The Grand Canyon's Bright Angel Picture
January, 2012, Jeff N. was near Bright Angel Lodge, set up next to Lookout Studio at the Grand Canyon, South Rim when he took a series of photographs. In one of the pictures, there was an anomaly that looks like the location name: bright angel. In fact, there is also a Bright Angel Trail and Bright Angel Creek. So, we were wondering why these places were called Bright Angel and if there could have been an angel sighting near these locations. We did some digging, so read on, and find out the answer.
Jeff's Story About the Bright Angel Photo:
"I went on a one-day bus tour to the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas, and the bus stopped at the South Rim. This was the second stop. Cleaning up pictures four days later on Microsoft Picture Manager, I noticed the white spot in the middle of the sky of this picture. None of the pictures before or afterwards it had the same mark. Initially, I thought it was a water spot or maybe an airplane; but there were no such anomalies in the pictures. The place was near Bright Angel Lodge and Bright Angel Trail."
How Did the Name, Bright Angel, Originate?
It was our hope that an angel sighting inspired the name Bright Angel to be given to a creek, trail and lodge in the Grand Canyon. If there was a bright angel seen many years ago in this scenic area, no one reported it. Here is the story of where the name came from:
Bright Angel Creek got its name from Major Dellenbaugh who described its waters as being "very clear." He said he named it Bright Angel because another creek up river is called Dirty Devil:
"The little affluent we discovered here is a clear, beautiful creek or river...in beautiful contrast we concluded to name it 'Bright Angel.'" - Major Dellenbaugh
Bright Angel Trail was simply named after the creek by explorer, John Wesley Powell, who explored the Colorado River.