As you prepare for your upcoming hike on the Bright Angel Trail, take into consideration basic Bright Angel Trail hiking etiquette. Yes, there is such thing as hiking etiquette! Bright Angel Trail hiking etiquette is a simple and polite customary code used among hikers on the trail. We also offer you Bright Angel Trail Hiking Tips, which includes additional advice related to health, fitness and preparedness.
Bright Angel Trail Hiking Etiquette
PLEASE DO NOT FEED THE WILDLIFE
The squirrels are very aggressive on the Bright Angel Trail because so many visitors feed them. Do not leave your backpack alone as these cute critters will literally chew right through your bag to get to your snacks while you are not looking. We know they are cute, but please do not share your granola bar with them. Need we say more?
The Bright Angel Trail is a well-traveled and well-maintained trail. Toilets are located at River Rest Station located near Pipe Springs, Havasupai Gardens, Three-Mile Resthouse and Mile-and-a-Half Resthouse. Utilize them as best as possible. Consequently, the Bright Angel Trail is not ideal for off trail emergency bathroom breaks because the trail is steep and rocky.
PACK OUT TRASH
There are no trash cans along the trail. Therefore, prepare to hike out all trash that you create along the way, even apple cores and orange peels.
UPHILL HIKERS HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY
As an uphill hiker gains momentum, it is not ideal for the uphill hiker to stop hiking just so the downhill hiker can barrel on by down the trail. Therefore, It is a common hiking courtesy to grant uphill hikers the right of way.
You will encounter the Mule Train one or more times on the trail. The Mule Train is a line of 10-20 mules led by a couple of wranglers. The wranglers take mules both up and down the trail several times a day. They take supplies to Phantom Ranch and carry brave riders in and out of the Canyon. You can usually see the train a’comin, which allows time to properly prepare. Find a location on the inside of the trail where can step off of the pathway. Remain calm and quiet and do not try to pet the animals as they pass by. Always be attentive to the mule wrangler, they may give you instructions regarding the passing mule train. After they have passed, give them about 50 feet (15 meters) of space before you continue. During hot and dry weather, the trail may be quite dusty. You may like to have a bandana to cover your nose and mouth before and after the mule train passes.
Bright Angel Trail hiking etiquette is important because the Bright Angel Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails at the Grand Canyon National Park. These courtesies will make you a more experienced and prepared hiker. Most notably, you will set an example for other less experienced hikers.