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Hermits Rest to Dripping Springs Professional Review and Guide
"A rewarding day hike below the South Rim leading to an aptly named spring. From March 1 through November 30, Hermit Road is closed to private vehicles. During this time a free shuttle bus offers access to Hermits Rest every 15 and 30 minutes from about 5:15 a.m. to sunset each day. You can board the shuttle bus at the Hermits Rest Transfer shuttle bus stop.To reach Hermits Rest trailhead in a private vehicle, drive to the Hermit Road interchange, then proceed straight ahead on Hermit Road for 7 miles to the loop at the end of the pavement at Hermits Rest."
--Ben Adkison, Hiking Grand Canyon National Park (Falcon Guides).
A strenuous hike even with decent weather - the climb back out was a tough one. Recent monsoon rains have created many washouts on the trail, including one significant washout/rockslide across the trail that created a "hands on" shuffle across the loose rocks to re-engage the trail. Beautiful views of Hermit Basin and Gorge. Hike out was tough - I felt more strenuous than South Kaibab to Skeleton Point and back.
I would rate this a strenuous hike. The trail is unmaintained and often rough/rocky, and it is quite STEEP! There is not much shade along the way, so bring plenty of water/Gatorade especially in warmer months (I would recommend 1 gallon per person). The view along the trail is beautiful! Shortly (maybe 3/4 - 1 mile) before reaching Dripping Spring there is a plateau (and some shade!) where we could rest and be treated to a lovely view of the Grand Canyon. Dripping Spring is pretty neat ... water drips from the overhanging cliff into a small, round pool. It took my family & I about 7 hours to complete the 6.5 miles trip (my mother & I felt like we were never going to make it back to the top!). It is a challenging hike, but we enjoyed it especially because we were by ourselves most of the time -- we like to be able to enjoy the canyon in solitude.
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