Another descend into the Canyon - Hermit's Rest

Grand Canyon Travel Blog

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Just before starting the hike

I mentioned in my previous entry that the Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails are the most popular ones for going into the Grand Canyon. That does not mean they are the only ones. In fact the Hermit Trail, slightly to the west was once the main trail.

It was still in the times that Ralph Cameron ruled his Bright Angle Trail and asked outrageous tolls (see previous blog entry). The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway was trying to develop tourism in the area, and did not want to deal with Cameron's tolls. So in the early 1900s they surveyed another ancient Havasupai Indian trail and hired the Smith Construction company to build a pathway down. It enabled the company to establish a camp, Hermit Camp, about 7 miles travelling down along the trail, where they could lodge their train tourists.

The dripping Spring, dripping!

The "hermit" after whom the trail and the camp were named was not a real hermit but the French Canadian Louis Boucher. Boucher owned several mines in that area and lived here all by himself. Unlike a real hermit he was said to be a very sociable personality.

The camp's and the trail's popularity decreased in the 1930s when the ownership of the Bright Angel trail was handed over to the Park Service and the tolls were lifted. The Hermit trail was not maintained anymore. Yet it is still available, in pretty good shape and promoted as a hike. I had never heard of the trail and discovered it on my Grand Canyon App. So despite the fact that I had to travel a long distance today to Zion National Park I decided to at least hike a section of the Hermit trail.

And the trail is indeed less popular. During my 4.25-hour-long hike I only encountered three persons. The trail was actually not as bad as the many stories said.

Another shot while standing at the trail
I made good progress. My destination was not the former Hermit Camp, that is for another visit, but Dripping Springs, a place where Louis Boucher collected his water. To get there I had to take a really scary trail, the Dripping Springs Trail, which was sometime right next to deep abysses of the Hermit Canyon. Scary!

A nice historic overview of the Hermit Trail is here, and a similar one for the Dripping Springs Trail is here.

After the hike I strolled a bit along the Canyon Rim near the Britght Angel Trail. It gave me some perfect views on yesterday's trail. And showed especially well how the trail is zig-zagging along the canyon walls.

More pictures below!

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Just before starting the hike
Just before starting the hike
The dripping Spring, dripping!
The dripping Spring, dripping!
Another shot while standing at the…
Another shot while standing at th…
Another dramatic view on the majes…
Another dramatic view on the maje…
With views like these waiting at a…
With views like these waiting at …
Just before starting the hike
Just before starting the hike
Just before starting the hike
Just before starting the hike
The Hermits Rest used to be the p…
The Hermit's Rest used to be the …
Descending along the Hermit Trail
Descending along the Hermit Trail
Calculations made by Louis Bouchet?
Calculations made by Louis Bouchet?
A bed midway the canyon? Louis Bou…
A bed midway the canyon? Louis Bo…
More Canyon view!
More Canyon view!
More Canyon view!
More Canyon view!
Note how steep! I am standing on t…
Note how steep! I am standing on …
Closer to the Dripping Spring the …
Closer to the Dripping Spring the…
Closer to the Dripping Spring the …
Closer to the Dripping Spring the…
The dripping Spring
The dripping Spring
This used to be the water collecto…
This used to be the water collect…
The way back. Look and find the tr…
The way back. Look and find the t…
Another shot while standing at the…
Another shot while standing at th…
Towering canyon walls
Towering canyon walls
After the Hermit hike: a walk alon…
After the Hermit hike: a walk alo…
After the Hermit hike: a walk alon…
After the Hermit hike: a walk alo…
After the Hermit hike: a walk alon…
After the Hermit hike: a walk alo…
GPS Profile Hermit Trail / Drippin…
GPS Profile Hermit Trail / Drippi…
GPS Height Profile Hermit Trail / …
GPS Height Profile Hermit Trail /…
My hike as seen in Google Earth
My hike as seen in Google Earth
Grand Canyon
photo by: Sunflower300