Rock Garden

Bright Angel Canyon — This large northern sidecanyon with a deep permanent stream is the center of most travel for visitors below the rim. The source of water for the stream, and carver of this canyon, is Roaring Springs to the north. Water from Roaring Springs is now diverted to the South Rim via a cross-canyon pipeline, but it can still be difficult to cross Bright Angel Creek at times. In spring runoff, rocks clash in the current and crossing should not be attempted. Features of interest include Roaring Springs, Ribbon Falls, Phantom Canyon, and The Box (granite narrows). Camping areas with tapwater are available at Bright Angel Campground and Cottonwood Camp. Phantom Ranch is a miniature resort with cabins, showers, beer and snacks, a dining hall, and, once upon a time, a swimming pool. But the true-hearted Grand Canyon adventurer has no need of superfluous luxuries. The name Bright Angel is one of the earliest place names given in Grand Canyon. Bright Angel Camp is the largest and most popular inner canyon campground.

Trails — The Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails lead to the South Rim, and the North Kaibab to Cottonwood Camp and the North Rim; these are the only fully maintained trails in the Canyon. The Clear Creek Trail leads upriver through Sumner Wash and Zoroaster Canyon to Clear Creek on the north side. The Old Kaibab Trail shows on older maps going north from Roaring Springs but it is rarely traveled and not mapped on the latest survey.

Routes — The route to Utah Flats, and routes up Phantom Canyon and to the area above Ribbon Falls are also here. Day hikes to several of the promontories such as Cheops Pyramid, Brahma Temple and Deva Temple offer ambitious but possible challenges. An old cattle track above the Tapeats on the west side connects to upper Phantom Creek.

1982 June - Three-day north-to-south. Climb Cheops solo on a dayhike from Phantom Ranch; my first off-trail adventure.

1983 June - Another three-day north-to-south rim with Deborah.

1991 May - Single-day north-to-south rim (10.5 hours) as third day of two-day-bike-around and hike-across.

1997 January - Five-day trans-canyon ski trip. Snow down to the tunnel. Numerous rockfalls.

2002 June - Brush cutting and trail work on the upper section of Old Kaibab Trail and a loop dayhike down to Roaring Springs and up the new trail.


Catalog of Places - Trips - Routes - Notes