Bright Angel Trail, the oldest and best known trail in the Grand Canyon has undergone a 3.5 acres renovation with a focus on creating a comfortable and accessible visitors area. The area which is one of the oldest trails in the Canyon currently holds the Rim Cabins and the Bright Angel Lodge. For years, visitors have had difficulties finding the trail area and it offered no sitting opportunities to enjoy the spectacular views or to rest after a long hike. The Grand Canyon National Park and the Grand Canyon Association have high hopes that the renovation will provide more opportunities for visitors to experience their perfect Grand Canyon vacation.
Bright Angel Trail provided one of the original entries into Grand Canyon and became popular with tourists in the 1900s. Today, the Grand Canyon has more than 4 million visitors per year; with several thousand visitors passing through the Bright Angel Trail region on a normal summer day. The trail is popular with hikers, rim walkers, shuttle bus riders, mule riders, and other Grand Canyon tours. Additionally, visitors park in the Bright Angel area in order to gain access to visitor services, lodging, and the trail.
The renovation for the Bright Angel area includes a newly paved parking lot for up to 87 vehicles as well as an area with shade structures and new restrooms. The new design also included the removal of an underground storage tank, and the burial of power and phone lines. A new etched rock sign for the Bright Angel Trailhead will welcome visitors and help them celebrate their Grand Canyon trip.
According to Susan Schroeder, Executive Director of Grand Canyon Association, the renovation was made possible with federal funding and private donations. Schroeder also states that the renovated area has meaning to people who enjoy the many exhilarating Grand Canyon things to do or simply find pleasure in the spectacular canyon views.