Plant Guide to Bright Angel Trail
Grand Canyon National Park

MileS#id?FAM(*)Common NameScientific Name#Plants
0.00Begin guide at signed Trailhead north of West Rim Drive bus stop, north of the mule corral; CP "S. Rim", elevation 6845 feet (2086 m), in Kaibab Limestone, thickness 350 feet here
0.00b1PINtwo-needle pinyon pinePinus edulis50 / 9
0.00b2GROdesert gooseberryRibes velutinum99 / 9
0.00b3GROwhisky currantRibes cereum var. pedicellare99 / 9
0.00b4ASThoary- asterMachaeranthera canescens50 / 9
0.00b5BRAWright's thelypodyThelypodium wrightii10 / 3
0.00r6MAL*common mallowMalva neglecta10 / 2
0.00r7POA*downy bromeBromus tectorum99 / 9
0.00r8FAGGambel oakQuercus gambelii50 / 9
0.00r9NYCsmooth spreading four o'clockMirabilis oxybaphoides50 / 9
0.00r10POL*knotweedPolygonum arenastrum2 / 2
0.00r11BRA*herb sophiaDescurainia sophia99 / 9
0.00r12BRA*crossflowerChorispora tenella99 / 9
0.00r13BRAcommon pepper- grassLepidium densiflorum5 / 1
0.00l(AST threadleaf common rabbitbrush, Ericameria nauseosa var. oreophila)
0.00r14CAPsnowberrySymphoricarpos oreophilus99 / 9
0.00r15BRAperennial rock-cressArabis perennans40 / 9
0.00r16RAN*curveseed butterwortCeratocephala testiculata99 / 9
0.00b17AMAPowell's amaranthAmaranthus powellii20 / 2
0.00r18ROSUtah service- berryAmelanchier utahensis99 / 9
0.00l19CUPUtah juniperJuniperus osteosperma20 / 9
0.01rSign: "Mesozoic Rock Formations / Kaibab Limestone"
0.02b20ASTthreadleaf common rabbitbrushEricameria nauseosa var. oreophila50 / 9
0.02b21CHE*tumbling oracleAtriplex rosea40 / 2
0.02l22AMA*tumble pigweedAmaranthus albus5 / 2
0.02l23ASTmatchweedGutierrezia sarothrae /
0.02r24MALlittleleaf globe mallowSphaeralcea parvifolia30 / 9
0.02l25~ASTprairie sunflowerHelianthus petiolaris1 / 1
0.02l26LAM*horehoundMarrubium vulgare20 / 5
0.03l27ROSfern bushChamaebatiaria millefolium10 / 9
0.03l28CHE*Russian thistleSalsola tragus20 / 3
0.03r(AST California brickellbush, Brickellia californica)
0.03r29POA*foxtail barleyHordeum murinum99 / 9
0.04r30BRA*Klamath pepper-grassLepidium perfoliatum2 / 2
0.04rJct. path from Kolb Studio
0.04l31ASTCalifornia brickellbushBrickellia californica99 / 9
0.05r32POAslender wheatgrassElymus trachycaulus50 / 9
0.05r33POAsquirreltailElymus elymoides30 / 9
0.05r34LAM*catnipNepeta cataria20 / 3
0.05r35SCRPalmer's penstemonPenstemon palmeri10 / 2
0.05r36ASTsilver wormwoodArtemisia ludoviciana99 / 9
0.05r37VITVirginia creeperParthenocissus vitacea1 / 1
0.05rSign: "Bright Angel Trail and Grand Canyon Information"
0.05r38ASTArizona thistleCirsium arizonicum var. nidulum30 / 9
0.05Switchback left
0.06r39BRA*London rocketSisymbrium irio10 / 3
0.08rSign: "When mules pass"
0.08r40CHEFremont's goosefootChenopodium fremontii20 / 5
0.08r(POA mutton grass, Poa fendleriana)
0.09l41ASTbeautiful aster Eurybia pulchra99 / 9
0.09l42ASTGrand Canyon rock- daisyPerityle congesta50 / 9
