At one point in time, this trail was considered the best in Grand Canyon National Park. Some sections of the trail are still paved with stones that were laid by the Santa Fe Railroad 100 years ago. Hike to camp on day one and this will be your home for 2 nights - giving a full day to relax or explore some side canyons - on and off trail. On the Grand Canyon Hermit Trail backpacking trip, you have a chance to see two of the largest rapids on the Colorado River (and be part of the Mile Deep Club), as well as an opportunity to explore parts of Grand Canyon's history - the old Santa Fe Railroad camp. These areas hold all the ingredients for what a vacation should be–unforgettable!
*Route Variation - Specific hiking route and campsites on each departure are dependent upon permit availability.
Need some help planning your trip? With our outfitting services for your Grand Canyon backpacking trip, your experience will be more enjoyable as we will do the footwork for you. Click here for more information about JRI's outfitting services.
Need more information about the trails? Click here for the official Hermit Trail description from Grand Canyon National Park.
You will need to the Hermit trailhead on the South Rim of Grand Canyon, where you will hike roughly 9 miles to the campground at Hermit or Monument Creek, 3,740 ft (1140 m) below the rim. The average hiking time to the campsite is about 6 - 7 hours and along the way you pass two of the best collections of fossils on any trail in the canyon.
Shed your large packs today and take a day hike! You can head to the Colorado River at Hermit and Granite Rapids, and other points of interest. On many occasions, you will see a rafting trip run the rapids while hanging out on the beach. You can also hike along the Tonto trail to some out of the way places or do some off-trail hiking up the creeks. There are many exploring opportunities in this region and this day can also be used to relax at camp by the creek.
Back to the rim! Today the group follows their tracks back to South Rim- an 8.2 mile trek (13.2 km) and about 3,740 ft (1,140 m) ascent). You should be on the trail about 6-7 hours.
Share your experience! Review this trip
I booked my trip as a 30th birthday present to myself. The previous three years of my life had been incredibly difficult and I just wanted to do something for myself that wasn't out of necessity...just some good ol' fashioned fun. And boy, did I find some fun. I can't recall a recent time where I have laughed as much as I did on this trip. I won't lie, I did some crying too. Sometimes it was because my body hurt like the dickens and I wanted to give up. Other times it was because when you're knee-deep in the Grand Canyon it's kind of hard to not get emotional. The Grand Canyon uses it's brilliant layers and deep crevices to teach your brain and heart, and your body for that matter, all sorts of life lessons. I feel honored to have been given the opportunity to experience it up close and personal.
Our guide, Ryan, was an absolute gem. "The canyon is always forming" is something he said often and it will be permanently etched into my brain. Ryan was informed and capable, and I would go on a million more trips with him. What's more, he carried out all the pasta we didn't eat...my hero! (And I'm really sorry I didn't eat more of your pasta, Ryan.) I often felt bad for him, as he was with a group of potty-mouthed women bound and determined to break him. But we never did! Ryan was always professional while still being a pretty cool dude. Although I do feel that the group talked about Game of Thrones too much, sometimes with Ryan's prodding. Quit trying to convert me, it's not going to happen.
Now that my body is fully rested and recovered, I would gladly sign up for another trip! Definitely in the fall again- I can't imagine hiking in the heat of the summer. On our last day of hiking, we left very early in the morning, long before the sun was up. We turned off our headlamps and looked around at the vast amount of stars surrounding us. In that moment it was just us, the ground below us, and those stars. I wouldn't trade anything for that peaceful, hopeful feeling.
Thank you for such an incredible experience. I'm so glad you got to meet me!
Had a fantastic adventure on Hermit trail. Our guide Dallan was great always pulling something out of his bag like Mary Poppins. Very knowledgeable all aspects of the Canyon. Most important he was a lot of fun and makes a great cup of coffee when you really need it. Quite an adventure for our family.
Bill & Teri Timm
We had the best family reunion in April with three brothers, two sisters and two nieces. We all did the Hermit Trail and all made it down and up with no broken bones! Most of us are in our 60s and 70s and didn't know whether we could accomplish it but we did. Our guides Ryan and Stephan were the best! There are no words to describe the beauty of the Grand Canyon.
