Grand Canyon – Bright Angel trail running

Hi guys,
I was delaying this post for a while, but better late than ever.
As you may know, I was doing an amazing trip along the West Coast of USA last summer with Nicki, and we made it count!img_3126
I would love to share with you our different adventures, because it could be quite helpful if you are planning a similar trip in the future.

In our first week, we planned a full National parks and long trail running adventures, kicking off with the Bright Angel Trail, located in the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
We did 25km in around 4h (link to strava), having a snack in the middle and being quite conservative, thus we had jetlag, 2 weeks and a bunch of km ahead. But you can save easily 30′ to 1h in a running pace. Here my tips:

  1. Hit the park before the sunrise. 
    –> We landed in Las Vegas, slept in Williams AZ and drove the day after at 3.45 am. You’ll have something around 1h30′ from there to the trail starting point.
    Watch out the deers on your way, though.
  2. I strongly recommend to start going down before the dawn, enjoying the darkness and embracing the day while running. 
    –> If not, you always can take a sit, turn on your camera and enjoy!
  3. The whole trail is feasible in one day (rim to rim), but only if your shape is quite good
    –> We only did 3/4 of the trail, because we were a bit scared about the thousands of recommendations that “you should not do the whole trail in one single day”. We didn’t regret eventually, but we arrived at the top at 10.30…
  4. Start your climbing before 9.00 am, to avoid traffic and hot weather
    –> After a snack in the Indian Gardens, we started climbing. Good pace, non stop and only finding people in the most hilly part (that for the records, is in the final part, so don’t give everything you’ve in the beginning).
  5. Prepare water (but not as crazy as the recommendations!) and some snacks. 
    –> With a water bottle of 750 cl each one, some trail mix nuts and a sandwich, you’ve more than enough. Take in consideration that you can find tabs to refill your bottles along the trail
  6. Take a look of the water and dress up properly.
    –> In our case was quite fair. Fresh negative temperature before the sunrise and it went up until 30º or so, but again, bear in mind we were in the summit at 10.30 am
  7. Know your level and plan the route before hand. Don’t underestimate the trail and the Canyon.
    –> We both are used to do long runnings, hiking in the alps and daily trainings, so don’t mirror our experience with yours if it’s not the case.
    Also, we planned the whole trail days before the start, forecasting our checkpoint/time to ensure we were as the plan.

*If you want to check the map and the route, here my strava mapping

Last but not least, for those that are used to hiking in the Alps, this experience is totally different. The effort is coming in the last part, thus you go all the way down without spending so much energy, so the “measure” is different as in the European mountains.

Drop you some pictures here 🙂

Enjoy! It’s unique!

Disclaimer: Please don’t be bold and know your shape. We put into the training log between 15h – 20h a week on average. Know your limits and respect the challenge 



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