r43POAmutton grassPoa fendleriana99 / 9
0.12l44ASTGrand Canyon GoldenweedEricameria arizonica20 / 8
0.13(View ahead of bonsai Ponderosa Pine, Pinus ponderosa, and two-needle pinyon pine, Pinus edulis, on top of ridge with tunnel)
0.14r(RUT pallid hoptree, Ptelea trifoliata ssp. pallida var. pallida)
0.15r45ASTbig sagebrushArtemisia tridentata30 / 9
0.15r(BER creeping barberry, Mahonia repens)
0.15First Tunnel; Indian pictographs on rim far above trail can be seen after the tunnel
0.15l(CAC Mojave prickly-pear, Opuntia erinacea)
0.15r(EPH green ephedra, Ephedra viridis; AGA Kaibab century plant, Agave utahensis var. kaibabensis; CAC desert prickly-pear, Opuntia phaeacantha; far off-trail: ROS rock spiraea, Petrophyton caespitosum)
0.16b46SCRbeaked penstemonPenstemon rostriflorus10 / 5
0.16l47RANFendler's meadow- rueThalictrum fendleri10 / 9
0.16r48BORflatspine stickseedLappula occidentalis var. occidentalis30 / 9
0.17l49RUBWright's bedstrawGalium wrightii2 / 2
0.20l50ASTfragrant snakerootAgeratina herbacea30 / 5
0.21r51RUTpallid hoptreePtelea trifoliata ssp. pallida var. pallida50 / 9
0.23rSign: "Do not attempt to hike to the bottom and back in one day…"
0.23Switchback left at ridge, then S curve in trail
0.23r52BRAshepherd's purseCapsella bursa-pastoris10 / 3
0.25l(banana yucca, Yucca baccata; rock whitefeather, Ivesia arizonica)
0.26r53BERcreeping barberryMahonia repens20 / 5
0.26l54ROSrock whitefeatherIvesia arizonica40 / 2
0.26l55BRAwallflowerErysimum capitatum var. purshii5 / 3
0.26l56POA*annual blue grassPoa annua1 / 1
0.28r(ROS Apache plume, Fallugia paradoxa)
0.29Cross Bright Angel Fault onto Toroweap Redbeds, thickness 250 feet here
0.29l(Rocky Mountain Douglas fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca)
0.29l57ASTCooper’s rubberweedHymenoxys cooperi5 / 2
0.30l58RUBMunz's bedstrawGalium munzii ssp. ambivalens40 / 9
0.30l59SAXcoral bellsHeuchera rubescens var. versicolor4 / 4
0.30l60LAMDrummond's false pennyroyalHedeoma drummondii1 / 1
0.30l61~LILAspen onionAllium bisceptrum var. palmeri5 / 1
0.33r62POAIndian ricegrassAchnatherum hymenoides40 / 9
0.33b63POLSimpson's buckwheatEriogonum microthecum var. simpsonii50 / 9
0.34r64EPHgreen ephedraEphedra viridis50 / 9
0.36l65ROScliffrosePurshia stansburiana20 / 9
0.36l66ASTBasin butterweedPackera multilobata3 / 2
0.36l67POA*Bermuda grassCynodon dactylon5 / 1
0.37b68~BORslender cryptanthaCryptantha gracilis20 / 3
0.39l69ASTsticky snakeweedGutierrezia microcephala30 / 9
0.39r70FABfreckled milk-vetchAstragalus lentiginosus var. diphysus1 / 1
0.39l71SCRMartin's paintbrushCastilleja applegatei ssp. martinii3 / 1
0.40Switchback right; CP #1, elevation 6630 feet (2021 m). In a short distance on the side trail is FAB, narrow phacelia, Phacelia filiformis; CRO, spiny greasebush, Glossopetalon spinescens var. aridum; and a different Castilleja sp.