This was a really challenging trip for our group. Despite how well you guys described the rigors of the hike, it was still quite a bit more difficult than I anticipated. The weight of the packs and, even more so, the roughness of the trail, made it much more than any 9 mile hike we've been used to doing by a hefty margin. Even so, we were looking for a challenge we could tackle and the entire team did just that. The guides were very professional in anticipating all our needs and working with our group to make it a success. This was an epic adventure. Thank you.
Amazing experience of a lifetime! Kyle was great and we can't wait to take another trip.
Incredible, memorable, beautiful trip. Jeremy was knowledgeable, friendly and fun to be around. The others in our group, Sid and Suzanne were also great! The food was beyond my expectation and there was plenty of it. I haven't stopped raving about the trip. I can't wait to bring my son out there when he is old enough!
Jeremy, the guide was really great. Knew a lot of stuff and helpful. I did not expect this good quality of food at all. It was simply awesome. I can not think of how it could have been any better. Highly recommend it.
Well we have been roughin it for 25 years. What a great pun. So we took the adventure of a life time. We began our adventure early out of phoenix; all we needed was our clothes and good health. We met our guide Steve who showed us our first nights campsite below nearly 4000 ft down. Like we knew what we were looking for. Steve did. That’s a good thing he was our guide.
We arrived early evening the tents were the easiest to set up all the poles were connected you couldn't screw it up. The hardest part of the night was blowing up the air mattress after a nine mile hike down 4000 feet. It really wasn't a problem cause as Steve cooked us a great meal did all the cleaning as it was canyon Z time for this group.
The next two days were much easier hikes as we traveled to Hermits Rapid. Who would have thought there was a beach there? For you a beach fan it’s worth the trip the view is spectacular. Well, one small down fall the water was 40 degrees but it felt great. That’s right we spent the night on the beach of the Grand Canyon at the rapids and the stars were really bright as we watched the space station cross the sky. Wow! Really incredible. Oh yeah did I mention Steve cook another great meal and did the dishes so we could play in the sand.
Day 3 the weather changed a bit from 85 and sunny in the canyon in April to a cooler and windy day blowing in clouds and a bit of rain. No fear we had a short hike up the creek and found a campsite that was rock covered. Had lunch played some cards did a bit of exploring on the old camp site where and old cable car entered the canyon to bring supplies into the camp. It is now an abandoned but the remains are there. So much for leaving it as you found it. (What you carry in, you carry out)
The final day 4 up early as we had a big hike. Steve had our coffee ready and breakfast was before sun up. We were on the trail early. As we ventured up we notice the north rim was snow covered we of course were in shorts as we had only a few drops of rain. It is amazing how elevation plays a huge roll in weather conditions. As we continued our assent we pass a few dissenters pealing layers as it had snow that night on the South rim as well.
We had lunch with only 1000 feet to climb the wind had picked up and temperature had clearly dropped at that elevation. Steve "Air Walker" kept us motivated to get to the top.
By two we had reached the summit. Steve presented us with gift of our accomplishment and my wife treasured the Certificate of Complete ion it is now Framed! Go Figure.
My wife coined Steve as "Air Walker" as he seemed to float over the rocks. He never seemed tired or winded as the rest of us. Steve was a great guide as he always seemed to know when to rest reminded us to drink more water and enjoy the canyon when not walking on a cliff.
Enough of my rambling, what an adventure! If you are healthy and have clothes Just Roughin It does the rest. No cooking, Cleaning, Trying to find a water supply, and snacks lots of snacks. By day 3 we were holding valuable commodities for trade with our fellow hikers. What a great experience!!
Ed and Dorine G.
Clearly, this was one trip I will never forget, a father and son(2) outing in one of the 7 Wonders of the World, the truly majestic Grand Canyon. This was a first class experience right from when our guide Steve picked us up at our motel in Phoenix. The ride(approx 4 hrs.) to the GC was very quiet and refined. Steve was excellent in explaining everything to us from do's and don'ts and provided us with a very informative geological history/creation of the GC, including the colorful flora. The equipment provided was top notch and meals were very nutritious and tasted great, Steve prepared all the meals and even washed our dishes. This is better service than I get at home. Steve was very pleasant to be around and made everyone in our group of 5 feel very welcomed and comfortable. To describe the views in the the GC, well I can't, a picture even doesn't do it justice, you have to see it in person.
This was a 5 star trip!!!!!!!!!!!!
