December 3, 2012

Hike Review: Grand Canyon Hermit Trail

Location: Northern Arizona
Distance: 9.8 miles from Hermits Rest (trail-head) to Hermits Rapids; 7 miles to Tonto Trail
Difficulty: strenuous
Elevation Change: 6,700 feet to 2,300 feet (Colorado River)
Time of Year Best: Year round (very hot in summer)
Recommended Map: Trails Illustrated Grand Canyon East #262

Summary:  The hike down the hermit trail is beautiful, steep and rocky.  There is not words for the wonders and beauty that unroll as one descends into the Grand Canyon.  But haste not and marvel not while hasting, there is ample opportunity to twist an ankle especially when laden with a heavy pack.  Park staff stopped maintaining this trail in 1931, but fairly consistent hiker traffic has been sufficient in maintaining  an impression that would be tough to miss.  There are several small stretches that have been covered by the flow of falling rocks resting until a time unknown. Carefully maneuver these obstacles and enjoy the beauty.  The hike to Hermit Rapids is 9.8 miles.  The hike to the Tonto Trail turnoff is a long 7 miles.