Old Bright Angel
ElevationAscent: 368' 112 m
Descent: -4,333' -1,321 m
High: 8,507' 2,593 m
Low: 4,541' 1,384 m
GradeAvg Grade: 17% (10°)
Max Grade: 78% (38°)
Popular hikes nearby
Cape Final Trail
4.3 mi 6.9 km • Out and Back • 425 ft Ascent 129.56 m Ascent
13.1 mi 21.0 km • Point to Point • 469 ft Ascent 142.87 m Ascent
South Kaibab/Bright Angel Loop
21.6 mi 34.7 km • Loop • 4,968 ft Ascent 1514.22 m Ascent
47.5 mi 76.5 km • Out and Back • 10,919 ft Ascent 3328.07 m Ascent
Tusayan Ruins Loop
0.2 mi 0.4 km • Loop • 30 ft Ascent 9.06 m Ascent
Desert View Point
0.5 mi 0.7 km • Loop • 27 ft Ascent 8.35 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“This unmaintained path along the upper part of Bright Angel Canyon is good for making long loops.”— Megan W
Traverse the east side of the valley and switchback down into a dry streambed. After some distance following the streambed, descend again to Bright Angel Creek itself and enjoy the views. Pass a few shortfalls, keeping to the west bank of the creek, ignoring a couple initial false paths that appear to cross it. The true crossing is later than you imagine, and keeping to the trail here is difficult due to social trails and dense undergrowth. There may be cairns visible so keep an eye out.
Once on the eastern side of Bright Angel Creek, in about a mile you reach the confluence with Roaring Springs. From here you can continue along the eastern side of the drainage until the trail ends and you reach the intersection with the North Kaibab Trail at the Pumphouse seasonal ranger station and seasonal water source. If using the Old Bright Angel Trail to form part of a loop, some folks recommend doing Old Bright Angel for the descent because it is easier to find the trail in that direction than when ascending.
Historical notes: this trail was originally created by F.E. Matthes who surveyed much of the Grand Canyon for the US government in 1902. It apparently crossed Bright Angel Creek 94 times but was later improved with the purpose of allowing tourists to reach the North Rim. Once the park service finished the North Kaibab trail, fewer and fewer people used the Old Bright Angel Trail and it has become overgrown.
Hiked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know
Land Manager: National Park Service - Grand Canyon National Park