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    Three-Mile Resthouse 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.
    9.7 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.
    644 m
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The hike to the Three-Mile Resthouse on Bright Angel Trail is a nice compromise for hikers who want a little taste of the Bright Angel experience without needing to put in thousands of feet of elevation gain. This hike takes you to the second resthouse on the trail, leading you through rock tunnels, beside cactus, and along some of the most scenic stretches you’ve probably hiked in a while. While this hike is still rated as hard, it’s not as intense as other hikes further into the canyon can get.

    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. Also, dress for the variable weather in the canyon.

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    Route Description for Three-Mile Resthouse via Bright Angel Trail

    If you want a taste of the legendary Bright Angel Trail but you’re not keen on making up thousands of feet of elevation gain on the return trip, the hike to Three-Mile Resthouse could be the right in-between for you.

    Hikers bound for Indian Garden, Plateau Point, and many other parts of the canyon will descend Bright Angel Trail and pass the resthouse. This hike calls the resthouse the turnaround point, giving you a dose of the views without as much distance.

    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. Two unique rock tunnels built into the canyon can be enjoyed on this hike.

    Even if this is an easier hike as far as Bright Angel Trail goes, it’s still rated as hard. We recommend coming prepared with water, nutrition, poles, good boots, and weather-appropriate clothing. The conditions in the canyon can vary from scorching to chilly depending on the season.

    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. One of the tunnels is just a few steps into the hike and the other is at the top of the first set of switchbacks.

    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.

    The 2.4 km Resthouse comes up first, but your journey doesn’t stop here. Continue switchbacking down the canyon alongside Garden Creek.

    Three miles into your trip, you’ll arrive at the resthouse that marks the end of your outbound journey. From here, you’ll turn uphill and begin the much more difficult return trip. Remember to take breaks to look back and appreciate the view as you go. It might make the steep climb a bit more tolerable!

    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 445.8 km 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

    Are there bathrooms on Bright Angel Trail?

    There are bathrooms at the resthouses on the trail in addition to at Indian Gardens.

    How wide is Bright Angel Trail?

    Bright Angel Trail is 1 m wide.

    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 Three-Mile Resthouse 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.
    • 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 Three-Mile Resthouse via Bright Angel Trail Trailhead

    The trailhead for Three-Mile Resthouse 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

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Three-Mile Resthouse via Bright Angel Trail Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather

    Three-Mile Resthouse via Bright Angel Trail Reviews

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