Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hiking along the Hermit Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona

Today we wanted to explore a different part of the Grand Canyon, hike a trail for around 3 miles round trip, and have no mules and fewer people, so we decided on Hermit Trail. To get to this trail you must take the Red shuttle bus to Hermit Rest on the west side of the park. The trail begins about ¼ mile past the Hermit Rest gift shop along the rim. The hike begins down a small ravine that leads to a large side canyon that feeds directly into the main Canyon.

The trail is immediately steep and difficult to negotiate since you are hiking over large stones and loose rocks. Following the switchbacks, we worked our way down the east side of this side canyon and in the opposite direction of the main canyon. It isn’t until we hiked around .5 miles, that we began to get views of the main Canyon at the opening of this side canyon. The trail continued to wind further down and back into this smaller canyon, quickly losing views of the Grand Canyon, yet there are wonderful views of the dark read canyon walls that make up the opposite "wall" of this smaller canyon. Quite honestly, although it was interesting views, without views of the National Park’s star attraction, we started to quickly lose interest in this hike, but continued for a bit, with hopes that the vantage point would improve.

Unfortunately the main canyon views didn’t improve within the distance that we wanted to hike, so we turned around and headed back about .5 miles short of the Waldon Trail junction making our hike a little less than 3 miles roundtrip, with an elevation change of 1,100 feet. This hike took us one hour down and 1.25 hours back out. You would have to hike another 1-2 miles past our turn around point to start getting views of the Grand Canyon. We would not recommend this hike for views of the main canyon, unless you are interested in a long day hike. The best views of the Grand Canyon in this part of the park are from the rim at Hermit's Rest...and that’s a must see!


Anonymous said...

I love the photo you have for the Hermit's Nest section of the Grand Canyon. It's breathtaking.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photo!

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