My Top 10 Long National Park Hikes #5

My Top 10 National Park Hikes (over 6 miles)

I completed the list of my Top 10 Short National Park Hikes over a month ago, so I guess it’s about time I start the list of my favorite longer hikes.  This list will focus on hikes over six miles long.

You probably noticed by now that I love the National Parks  and like making lists.  In addition to the list of my favorite shorter National Park hikes, I have previously made lists of my Top Ten National Parks, Top 20 Things to See in the National Parks, Top Ten Waterfalls, My Bucket List, and Ten Places You Should Visit Before You Die.  So yeah, I enjoy writing these blog posts.  I hope you enjoy them, too.

Let me know if you agree with me, want to add other hikes, or want to try some of these out.

My list so far…

10. Mount LeConte – Great Smoky Mountains National Park

9.  Cape Alava – Olympic National Park

8.  Half Dome – Yosemite National Park

7.  Siyeh Pass – Glacier National Park

6.  Cascade Canyon – Grant Teton National Park

5.  Plateau Point – Grand Canyon National Park

Location:  The south rim of the Grand Canyon in northwest Arizona.

Distance:  12.2 miles roundtrip on the Bright Angel Trail.

Elevation change: 3,100 feet.

Difficulty: On my totally subjective scale from a 1-10 (10 being the hardest) I would give it a 9 (maybe an 8 if I were using hiking poles).

Brief Description:  Descend the famed Bright Angel Trail down into the canyon past the first two rest houses.  Then if you have time and feel good when you arrive at Indian Garden (4.6 miles down the trail) hike another shade-free mile and a half to Plateau Point.  There is a fantastic view straight down to the Colorado River.  I had impeccable timing as I was lucky enough to see a series of rafts pass by on the river.  Then, rest and fill up on water back at Indian Garden before making the grueling climb back to the south rim.

Great Western Sojourn 052

Highlight of the hike:  The view from Plateau Point.  The views up toward the rim from far below are also great.

Great Western Sojourn 042

Tips:  Start very early and use hiking poles.  If you feel good at Indian Garden and you aren’t going any farther down, continue to Plateau Point for sure.

I wrote a two part blog post about my experience on this epic hike.  Here is Part One and Part Two.

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