0.41l72POAsand dropseedSporobolus cryptandrus /
0.41r73BERFremont barberryMahonia fremontii10 / 9
0.43l74AGAbanana yuccaYucca baccata10 / 9
0.43r(SCR Eaton's penstemon, Penstemon eatonii ssp. undosus)
0.44r75spCACprickly- pearOpuntia sp.5 / 5
0.44r76~ASTrose heathChaetopappa ericoides1 / 1
0.50Cross Bright Angel Fault back onto Kaibab Limestone
0.51r77HYDFendler bushFendlera rupicola40 / 9
0.54r78ROSshrubby cream bushHolodiscus dumosus10 / 3
0.54l(claret cup, Echinocereus triglochidiatus)
0.55r(Richardson's brome, Bromus richardsonii)
0.55rContact between the Kaibab and Toroweap Formations
0.58r79BRAwild candytuftThlaspi montanum var. fendleri8 / 3
0.59r80SCREaton's penstemonPenstemon eatonii ssp. undosus20 / 9
0.59r(SCR, *common mullein, Verbascum thapsus)
0.60l81~CAPblueberry elderSambucus glauca1 / 1
0.61l82~NYCnarrow-leaf four o'clockMirabilis linearis2 / 1
0.62r83PINRocky Mountain Douglas firPseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca10 / 3
0.63r84FUMscrambled eggsCorydalis aurea5 / 2
0.64r85POLsouthern mountain phloxPhlox austromontana10 / 5
0.66r~(SEL spike-moss, Selaginella mutica)
0.67r86POA*smooth bromeBromus inermis30 / 5
0.70lJct. use path
0.71lJct. use path
0.71l87VISpinyon pine dwarf-mistletoeArceuthobium divaricatum1 / 1
0.72rKolb Seep Springs
0.73Switchback left; CP #2, elevation 6364 feet (1940 m)
0.80l88CROspiny greasebushGlossopetalon spinescens var. aridum20 / 9
0.86l89BETKnowlton hop hornbeamOstrya knowltonii30 / 9
0.87Second Tunnel, through hardened Bright Angel Fault, CP "Tunnel (#2)", elevation 6248 feet (1904 m). Cross into Coconino Sandstone, thickness 350 feet here
0.89lGrand Canyon rock-daisy, Perityle congesta, with ovate leaves (earlier plants had narrowly-elliptic leaves)
0.90Switchback right; CP #3, elevation 6218 feet (1895 m). Begin series of short switchbacks
0.90l(RAN virgin's bower, Clematis ligusticifolia; OLE birchleaf buckthorn, Frangula betulifolia ssp. obovata, in distance)
0.96Switchback left
0.98l90RHAbirchleaf buckthornFrangula betulifolia ssp. obovata2 / 2
0.98Switchback right; CP #4, elevation 6153 feet (1875 m)
0.98l(AGA Kaibab century plant, Agave utahensis var. kaibabensis)
1.01Trail curves right 90°.
1.05Switchback left
1.08Switchback right; CP #5, elevation 6073 feet (1851 m); cross into Hermit Shale, thickness 300 feet here, just below this point
1.12b91GROtrumpet gooseberryRibes leptanthum50 / 9
1.12Switchback left
1.16Switchback right; CP #6, elevation 6007 feet (1831 m)
1.17r92ANAskunkbush with nearly entire leafRhus trilobata20 / 6
1.17rCheck for Thelypodium integrifolium (sepals erect in bloom, not spreading)
1.20Switchback left.
1.24Switchback right; CP #7, elevation 5946 feet (1812 m)
1.27Cross drainage
1.27rRibes leptanthum (on left, white flowers) and R. velutinum (on right, yellow flowers) side by side.
1.27r93PORnarrow- leaved miner's lettuceClaytonia parviflora ssp. utahensis99 / 9
1.30Switchback left; CP #8, elevation 5900 feet (1798 m)
1.30rJct. use path
1.31Switchback right.
