ALL HIKERS

HERMIT TRAIL

(6640')
Trailhead to:
Distance from Rim in miles Elevation
in feet
Water Toilet Emergency
Phone
Ranger
Station
Designated
Campsite
Waldron Trail Junction 1.5 5410 No No No No No
Hermit Trail Junction 1.75 5200 No No No No No
Santa Maria Spring 2.25 4980 Untreated No No No No
Hermit Creek 7.7 2980 Untreated Yes No No Yes
Hermit Rapids 9.2 2360 Untreated No No No Yes

     The Hermit trailhead is at Hermits Rest.  For most of the year (March 1 - November 30), you are required to take the free shuttle to Hermits Rest unless you have an overnight hiking permit.  In that case, the Backcountry Office will give you the gate code and allow you to drive your car to the trailhead.

     The trail is in very good condition from the trailhead to the Waldron Trail junction.  Some of this upper section still has intact the stone paving installed by the Santa Fe Railroad in the early 1900s.  The quarter mile section from the Waldron Trail junction to the Hermit Trail junction is basically level.  After that the trail begins its steeper descent and shows its eighty year lack of maintenance.  There is untreated water at Santa Maria Spring and a small rest house with benches in it.  Some minor scrambling is required to cross rock slides at several drainages after this.  The views of the Hermit Gorge and inner Canyon are impressive all the way past Lookout Point and Breezy Point.  The trail then begins some very steep switchbacks called the Cathedral Stairs.  A few of the stair runs still have the poured concrete and stone paving of the upper Hermit sections.  Below the Cathedral Stairs, the trail makes a steep, extended descent beside Cope Butte and then goes through several steep switchbacks to reach the Tonto Trail.

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