Plateau Point From South Rim
ElevationAscent: 3,208' 978 m
Descent: -3,208' -978 m
High: 6,820' 2,079 m
Low: 3,699' 1,128 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 40% (22°)
Popular runs nearby
Bright Angel Trail Out-and-Back
16.0 mi 25.7 km • Out and Back • 4,366 ft Ascent 1330.9 m Ascent
47.5 mi 76.5 km • Out and Back • 10,919 ft Ascent 3328.07 m Ascent
South Kaibab/Bright Angel Loop
21.6 mi 34.7 km • Loop • 4,968 ft Ascent 1514.22 m Ascent
Bright Angel Point
0.5 mi 0.8 km • Loop • 70 ft Ascent 21.3 m Ascent
2.1 mi 3.3 km • Point to Point • 110 ft Ascent 33.45 m Ascent
Flagstaff to Grand Canyon Stagecoach Line 100 Mile
99.6 mi 160.3 km • Point to Point • 5,801 ft Ascent 1768.26 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“This strenuous day trip to a spectacularly scenic viewpoint is guaranteed to exhilarate and exhaust!”— Megan W
Begin this excursion from the signed Bright Angel trailhead on the western side of Grand Canyon Village. Descend a series of dusty switchbacks at a consistent gradient through cliff bands and ledges. Keep an eye out for fossils and petroglyphs at the first tunnel. After a noticeably steeper section, pass through another tunnel and enjoy improving views. At the 1.5 Mile Resthouse, there is an emergency phone, toilets and seasonal drinking water.
At a prominent switchback 2 miles from the trailhead, there are more petroglyphs on the rocks above the trail. Drinking water is available seasonally at the 3 Mile Resthouse. A side path behind the resthouse leads to a great viewpoint and debris from an old tram that used to deliver supplies to Indian Garden.
After the 3 Mile Resthouse, another set of short, steep switchbacks traverses the Redwall limestone cliff band. From here the grade mellows and the trail follows Garden Creek all the way to Indian Garden Camp. This area used to be a Native American settlement and farmland. Now it has restrooms, a ranger station, campground, emergency phone and year-round drinking water supply. This shady oasis is cooled by a stand of cottonwoods and a spring-fed creek.
The Plateau Point Trail starts from the north end of Indian Garden, just past the ranger station and mule corrals. Head west on the Plateau Point Trail, crossing Garden Creek and leaving the shade behind. Contour around a series of ravines and across a parched plateau formed by Tapeats sandstone. There is no shade here, instead the mostly level desert landscape is covered by cacti and scrub.
At the fork junction with the West Tonto Trail take a right, heading northeast. From here it is a nearly straight shot to the viewpoint, ascending gently across the Tonto Platform. Pass a water tank and mule hitching post to reach a flat top rock and viewing platform. Take in the amazing views and see if you can spy rafters braving Horn Rapid (so called by the two huge protruding rocks at the beginning of the rapid, making this an easy place to get stuck).
Keep kids away from the edge! Mules are allowed on this trail so beware of their droppings. Save energy for the run back from the viewpoint, the distance and elevation gain is considerable.
Run this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
History & Background
Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.
Land Manager: National Park Service - Grand Canyon National Park