After hiking down the South Kaibab Trail into the Grand Canyon, we strolled into our much anticipated destination of Bright Angel Campground.
This quiet and remote campground is located off of Bright Angel Creek. From the South Kaibab trail, you will follow the well marked signs towards the campground. The campsite is located on the West side of the creek, while on the East side is the path to Phantom Ranch.
Upon entering this area, you will come across a water station and bathrooms. Which, will likely be a must needed stop!
As you continue along the path, you will start to see the campsites. There is one main walking path for all the campers and the sites branch either to the right or left of the path. This means that there are essentially two rows of campsites, one right off the creek and the other just a little bit up from the creek.
Each site has a number and a see through box, for you to place your permit into. These campsites are first come first serve. So the sooner you get down there, the possibility is greater than you’ll get a better site. Although…I think all the sites were good!
It did feel a little strange, that we weren’t greeted by a ranger and we didn’t have to check in. You literally just walk in, find a site and camp. It’s as easy as that! You will see rangers down there and eventually run into someone, in case there is a problem but no one is really there checking in on you.
The campsite was really calm and quiet, even at full capacity. Being down there really puts you in tune with nature and makes you appreciate it. I think that if you’re a type of person who hikes down the Grand Canyon, then you’re also likely the type of camper who respects the other campers as well.
Each campsite will have a picnic table, a metal box to store your food and also a metal rack to hang your backpacks. This provides protection for your gear and meals from the animals living down there, who may want to steal your food away!
There are no bonfires allowed down there, so be sure to bring a headlamp. The camp has signs asking for you to set your headlamp to the red light setting. This is so that it won’t bother the wildlife and other campers.
Once the sun goes down, either people head to Phantom Ranch for the beer hall (8-10 pm) or they eat a quiet dinner under the stars and then head off for bed.
Which, for you star gazers out there, seeing the night sky from the bottom of the Grand Canyon is one of the most spectacular sites. Layers upon layers of stars can be seen on a clear night.
During our full day down there we explored the area and hiked along the Clear Creek Trail. We also relaxed at Boat Beach and watched the powerful Colorado River do it’s thing. It was a day spent exploring and relaxing in an area so few people get the chance to see.
When the time came, we had to hesitantly leave and head back up to the real world. Since it was raining I didn’t want to risk getting my camera wet so there are no pictures of our last few hours in this glorious place. But, the truth is I didn’t need a camera.
Knowing that I would have to rely on my memories of this moment, I took it all in.
The sound of the light sprinkle of rain hitting the tall surrounding tree leaves and upon our rain jackets. The smell of fresh earth encompassing us. The sounds of the birds chirping while perched in the trees for protection from the rain. The ease of the family of deer gazing upon the grass next to the creek, without giving second thought to me looking at them or the rain drops falling on them.
It evoked this feeling that I can still feel right now as I’m writing this. A feeling of peace and tranquility. A feeling of gratitude of being able to observe this moment. A feeling to always remember we are one with nature.
Emerging out of the Grand Canyon that day I came up as a changed person.
I give this credit to staying at the Bright Angel Campground. Yea, you can stay in a covered lodge at Phantom Ranch and be comfortable with the amenities that you’re used to. But I’ll take sleeping under the stars at Bright Angel Campground anytime over that. To fully grasp and be a part of the environment of the Grand Canyon, this campsite is the place to be.