Hermit Trail To Santa Maria Spring Featured
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Grand Canyon Hikes

Hermit Trail to Santa Maria Spring

  • 4.5 miles - Hard Effort
  • 3-4 Hours (Total)
  • Expect to See Some Other Hikers
  • 1,700 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 6,640 feet
  • No Dogs Allowed

If you're looking for an epic hike into the Grand Canyon away from the crowds, the Hermit Trail is your move. This hike to Santa Maria Spring takes you to a beautiful shelter with views into Hermit Canyon.

In this Guide:
  • Getting to the Trailhead
  • Hike Video & Directions
  • Insider Tips for the Hike

Where is the Hermit Trail?

Hermit Trail Bus Route
For most of the year, you must take the red shuttle bus to Hermit's Rest, where the hike starts.
Hermits Rest Entrance
When you get to Hermit's Rest, you're greeted by the iconic gate, which has been here since the mini-resort was built in 1913.
Hermit Rest Trail Location
To reach the trailhead, walk past the Hermit's Rest building to the far end by the parking lot.
Hermit Rest Store
The store at Hermit's Rest is a great place to stop and get a snack or drink.

Gear Recommendations

Hermit Trail Gear
Most people thing the Grand Canyon is always hot, but it can get snow and freezing temperatures in the winter and shoulder seasons. For this guide, shot in March, we started with winter clothes at sunrise and ended sweating in short sleeves.

This is a backcountry hike and you should prepare accordingly.

Gear That I Love Right Now

Nothing is sponsored or promoted, just the actual gear that I use.

Gear Inreach Mini 2
Garmin InReach Mini 2Hit SOS or just tell loved ones that you're running late where your cell phone has no service.  Review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The best hiking footwear I've ever owned. No blisters. Get them wet, they dry quickly. Lots of cushion and comfort.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProHiking maps, route info, and fitness stats on my wrist. Review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26Lightweight, carries all your gear, and your back doesn't get sweaty. Oh yea, it's also one of the most inexpensive packs you can get.

Check out the complete list here. ( Updated July 2024)

Hermit Trail Trail Maps

Hermit Trail Sign
Overall the Hermit Trail is easy to follow and the trail intersections are all signed.
Hermit Trail Surface
Most of the Hermit Trail was originally surfaced with big smooth slabs of rock. The builders wanted to make it as easy and inviting for tourists to use. The trail's wide walkway, switchbacks, and reinforced cribbing became a model for other National Park trails in the early 1900s. You can still see some slabs of the original walkway on the hike.
Click Here To View

Use This Map:
View in CalTopo | PDF Map | GPX File

Elevation Profile

Hermit Trail Elevation
Here's the one-way profile. Hike down, then hike back out. As they say, "going down is optional, coming back up is mandatory."

3D  Map

Hermit Trail 3d Map
From Hermit's Rest you descend into the Hermit Basin, then there's a short stretch off the basin to Santa Maria Spring.

Santa Maria Spring Hike Directions

Hermit Rest Santa Maria Spring Directions 1
Start the trail board.
Hermit Rest Santa Maria Spring Directions 2
Continue downhill on the switchbacks.
Hermit Rest Santa Maria Spring Directions 3
There's a flatter part in the middle of the descent. This will be nice on the way back up.
Hermit Rest Santa Maria Spring Directions 4
Then another steep downhill section to Hermit Basin.
Hermit Rest Santa Maria Spring Directions 5
At the bottom of the climb is the Waldron Trail junction. Continue straight on the Hermit Trail.
Hermit Rest Santa Maria Spring Directions 6
Shortly after that is the junction with the Boucher Trail. Bear to the right and stay on the Hermit Trail.
Hermit Rest Santa Maria Spring Directions 7
Then you'll get a stunning view down into Hermit Canyon. We'll be following the trail down to the other wall.
Hermit Rest Santa Maria Spring Directions 8
Shortly after the descent you'll arrive at Santa Maria Spring.
Hermit Rest Santa Maria Spring Directions 9
If you drink from the spring, treat it with a filter first.
Hermit Rest Santa Maria Spring Directions 10
Just past the shelter is a great viewpoint to have a snack before the climb back out.

Need More Info?

This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.