Bright Angel Campground: Your Dream Camping Destination

Bright Angel Campground

There are times that you need to relax your mind away from your busy everyday schedules. One of the best ways of doing so is to take your family with you for a camping experience. Who doesn’t want to spend some time with their families doing some outdoor activities?

I bet you are not one of them. Camping experience is made different by the ambiance of the place itself. Not every place you read about will work the magic for you. Which is the best place then?

One place that I would recommend time and again for camping is the Bright Angel Campground. It is found in the State of Arizona which is known to harbor some of the most exceptional campsites in the US. Witness the magic of nature that this place offers.

This campground is located 9.9 miles South of Rim and 14 miles North of Rim. It is actually at the bottom end of Grand Canyon National Park. The park is home to the beautiful red rock that points towards Geological history over the years. The beauty that this place offers is irresistible!

Bright Angel Campground
Bright Angel Campground (photo by NPS/Michael Quinn).

It is found on along the Bright Angel Creek, half a mile north of River Colorado and half a mile from the Phantom Ranch. Colorado River and the Creek form a river delta that is so magnificent. It is a place that I keep visiting, and I think you might give it a try one of these fine days.

Some of the activities you enjoy in this place are fishing, hiking, stargazing, wading just to mention a few.

Getting to Bright Angel Campground

Is it your first time on these sides of the world? Are you wondering how you can get to this place? Worry no more as I am going to give you the best routes to this place. Use the South Kaibab Trail that crosses the black bridge or Bright Angel Trail that crosses the silver bridge when you are South of Rim.

Bright Angel Campground
Bright Angel Trail in Grand Canyon National Park (photo by NPS/Michael Quinn).

Alternatively, you can use North Kaibab Trail if you are from North of Rim. Any of these routes are a direct way to reaching the campground. You might actually find yourself in the company of many others heading to the same place.

Permits

A permit is needed for you to camp in the Bright Angel Campground. Many people apply for permits, but only a small number get the privilege of having them owing to the site’s fragile ecology. It is advisable that you apply for a permit at least four months in advance.

Once granted and you get the opportunity to access the campground, you have to display the permit to the Rangers before being allowed in. Your security at the campsite is a prioritized issue. The management keeps records of every individual at the site.

Are you the kind of camper who likes bonfires? Unfortunately, charcoal and wood fires are not allowed here. You will have to bear with the management. I believe this is in accordance with their vision of environmental conservation.

Wildlife and archaeological sites should be preserved otherwise we won’t have such kind of places to visit in the near future. What of our future generations? Do we really want to leave nothing for their leisure? That is why we need to preserve some of these beautiful scenes.

Camping activities at the Bright Angel Campground

Hiking

The campground is slightly over 4000 feet which makes a good place to go hiking. It is actually easier moving down. It is very important that you keep an eye on the weather before you start your hiking.

Do not hike after rains and snows. The muddy trails are slippery at such times. Don’t turn this beautiful experience into a tragic one by dropping 400-feet down. Please take note of your energy, water and food as you hike. The experience can be such a nice one that might get you carried away.

You might find yourself in the middle of darkness without realizing. The good thing is that the roads in the campground remain open all night. Carrying along a headlamp is a good idea as you never know how long you might be out hiking.

Fishing

Being that this campground is found along Colorado River and its tributaries, you can guess the animals that can be found here; yes fish! Do you love fishing? Native fish like the humpback chub are found in this area.

However, the frequent changes in the human habitat around this area have seen a decline in their number over the past years. Brown trout are other predators of the native fish that are found in the Creek. Fishing in this area is most common during the winter.

If you are a fan of this activity, then you can schedule your camping for the winter months. Two methods of fishing are allowed. They are the use of weirs/fish trap or electro-fishing. Weirs are used to capture large trout in Colorado River just before they get into the Bright Angel Creek to spawn.

Bright Angel Campground
The campground sits along Bright Angel Creek (photo by NPS/Michael Quinn).

