Another descend into the Canyon - Hermit's Rest
Grand Canyon Travel Blog› entry 1045 of 1090 › view all entries
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 "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.
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!