Trails, Grand Canyon National Park
The Hermit Trail is a historic miners trail, which is a bit more steep and rugged than the popular Bright Angel and South Kaibab trails. From the trailhead, it is 3 miles to Horseshoe Mesa. The trail eventually reaches a junction with the South Kaibab Trail and heads to the bottom. The Hermit trail also leads to Hermit Rapid and a more primitive campground at Hermit's Rest.
This was the trail we were supposed to take, but, due to bad weather and the possibility of flash floods, we changed our permit to allow us to camp at Bright Angel and then Indian Gardens. I can't say much about the trail other than that it is supposed to be steeper and longer than the South Kaibab or Bright Angel trails.
Distance - 10 miles down to the Havasu Camp,6 miles round trip to Beaver Falls and back (Optional day hike), 10 miles back to the Havasu Trailhead.
Elevation - 5,200ft. to 3,200ft. to 5,200ft.
Best Seasons - February through October.
Favorite thing: Considered the most strenuous hike from the North Rim and recommended for experienced climbers only. The trail passes through White Canyon and the Tonto Platform. The trail ends at the Colorado River upriver from Shinumo Creek.
Favorite thing: A wilderness trail beginning east of Lipan Point and reaching the Colorado river by Tanner Rapid. The route descends the west branch of Tanner Canyon, skirting Escalante and Cardenas Buttes along the way.
Favorite thing: An unmaintained wilderness trail which leads to the Colorado river. The trail begins about 31 miles west of GC village. It passes the Kaibab and Torroweap formations then descends the Coconino cliffs to the Esplanade
North Rim Dayhikes from the North Kaibab Trail:
Coconino Overlook - 3 miles roundtrip.
Supai Tunnel - 4 miles roundtrip.
Roaring Springs - 9.4 miles roundtrip.
Cottonwood Camp - 13.8 miles roundtrip.
Ribbon Falls - 16.8 miles roundtrip.
The North Kaibab Trail is the only maintained trail into the Canyon from the north rim. It takes you 14 miles from its trailhead to its terminus at Bright Angel Campground and the Colorado River. The trail is well maintained and easy to follow throughout its entire length. The top portion, 4.7 miles from the trailhead to Roaring Springs, is very steep and is by far the most difficult section, especially if you are climbing out. The trailhead for the North Kaibab Trail shares the same parking area with the trailhead for the Ken Patrick Trail and the Uncle Jim Trail. This parking area is located two miles north of the Grand Canyon Lodge off of the main park road.
Fondest memory: Mileage and elevation information
Mileages are as follows (one-way):
Coconino Overlook - 1.5 miles.
Supai Tunnel - 2.0 miles.
Roaring Springs - 4.7 miles.
Cottonwood Camp - 6.9 miles.
Ribbon Falls - 8.4 miles.
Phantom Ranch - 14 miles.
Bright Angel Campground - 14.5 miles.
Rim - 8,241 feet
Roaring Springs - 4,800 feet
Cottonwood Camp - 4,000 feet
Colorado River - 2,425 feet
Favorite thing: This trail is shorter (6.7 miles) but steeper. It is recommended to take this trail to the bottom and the Bright Angel trail on the return trip. The trail begins near Yaki Point, about 4.5 miles east of the Grand Canyon village. It descends 4800 feet in 6.7 miles, 1300 of those in the first 1.5 miles of the hike which leads to Cedar Ridge.
Favorite thing: The most popular south rim trail. The trailhead begins near the Bright Angel Lodge at an elevation of 6900 feet. Indian Gardens is about 4.6 miles away at an elevation of 3800 feet. This is the farthest recommended distance for a dayhike. The trail continues 1.5 miles to Plateau Point. From here, it is about 3 miles to the Colorado River and the Bright Angel campground and Phantom Ranch.
Distance - 7.7 miles down the Hermit Trail to Hermit Creek Camp, 3 miles round trip to Hermit Rapid on the Colorado River and back, 7.7 miles back to the Hermit Trailhead.
Elevation - 6,640ft. to 2,400ft. to 6,640ft.
Best Seasons - September through May.
Favorite thing: Another unmaintaned wilderness trail beginning at Moran point and leading to the Colorado River near Hancer Rapid