Electro-fishing, on the other hand, is for monitoring fish population while at the same time ensuring removal of non-native trout in the stream. You can be part of the team. Just carry along your fishing costumes. It is a nice way to get relaxed. Can you imagine the breeze that will be hitting you as you go on with your fishing adventure? No words can describe it best.

You can enjoy the protein-rich food in the form of the fish you catch. The more catch, the better for you. How about that? Note that you will require a license to do the fishing.

Stargazing

I am a big fan of stars. On a clear night, I can just stay outside and watch the sky to witness the beautiful patterns they make. Given that this campground ensures zero light pollution by discouraging fires, the sky is very clear at night.

You can spare some time and enjoy stargazing. It is so much enjoyable on this side of the world.

Are pets allowed in the campground?

Pets form a very important part of our lives. They, just like us, would also like an opportunity to relax and enjoy the company around us. We rarely find time out of our busy schedules to be with our pets.

But are they allowed into the camp? Can you carry along your dog with you? Pets are not allowed entry into the site. So if you can find a dog sitter to help your dog out while out camping, then the better for you. There is also a concessionaire nearby that runs a kennel for cats and dogs.

You can drop them here and pick them once you are done. How convenient is that? Why should you be worried while camping? You won’t enjoy every bit of it if you keep worrying about so many things. The concessionaire is there to eliminate all your pet camping worries in case you brought yours along only to realize that pets are not allowed.

What you need to carry to the Bright Angel Campground

You are heading to a camp. It means that the comfort you have been enjoying at home is slightly going to change. However, a camping experience without some form of comfort is not a desirable one. What are these items that you should have?

Temperature is unpredictable in this area. But it is generally known to be a desert so expect the temperature to rise at times. Some light clothing such as long-sleeved shirts which are thin will surely protect your skin from the sun.

Pants are a must-have if you plan to hike. There are bushy areas in this campsite. You should not leave the campsite injured due to scratches you might get from the bushes. Injury sustained during camping is a complete turnoff. Avoid them as much as possible.

You can have shorts with you as well. Thick socks and hiking boots are other items that you must have with you. Extra socks, blister bandages, sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats are also some important accessories that you can never afford to leave behind.

Given that you are likely to sweat and lose water from your body, having enough water with you will help keep you hydrated.

Bright Angel Campground
Every campsite has a picnic table, pack pole, and metal food storage can (photo by NPS/Michael Quinn).

Making the most out of your camping

The Bright Angel Campground lies in a desert environment. You know how the temperature can be at times. You can, therefore, start your hiking very early in the morning. The temperature is cooler in the morning, and this will helps you avoid the daytime’s scorching sun.

It gives you ample time to set up your camping structures such as tents and spend the remaining time exploring. This area is known to be the home to diverse wildlife such as deer, antelopes, rats, and squirrels. The rats are other funny ones who will literally run away with some of your stuff if you are asleep.

Can you imagine waking up to scenes of your items being mixed up with your neighbor’s? Just because of these disrespectful animals? Have your backpacks properly stored to avoid such kind of embarrassments.

Fees charged

A non-refundable fee of $10 is charged on every permit whose application has been received and processed. A standard charge of $8 is also charged per person or group on a single night. Denied permits are not charged.

It takes up to three weeks of processing of the request. Some patience is therefore needed from you during this period. Responses are sent via e-mail. There are times that you might get a permit on arrival though it is not a guarantee, especially in popular seasons.

Conclusion

A memorable camping experience starts with a perfect environment. Bright Angel Campground is such a kind of environment. The ambiance that nature provides in the name of Colorado River and the Bright Angel Creek is all you need to relax from your everyday hustle.

Additionally, tiny pieces of equipment that we often tend to ignore such as the boots go a long way in making the difference when it comes to camping. Always remember to carry everything that you will need. Above all, make your arrangements early enough so that you do not get inconvenienced at the last minute.

If you get the chance to enjoy all that nature provides at Bright Angel, remember to preserve the same for future generations. Cooperation between you and the management is of utmost importance. Keep yourself safe as well that other person you have just met at the campsite.

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