
Jun 16, 2019
Lana Z
Jun 6, 2019
May 24, 2019
Xian Fang
Apr 28, 2019
Tayler Corcoran
Apr 14, 2019
James Maurer
Dec 28, 2018
Aish Veda
No hike

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 20 votes


in North Rim


  4.7 from 20 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Hike Rankings


in North Rim


in Arizona


35 Views Last Month
1,097 Since Jun 12, 2015
Easy/Intermediate Easy/Intermediate



Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking