South Rim Trail to Hermit’s Rest
|In This Guide|
|Distance||8.6 miles (13.8 km)|
|Hike Time||4-5 Hours (Total)|
|Total Ascent (?)||830 feet (253m)|
|Highest Elevation||6,850 feet (2088m)|
|Fees & Permits||National Park Entry Fee|
|Park Website (?)||Grand Canyon National Park|
|Stay In Touch||Newsletter - Instagram - YouTube - Facebook|
The Rim Trail from Bright Angel to Hermit’s Rest hike is one of the best-kept secrets on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. The well-maintained and easy to follow Rim Trail winds along the western section of the South Rim, stopping at every marked vista point and making it’s way past dozens of others that aren’t on the map. The hike is flat, away from the crowds, and away from the cars (the road next to it is only open to shuttle buses). And if you get tired at any point, you can just hop on the shuttle bus. If you want to do a Grand Canyon hike that doesn’t include hardcore hiking down into the canyon, but do want a peaceful and spectacular experience on the trail, this hike is for you.
Don’t forget to check out my Grand Canyon hiking tips here!
Getting to the Trailhead
The hike starts from the Village Route Transfer station, where the blue Village Route intersects the red Hermit Road route. There’s not a parking lot right at the bus station, but there are nearby lots just to the east. If you’re driving to the start of the hike, navigate to the Bright Angel area and then find a spot just past (to the west) of the lodges. There’s parking on the street and in the lot by the Bright Angel Trailhead.
Use this navigation address:
Bright Angel Lodge, 9 Village Loop Drive, Grand Canyon Village, AZ 86023
You can park anywhere that you don’t see a no-parking sign or staff parking sign. The parking lots are shared with visitors staying in accommodations such as Bright Angel Lodge.
The blue Village Shuttle Bus is a good option to get to the trailhead if you’re parked or staying somewhere else in the park. The bus runs year-round.
If you need bathrooms or water before your hike, your best bet is to walk up to the Bright Angel Trailhead.
Hermit Road Shuttle Bus
This hike follows the route of the Hermit Road Shuttle Bus (from east to west). If at any point you want to end the hike, you can just hop on the bus and keep going or head home. At the end of the hike at Hermit’s Rest, you simply take the bus back.
The bus doesn’t run in winter. If it’s winter you have to make this hike an out-and-back adventure. Pick a distance that is comfortable for you, and turn around somewhere during the hike. The road is open to cars when the bus isn’t running. If it’s winter and you want to do a hike with shuttles on the Rim Trail, try combining the section from Bright Angel with the section to South Kaibab.
You can take leashed pets on the hike but pets are not allowed on the shuttle bus.
Gear For the Hike
This is a long hike but the conditions are pretty tame. You can get away with casual clothing, but you’ll have a better time wearing fitness or hiking gear. You’ll need to bring water with you; there’s no water along the route until you get to Hermit’s Rest. In the warmer months you should bring 3L; when it’s not so hot you can probably get away with 2L.
The Grand Canyon is a place of weather extremes. It can be cold and icy from Fall to Spring, and from Spring to Fall it can be very hot. Prepare accordingly for your hike. If you leave early bring a layer or two extra. If there are thunderstorms in the forecast, it’s better to do this hike another time.
The La Sportiva Spire boots feel like comfortable sneakers but offer the protection of hiking boots. They’re great on everything from short hikes to longer hikes of 10+ miles. You don’t want to skimp on your feet.
Reviews & Lowest Prices: Women – Men
I test a lot of gear, and for short to medium day hikes, travel, and everyday use, the Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women) are consistently the best. They’re lightweight, hold a hydration bladder to make drinking water easy, have lots of pockets to organize gear, and most importantly, are incredibly comfortable. Check out the reviews; they are impressive.
Reviews & Colors Here: Osprey Stratos (men) and Osprey Sirrus (women)
If you’re not familiar with the Garmin InReach technology, it allows you to send and receive text messages where you don’t have cell phone signals. You can also get weather reports and trigger an SOS to emergency responders. Even if you don’t have an emergency, sending a quick message telling a loved one that you’re okay or are running late is well worth the cost. The Mini fits in your palm and weighs next to nothing. Read my review and see the lowest prices and reviews at REI (or Amazon).
Here’s my complete gear list that I personally use, have tested, and recommend, updated January 2020.See All of My Best Gear Picks Here
No company pays me to promote or push a product, all the gear you see here is gear I use and recommend. If you click an a link and buy gear, I get a small commission that helps offset website expenses. There is no cost to you.
South Rim Trail to Hermit’s Rest Trail Maps
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South Rim Trail to Hermit’s Rest Hike Directions
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Hermit’s Rest is named after “the hermit” of the Grand Canyon, a Quebecois, Louis Boucher. Boucher staked his claim here, carved out trails in the canyon, and eventually evolved his homestead to be a tourist destination.
From here just hop on the bus back to the start. As the bus passes all of the same places that you did, you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve walked! Congrats!
Did something change on this hike? If so, please contact me and let me know. I'll update the guide.