Dripping Springs

Grand Canyon National Park

Edgy exposure makes this an adventurous trek.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
7.9 km
Ascent
567 m
Descent
567 m
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.6 km
High Point
2 km
Gradient
28˚
VIEW ON MAP
Dripping Springs Map

Description

"Over 250 people are rescued from the canyon each year. The difference between a great adventure in Grand Canyon and a trip to the hospital (or worse) is up to YOU.” This foreboding quote comes from the Grand Canyon website and is reiterated on dramatic signs throughout the park. Know your fitness and experience before embarking on any Grand Canyon adventure. In addition, choosing the appropriate time of year can make all the difference.

Carry PLENTY of water; it gets extremely hot in the canyon. Plan to catch the very first shuttle of the morning, which is at 6am. While this Dripping Springs route is not advised in the summer, it does not reach the canyon depth and accompanying heat that many other hikes do.

As Scott Thybony explains in his excellent guidebook, "Official Guide to Hiking Grand Canyon: Day Hiking and Backpacking South and North Rims," the Hermit Trail is a "Threshold Trail," which is the category between the well maintained, wide "Corridor Trails" and the very faint, almost non-existent "Primitive Trails." As such, it is much narrower than the well-known Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails.

For experienced desert hikers, the 6-mile out-and-back Dripping Springs hike is wonderful, but is not for those with a fear of heights or aversion to exposure. Portions of the trail are extremely narrow and hug the edge of sheer drop-offs, where a slip and fall would be disastrous.

The trek begins at 6,420', sharing the first 1.5 miles with the Hermit Trail as it drops to 5,280'. At the junction, which is at the head of Hermit Gorge, the route heads northwest and stays relatively level for the next mile.

As with most trails in the Grand Canyon, there are numerous options for length and destination, but making the 2.5-mile point a turn-around makes a perfect day out. There is more than enough scenery and photography opportunities and just enough edgy excitement to increase the heart rate!

Access to the Dripping Springs Trail is from the Hermits Rest trailhead. From March 1 to November 30, Hermits Rest Route shuttle bus provides transportation between the Village Route Transfer and Hermits Rest. For schedules and stops, visit: go.nps.gov/gcshuttle . Private vehicles are only allowed between December 1 and February 28. Hermits Rest has water, snack bar, toilets, and a gift shop.

Sources: https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/day-hiking.htm#CPJUMP1910241 https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/upload/HermitTrail.pdf

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Historical
  • Picturesque

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area