*Hiking Grand Canyon’s Hermit Trail adapted from Grand Canyon: The Complete Guide
Hiking Grand Canyon’s Hermit Trail
Distance: 18.6 miles, round-trip
Hiking Time: 2-3 Days
Elevation Change: 4,240 feet
Although less famous than the popular Bright Angel Trail, the Hermit trail is one of the South Rim’s best hikes. Departing from Hermits Rest, it treats hikers to spectacular western vistas as it descends to the Colorado River in two steep drops. Though unmaintained, the Hermit Trail is generally in good condition with a few tricky but manageable washouts.
Day hikers can head 2.5 miles to Santa Maria Spring (5–8 hours, round-trip). The Hermit Trail ends along the banks of the Colorado River next to Hermit Rapid—one of the most thrilling rapids in Grand Canyon. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a glimpse of river runners hooting and hollering as they barrel through the waves.
Backpackers must camp at designated campsites at either Hermit Creek Campsite (located just west of the Hermit Trail along the Tonto Trail) or at Hermit Rapid.
Trailhead The Hermit Trail starts west of Hermits Rest at the end of Hermit Road. Overnight hikers can park at the trailhead (you’ll be given a code to open the gate to Hermit Road); day hikers can ride the free shuttle to Hermits Rest.
Looking for a Color Topographic Hermit Trail Hiking Map?
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Stone path on the Hermit Trail
Rest area at Santa Maria Spring
View from the Hermit Trail
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