The Hermit Trailhead is located near Hermits Rest, at the western terminus of Hermit Road. For most of the year, it is accessible only by a shuttle bus or a permitted guide vehicle. From the rim at Hermits Rest, the views are expansive. Powell Plateau is visible on the far horizon, and the Colorado River can be seen wending its way through the canyon.
The views from the trail itself, however, are quite different — the initial descent takes hikers into a wide-open drainage, much of which is blanketed with a sparse juniper forest. National Park Service describes the upper portion of the trail as “steep and sustained”. Hikers on this stretch will walk on a century-old cobblestone trail surface. After more than a thousand vertical feet, the trail becomes less steep, and hikers have a chance to better appreciate the towering inner-canyon surroundings. Past the junctions with the Waldron and Dripping Springs trails, Hermit Trail descends through red mudstone and sandstone to the permanent shade structure (and unreliable water) at Santa Maria Spring.
There are a few reasons why first-time hikers might wish to opt for a different hike. The Hermit Trail’s western exposure can mean intense sun during the summer months, and tilted sandstone slabs will test a hiker’s ankle strength. The views from the trail are more sublime than stunning.
This is Grand Canyon off the beaten path — a good choice for experienced hikers who want to explore something new. Reserve your trip using the form below the photo gallery, or send us an email.