Let me begin with one word: amazing. Cliche, maybe, but entirely accurate. From the first moment we stumbled out of the car onto the rim, buzzing with excitement (and, let's face it, a little exhausted from the early start), we were overtaken with a one-two punch: the breath-taking beauty of the Canyon, and our personable, prepared, all-over excellent guide Gavin.
The Hermit Trail is a less popular route: one day down, one day at the bottom exploring, and one day back up. It's definitely a more strenuous hike (we're all college kids in decent shape so we fared pretty well) but completely worth it for the amazing views all the way down. I had rafted the Grand before, and gotten another view of the Hermit rapids, but I am so happy I got to experience it from another perspective.
How about Just Roughin' It? From our first meeting, it was clear that our guide was (a) knowledgeable, experienced, and prepared, but also (b) an awesome guy who was there to make sure we stayed safe and had fun. He went out of his way over and over again-- whether it was making sure our packs were well-adjusted, preparing delicious meals (crepes at the bottom of the canyon = you know you're in paradise no matter how sore your muscles are), taking some amazing pictures of us, pointing out sights we wouldn't have noticed, telling great stories, the list goes on and on. Gavin never made us feel bad about having to take extra breaks when we needed them, and was always positive and upbeat. I strained my knee on the hike back up, and he not only helped me wrap it, but also (ridiculously heroically) carried my pack AS WELL AS his own for the last half mile, one of the hardest verticals of the hike. Yea, basicaaaaaally: Gavin rocks. A+++ to JRI for their awesome guides.
To sum up: this was a great way to spend our spring break, and a trip I would highly recommend. Prepare to be sweaty, sore, and love every minute of it.
I had a wonderful time. Jonathon wonderful. He was extremely helpful in assisting us in setting up our tent and helping us with our zipper, which failed - minor inconvenience. the food was great, hardy and plentiful. All of you at JRI have done a great job in creating an atmosphere for a wonderful experience. I will definitely reccomend JRI to my friends. Thanks again!
I can honestly say the first day of the hike was a challenge for me. I loved the two days we explored the bottom of the canyon and getting to know the other members of the group. We could not have had a better guide than Steve. He was very informative about the canyon and what it had to offer, both good & bad. Steve amazed me with each delicious meal he fixed. He seemed like a magician pulling wonderful food out of his backpack. He was very organized and efficient with the preparation and presentation of our meals. He was great about helping us with our gear. He also had us solve riddles along the trail to keep us mentally occupied, which really helped me with the climb up. I don't think I will ever do the hike again, but I am glad to say...I DID IT! I look forward to booking trip with "Just Roughin' It" in the future. I would highly recommend your company to other outdoor enthusiast.
I can easily say that the trip was a great time and I would recommend it to friends. I can't say enough good things about our guide, Johnathan. He was extremely personable and was very knowledgeable about the environment and took time to explain proper use of equipment, how to safely negotiate the terrain and was able to give us information on plants, animals and rock formations that we saw. Although the trip went really well and I had a great time, I think the one improvement you might make would be to re-evaluate how the trails are described and rated. As a first-time backpacker, I found the trip to be more challenging (achievable...but challenging) than expected based on descriptions. After reading the descriptions and going through the brief questionnaire, I expected a challenge but I am not sure that I would recommend it for a first time backpacker even one that is physically in good shape. Because of this, I actually would rate the trip a 4.5 out of 5 but not an option here. All things considered, it was a very rewarding experience and I hope to do something similar in the future.
Trip Cost Per Person
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- 65-75 liter multi-day backpack
- 2 person ultralight backpacking tent (1 tent per 2 people)
- Sleeping bag appropriate for the season you are hiking (20 F to 45 F synthetic bag)
- Therm-A-Rest Z-lite backpacking mat
- 1 pair trekking poles
- 1 backpacking stove and fuel (1 stove per 2 people)
- Backpacking meals (dinner and breakfast)
- Trip planning and logistics assistance
*Please note - Just Roughin' It is not a guide service for Grand Canyon National Park. Just Roughin' It is providing trip planning and outfitting service and will not be physically present during your hike. Hikers are required to know their fitness abilities and limitations on any backpacking route they choose to apply for directly from Grand Canyon National Park. Hikers will be required to sign a waiver when picking up the outfitter package.
Now’s the time to consider purchasing a travel protection plan to help protect your trip investment. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 03-0152.
Travel Insurance is underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 11.17 W20