|Photo: Credit: hspauldi on Flickr|
[ edit ]
|Distance||7 miles (11.3 kilometers)|
|Trail Type||One Way|
|Elevation Gain||3400 feet (1040 meters)|
|High Point||6640 feet (2020 meters)|
|Low Point||5000 feet (1520 meters)|
|Nearest City||Flagstaff, AZ|
An unmaintained and strenously steep trail in Grand Canyon National Park, the Hermit Trail is an old Indian trail that takes you down into the canyon itself. "Certainly not for the faint of heart, weak of knee, or low of water.
In Grand Canyon National Park, the trailhead is next to Hermits Rest. During summer months private vehicles are not allowed so you will need to take the shuttle bus to Hermits Rest. The trail begins 500 feet west of Hermits Rest.
Starting from Hermits Rest, the trail descends quickly through many switchbacks dropping 2000 feet in the first 2.5 miles. After about 1.5 miles you will come to the Waldron Trail junction where you should take a right. From here the trail continues to descent into Hermit Gorge through another series of switchbacks.
About 1.75 miles in you will get to a junction with for Dripping Springs, heading toward Boucher Trail. Take a right at this junction and about 2.5 miles in you will get to Santa Maria Springs where you can get water (that MUST be treated). From there you will reach Lookout Point with great views of the inner gorge, and beyond is more a descent into an area known as Cathedral Stairs.
The next bit is long and very hot during summer, with many switchbacks and no shade or respite. Eventually you will reach the Tonto Platform and as you descend you will be able to see the Tonto Trail. When you reach the junction for the Tonto Trail head left, it is about another 1 mile to Hermit Camp itself. At Hermit Creek you can enjoy the water on a hot summer day and about 1.5 miles down the creek is the Colorado River itself.
You must be conscious of the need for ample water on this and most other Grand Canyon hikes. Although there are a few opportunities for water (Santa Maria Springs or Dripping Springs), you MUST treat the water for it to be drinkable. You can boil the water, use iodine, or filter it. If you won't be employing one of these methods, you'll have to pack in enough water.
During the summer months especially, a full hike to the end on the Hermit Trail and back should not be done in a single day.
Hiking boots are of course recommended, and plan on taking about twice as long to hike back up as coming down.
During winter months, you can park at Hermits Rest, but be aware that the road sometimes closes due to inclement weather.
The entrance fee to Grand Canyon National Park, $25 for a family vehicle or $12 for individuals walking or biking in.
For camping information, visit http://www.recreation.gov.
On the trail there are no services. Bathrooms and other expected amenities are available at Hermits Rest itself (the trailhead).
The Hermit Trail used to be known as the Horsethief Trail and was improved significantly by the Santa Fe railroad to bypass fees that were being collected on the Bright Angel Trail.
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Trailhead (36.060622, -112.21222)|
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