Bright Angel Trail was turned over to the National Park Service in 1928, but its history in the Grand Canyon goes back thousands of years as a natural route navigated by the region’s American Indians to reach the inner canyon. Today it’s one of the most popular Grand Canyon hikes and often is combined with the South Kaibab Trail for a longer excursion. Bright Angel is a shaded trail with plenty of natural water, so that means more plant and animal life for you to view. At Indian Garden, water is available year round, and there’s a must-see creek-side trail that snakes through ravines of water-sculpted stone and green cottonwood trees; from Plateau Point, you can see three miles of the Colorado River. Mules have the right of way on the trail.