1.33r94RANbarestem larkspurDelphinium scaposum10 / 5
1.35rJct. use path
1.35r95RANvirgin's bowerClematis ligusticifolia2 / 1
1.42l96?POAwestern wheatgrass?Pascopyrum smithii?3 / 1
1.47r97OLEfragrant ashFraxinus cuspidata30 / 9
1.48Trail bends right 90°; CP #9, elevation 5780 feet (1762 m)
1.51r98MALgooseberryleaf globemallowSphaeralcea grossulariifolia50 / 9
1.53l(AGA closest Kaibab century plant, Agave utahensis var. kaibabensis)
1.54r(SEL spike-moss, Selaginella mutica)
1.55Trail curves right at ridge
1.57r99ASTtidy fleabaneErigeron concinnus50 / 9
Check for Argemone arizonica "above and below trail here"
1.58r1.5 mile Resthouse; CP "(1.5 mile) resthouse", elevation 5714 feet (1742 m)
1.58r100FABwestern redbudCercis orbiculata1 / 1
1.59Cross drainage
1.60r101CACMojave prickly-pearOpuntia erinacea3 / 3
1.62rJct. short trail to the 1.5 mile restrooms; switchback left; CP #10, elevation 5692 feet (1735 m)
1.64Cross drainage again; Indian pictographs above the trail somewhere before 2 mile corner
1.64l102SCRcommon mulleinVerbascum thapsus2 / 1
1.68Cross into Supai Group, thickness 950 feet here
1.70Trail curves left 90°; CP #11, elevation 5644 feet (1720 m)
1.71r103ASTlongleaf brickellbushBrickellia longifolia99 / 9
1.75rCheck for different prickly-pear
1.77"Shade View" - overhanging boulders giving shade with a great view.
1.80Trail curves left 90°; CP #12, elevation 5582 feet (1701 m)
1.81l104SELspike- mossSelaginella mutica1 / 1
1.91Long switchback right at main drainage; CP #13, elevation 5518 feet (1682 m)
1.93l105OLEsingle-leaf ashFraxinus anomala10 / 5
1.95l106ASTgreenstem paperflowerPsilostrophe sparsiflora5 / 2
1.95l107HYDnarrow phaceliaPhacelia filiformis20 / 3
1.95l108POLeyed giliaGilia ophthalmoides2 / 2
1.95l109SCRUtah penstemonPenstemon utahensis20 / 7
1.95r110POAJames' galletaPleuraphis jamesii1 / 1
1.99r111~POAMormon needlegrassAchnatherum aridum20 / 5
2.00l112POA*red bromeBromus rubens10 / 1
2.01l?Shrub with opposite leaves and square stems; check pix; Fraxinus??1 / 1
2.01Switchback right at 2 mile corner; CP #14, elevation 5443 feet (1659 m)
2.03l113NYCgiant four o'clockMirabilis multiflora20 / 5
2.04r114POA*ripgut bromeBromus diandrus30 / 9
2.10Long switchback left at red amphitheater in main drainage; CP #15, elevation 5407 feet (1648 m)
2.10l?(Lupine? Or different Penstemon?)
2.18r115~POAParish needlegrassAchnatherum parishii20 / 9
2.20r116?unk herb?10 / 1
2.25Switchback left; CP #16, elevation 5305 feet (1617 m)
2.25rJct. with what looks like a previous segment of the Bright Angel Trail
2.33Switchback right; CP #17, elevation 5244 feet (1598 m)
2.33rBRAperennial rock-cress with gallsArabis perennans /
2.37rANAskunkbush with 3 lobed leafRhus trilobata /
2.39Switchback left; CP #18, elevation 5197 feet (1584 m)
2.42r117BRAwhitetopCardaria draba20 / 1
2.42r118AGAKaibab century plantAgave utahensis var. kaibabensis1 / 1
2.43l?(Bush with 4 yellow petals)? /
2.43Switchback right; CP #19, elevation 5165 feet (1574 m)
2.48Switchback left; CP #20, elevation 5133 feet (1565 m)
2.50r119BRAhairy-podded pepper-grassLepidium lasiocarpum var. lasiocarpum20 / 5
LOO
2.52Switchback right; CP #21, 5097 feet (1554 m)
2.58Trail curves left 90° at side drainage; CP #22, 5056 feet (1541 m)
2.58r(FAB bush peavine, Lathyrus brachycalyx ssp. zionis)
2.64l120FAGshrub live oakQuercus turbinella10 / 2
2.68Switchback left, CP #23, elevation 4978 feet (1517 m)
2.71Switchback right; CP #24, elevation 4955 feet (1510 m)
2.75Curve left 90°.
