4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
If you are looking for a multi-day backpack throughout the Grand Canyon, the Hermit-Tonto-Kaibab loop rivals any other.
It features some of the best scenery the canyon has to offer.
It also can be customized due to the well-designed trail system in the Grand Canyon.
Note that this route isn't a pure loop given that the ending point (South Kaibab Trailhead) is separate from the beginning (Hermit Trailhead), but the Grand Canyon shuttle buses make getting back to the car easy. Day one features fantastic scenery as you descend into the Canyon.
It is a treat to begin atop the canyon and end near the bottom in the same day.
Getting the chance to see two magnificent rapids (Hermit and Granite Rapids) is an amazing experience, too.
The Hermit Trail is a good trail to descend because it is not as steep as the other corridor trails, and it has fewer people.
There are multiple points along the way to have a snack and take in the views.
The scenery changes dramatically as you make your way down from the rim! Once on the Tonto platform, you can either descend down to Hermit rapids (a worthy side trip) or you can make your way east on the Tonto Trail.
If you have the time Hermit rapids is a fantastic spot.
There is also nice camping there.
From the junction, it isn't too much further to the Monument Creek campsite.
You cannot go wrong with either campsite.
Overall, day one provides a good introduction to the canyon.
Your legs will likely be sore given the almost 5,000 feet of descending! The excitement builds as you will get to parallel the Colorado River on the Tonto Trail on day two.