Hiking Down to Plateau Point – Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Most visitors to the Grand Canyon will see the canyon from south rim viewpoints at Grand Canyon Village. Some will check out the views from stops along Desert View Drive. The North Rim provides some terrific views from its overlooks, but tends to draw far fewer visitors.

More adventurous South Rim visitors will venture down the Bright Angel Trail. Some just a bit, some down to the Plateau Point area, and a rugged few will cross the canyon from rim to rim.

Some years ago, I was one of those who hiked down to Plateau Point to get a different view of the canyon. I took Bright Angel Trail down to Indian Garden and then followed the Plateau Point Trail out to Plateau Point. It’s a 13-mile round trip that drops more than 3000 feet (and then climbs more than 3000 feet on your hike back up).

It’s a great hike, one of the best I’ve taken, but keep in mind that it can be hot, there is little shade, and, once again, the hike back up climbes more than 3000 feet. There are limited services, particularly at the Indian Garden ranger station and campground. Prepare accordingly, and know your limits.

The Photos (in order)

R16A0438 – View of Plateau Point and the faint Plateau Point Trail as seen from Mather Point on the South Rim

W91A0693 – View of the Grand Canyon early in the hike

W91A0756 – You’re not alone; there are usually other hikers as well as animals like this desert bighorn sheep

W91A0741 – A reminder of the hike’s limited services

W91A0703 – The steepest part of the hike is now behind me – and ahead of me on my return hike; the trail between Indian Garden and Plateau Point is a whole lot more level

W91A0707 – Grand Canyon scenery from Plateau Point

W91A0713 – View of the Colorado River from the edge of Plateau Point; it’s about a 1300-foot drop from here to the river

W91A0730 – Time to start my hike back up to the top

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