Hermit Trail Description
All-Star Grand Canyon Tours leads customized private day hiking tours and backpacking tours in Grand Canyon, one of the hardest places in the world to hike; we design backpacking trips that are best suited to your family or group. A maintained but steep trail that leaves from the South Rim of Grand Canyon is the Hermit Trail. All-Star Grand Canyon Tours considers the Hermit Trail to be an intermediate trail because it is maintained but steep. This is a trail that will get your family away from the crowds, so you can experience the true solitude of Grand Canyon.
The Hermit Trail provides choices for your Grand Canyon hiking or backpacking trip. The trail has destinations for short and long day hikes, and it can be used for a one night backpacking trip to a week long trip. The Hermit Trail also has clear access the Colorado River, which not an option on all Grand Canyon backpacking trails. When hiking the Hermit Trail guests will have many opportunities to view, experience, and learn about fossils, native cultures and early southwestern cowboy/ prospector history.
History of the Hermit Trail:
The Hermit Trail began as an indian route, and was later improved by prospectors. Dan Hogan, a prospector, began construction of the modern Hermit Trail in 1896. Fifteen years later, the trail was improved by the Santa Fe Railroad in an effort to bypass Ralph Cameron's toll that was currently being charged for the use of Bright Angel Trail. Santa Fe Railroad constructed a small camp, Hermit Camp, at the end of the trail; about an hours hike from the Colorado River. Hermit Camp provided a stop-over point for parties headed for the river and was active and maintained until the 1931. At that point the National Park Service had acquired the Bright Angel Trail and had also constructed the North and South Kaibab trails. Those trails were closer to the Grand Canyon Railway Station, and Hermit Camp was abandoned and the structures were removed. There is still evidence of the camp, such as the existing foundations that can be seen along the trail.
Mileages are as follows (one-way):
- Dripping Springs Trail junction- 1.6 miles
- Hermit Camp - 7 miles
- Colorado River - 8.5 miles
- Rim - 6640'
- Dripping Springs Trail junction - 5240', 1400' below rim
- Colorado River - 2400', 4240' below rim
Pros and Cons of Hiking the Hermit Trail:
- Historical trail with amazing views......The Hermit Trail has a real "Off the Beaten Path" feel
- The trail is never crowded
- The Hermit Trail maintained by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1940's, so it is built with "old world" techniques......a fascinating trail
- The creek near campsites can be filtered as water source
- Small Backcountry Campsites are never crowded
- Bathroom facility in camp (National Park Service installed backcountry toilet)
- Historical Route
- Good Family Hike for an extremely fit family
- Good first Grand Canyon hike for fit hikers
- There are many fossils on this trail to observe, including fossilized lizard tracks, fern fossils, fossilized raindrop marks, - Can be part of a Rim to Rim Hike
Cons:- Very little shade in camp
- Hard to get permits for this hike in April and September
- Some sections of the trail are slightly washed out and it takes a keen eye to follow the trail