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    Indian Garden Campground via Bright Angel Trail

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    7.2 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Of all places to camp, the Grand Canyon is a pretty hard one to beat, to say the absolute least. This route takes you to Indian Garden Campground via Bright Angel Trail, the most popular route in the entire canyon. Note that this hike reflects a one-way journey, so if you intend to hike to the campground and back you’ll need to prepare for some heavy elevation gain (about 930 m worth). The 0 m of gain is only for the trip from the rim to the campground. While it’s a fine trip for intermediate hikers and better, beginners might get exhausted on the climb back up to the rim.

    This route departs from the Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim of the Canyon, which is where most visitors to the canyon end up. Come prepared with poles, good boots, snacks, and plenty of water. If you intend to camp at Indian Garden, you’ll need to book your spot ahead of time.

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    Route Description for Indian Garden Campground via Bright Angel Trail

    Whether you plan to stay the night or not, the hike to the Indian Garden Campground on Bright Angel Trail is worth every step. Although, if you can manage to book yourself a site, you’d be sleeping in one of the most astounding wonders of the natural world. Pretty neat!

    Bright Angel Trail is the most-used route in the entire canyon. It’s immaculately maintained, very easy to follow, and jaw-droppingly gorgeous. This is the Grand Canyon, after all. Indian Garden is one of the stops along this iconic hiking trail, and it’ll likely compete for one of the coolest places you’ve spent a night. Tucked underneath the trees inside the canyon, you’ll walk out of your tent in the morning to have coffee within one of the most iconic sites in the country. Also pretty neat!

    Even if you don’t plan to stay at the campground, this hike is still a fantastic trip. Note that the distance and elevation gain reflects the downhill trip to the campground only. Should you want to do this as an out and back, double the distance and prepare for about 930 m of elevation gain on the way back up. Poles will be handy.

    If you’re hiking to the campground and continuing through, you won’t need to worry about the return trip just yet. If you are hiking out and back, bring plenty of water. It can be very hot in the canyon during the summertime and you’ll want to have plenty of hydration with you.

    From the well-marked Bright Angel Trailhead, you’ll take Bright Angel Trail as it curves through two wide traversing switchbacks before settling into a course of narrower, steeper turns. As you make your way down, make sure to pause and look up as you go. The view of the canyon changes with your descent and you’ll enjoy a closer look at the striations of the walls and unique foliage as you go.

    There’s a water refill station called Mile and a Half Resthouse at the end of a traverse in between the switchbacks. There’s also a restroom here if needed. After this pit stop, you’ll launch back into switchbacks along the well-defined route.

    Three-Mile Resthouse marks the approximate halfway point. After this, the route straightens out as it covers the remaining distance to Indian Garden, running alongside Garden Creek. At this point, you’re about halfway down the canyon to the Colorado River.

    At the campsite, either set up for the night, keep going on Bright Angel, or take a moment to let your knees recoup before the return trip.

    Hiking Route Highlights

    Grand Canyon

    Revealing millions of years of geological history, the layered and massive Grand Canyon is a 3060 square mile canyon in Arizona. The canyon is 277 miles long, up to 29.0 km wide and is over 1,829 m at its deepest point. Carved by the Colorado River over millions of years, the canyon is now one of the world’s top natural attractions, bringing about 5 million visitors to its rim every year. Indigenous people have inhabited the canyon for many years, some considering it to be a holy site.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How do you camp at Indian Gardens Campground?

    You’ll need to get a backcountry permit to stay the night at Indian Garden. Make your reservation as far in advance as you can to ensure you get a spot. Spots can be booked with the National Park Service on the first of the month four months before your planned visit.

    Can you hike Bright Angel Trail in a day?

    The only people who manage to do the entire Bright Angel Trail in a day are very fit, very fast, and very early risers. This section to the campground and back is much more manageable.

    Do you need a permit to hike Bright Angel Trail?

    You only need a backcountry permit if you’ll be camping. Day hikes do not require permits beyond your entry to the park.

    Insider Hints for Indian Garden Campground via Bright Angel Trail

    • You’ll need a pass to visit the Grand Canyon. Passes can be purchased ahead of time online or at the park gates.
    • It can take a long time to get through the park gates during normal visiting hours, so we recommend planning to arrive a bit early.
    • The shuttles are free to use and run on a frequent, consistent schedule.
    • Once you’re done, consider a stop at the Yavapai Museum of Geology on the South Rim to learn more about the fascinating geological history of the canyon.

    Getting to the Indian Garden Campground via Bright Angel Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for the Indian Garden Campground via Bright Angel Trail is on the Rim Trail in front of Kolb Studio.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground


    • When to do


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly


    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      One Way

    Indian Garden Campground via Bright Angel Trail Elevation Graph

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