2.77l121ASTMojave woodyasterXylorhiza tortifolia20 / 9
2.77Curve right 90°.
2.78Switchback left, CP #25, elevation 4897 feet (1493 m)
2.84Switchback right at drainage; CP #26, elevation 4855 feet (1480 m)
Check for Argemone munita vouchered from "4800 feet" here
2.90Curve right 90°.
2.90r122FABTorrey's milkvetchAstragalus calycosus10 / 1
2.91r123FABbush peavineLathyrus brachycalyx ssp. zionis2 / 1
2.95Curve left 90°.
3.01Jct. short path to 3 mile Resthouse; CP "(3 mile) Resthouse", elevation 4733 feet (1443 m)
3.03Switchback left.
3.07l124ULMnetleaf hackberryCeltis laevigata var. reticulata1 / 1
3.09Switchback right; CP #27, elevation 4663 feet (1422 m); enter Redwall Limestone, thickness 450 feet here
3.12r125BRArose bladderpodLesquerella purpurea30 / 7
3.13Switchback left.
3.15Switchback right.
3.16Switchback left.
3.21Switchback right.
3.22Curve right 90°.
3.23Switchback left.
3.26Curve left 90°.
3.29Switchback right at the closest part of the trail to the "Petrified Snow" (caused by falling rocks chipping off the red coat on the Redwall Limestone due to the Supai Group above, exposing the natural gray/white color). CP #28, 4512 feet (1375 m)
3.30l126ASTwire-lettuceStephanomeria pauciflora /
3.32Curve right 90°.
3.34Switchback left.
3.36Curve left 90°.
3.38Switchback right.
3.40Curve right 90°.
3.41Switchback left.
3.44Switchback right; CP #29, elevation 4396 feet (1340 m)
3.45Trail curves left 90° and crosses small drainage
3.45Rest of guide not yet updated from 5/6/08 fieldwork
3.50Enter Temple Butte Limestone; thickness 35 feet here
3.52l127POAside-oats gramaBouteloua curtipendula50 / 9
3.55rANAsimple-leaved basketbushRhus trilobata var. simplicifolia2 / 2
3.62Switchback right; CP #30, elevation 4255 feet (1297 m)
3.62r128~ASTresin brittlebushEncelia resinifera ssp. resinifera20 / 5
3.65r129~ASTrush rabbitbrushEricameria nauseosa var. juncea /
3.65l130~EUPwestern bernardiaBernardia incana3 / 2
3.69Long switchback left, cross good-sized side drainage; CP #31, elevation 4208 feet (1283 m); enter Muav Limestone, thickness 375 feet here. Below here, the trail is mostly on alluvial deposits, and the Muav Limestone and the Bright Angel Shale, thickness 350 feet, are not evident.
3.69l(Check for different needlegrass, Achnatherum sp.)
3.69l131PAPRoaring Springs prickly-poppyArgemone arizonica1 / 1
3.70lCheck these plants to see if they are young fourwing saltbush, same as the next species
3.73r132CHEfourwing saltbushAtriplex canescens1 / 1
3.73r133spPOAneedlegrass?Achnatherum (scribneri?)5 / 1
3.73r134POLdesert trumpetEriogonum inflatum3 / 1
End plant trail guide; following are just landmarks to Indian Gardens
3.92Cross creekbed, with high-pressure water pipe elevated on left; CP #32, elevation 4093 feet (1248 m)
4.09Curve left 90°, cross streambed, then turn right 90°; CP #33, elevation 4029 feet (1228 m)
4.12Switchback right (only ~90°)
4.36Cross creekbed; CP #34, elevation 3884 feet (1184 m)
4.40Sign: "Indian Gardens" (arrow pointing downhill)
4.41Sign: "The plants you see here are the living desert. They grow by the inch and die by the foot".
Additional species from a plant list for Upper Bright Angel Trail provided by Lori Makarick:
PAPprickly poppyArgemone munita /
POLlongleaf phloxPhlox longifolia /
ROSinterior roseRosa woodsii var. ultramontana /
http://tchester.org/gc/plants/guides/bright_angel_down.html
Updated 19 August 2016.