Have you ever wanted to camp in the Grand Canyon? If so, consider Hermit Rapids.
Here are five things to know about hiking Hermit Trail and camping at Hermit Creek.
1. You will need a permit.
This can be obtained at the back country ranger station. You must camp in designated sites. Hermit creek campsites are first and Hermit Rapids are second, 1.5 miles further down the trail.
The trail head can be accessed with your camping permit and is 8 miles west.
2. The trail is maintained but not always obvious.
Yes, we found ourselves off the trail a few times but never enough to get particularly scared or worried. I considered it to be a trade off for getting away from the crowds.
3. The hike is not easy.
In the nearly 10 miles from the trail head to the Colorado river, this trail drops from approximately 6600 feet elevation to 2300 feet. The first 2.5 miles alone drops nearly 2000 feet.
I loved this about this hike.
4. There is water!
Bring your filters and purification systems and get some water. Santa Maria Spring is 2.5 miles from the trail head and is a great place to catch some shade and some cool water!
Hermit Creek is the next water source. It flows from its location at the campsite into the Colorado River.
Not only did I appreciate the drinking water but putting my feet in Hermit Creek was like a slice of paradise!
5. It is worth the hike in to the Grand Canyon.
The rapids are impressive and the night sky is dark. Expect to see a handful of others on the trail and at camp. For me, there were just enough people to help me feel like I was in the right place but not so many that I was aware of their presence in the canyon.
We hiked in May and the sun was hot. There is a period of shade if you hit the timing right on the hike but this is easy to forget once the hot sun hits you again.
We walked out of the canyon and straight to our car without being greeted by tour groups and day hikers. The trade off was that there wasn’t anyone there to cheer for us or congratulate us on our successful hike back from the canyon floor but still, it was worth it!
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