Hermit Loop

Flagstaff, AZ
5.0 (78 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Guides Choice Backpacking Trip
  • Remote & Breathtaking Tonto Plateau
  • 360° Kaleidoscope Views
  • Natural & Cultural History
  • Famous Bright Angel Trail
  • Rapids on the Colorado River
  • Scenic, Narrow Side Canyons
  • Rejuvenating Desert Solitude

Description

This deservedly very popular, point-to-point Grand Canyon hike off the South Rim is excellent for guests looking for a more remote, diverse and absolutely stunning tour of the Canyon. It features fantastic views, historic ruins, a canyon narrows section, and time at one (on the 4-day itinerary) or two (on the 5-day itinerary) of the more spectacular and more photographed rapids on the Colorado River. This is probably the most scenic hike in the Grand Canyon and offers tremendous natural and cultural diversity.

The first day takes us down the famous Bright Angel Trail past Indian Garden. We’ll take a side trip out to Plateau Point, one of the most scenic viewpoints in all of Grand Canyon, before hiking to our first camp. From here we’ll hike west across the Tonto Trail, paralleling the Colorado River a thousand feet above it. The breathtaking views on this trip are punctuated by side hikes down narrow canyons to two impressive rapids on the river. We’ll enjoy majestic creek-side camps, desert wildlife-viewing opportunities, ancient fossils, and some of the best hiking the Grand Canyon has to offer!


Need to Know: Grand Canyon Permits

It is strongly recommended to book your Grand Canyon backpacking trip 5 months in advance due to the Park’s permit system. Backpacking permits are issued on the first of the month 4+ months in advance (see deadlines for each month.) Permits for the most popular trips sell out very quickly during the initial lottery, so registering prior to the deadline of the month you’re interested in is highly beneficial. You can also pick any dates, and you’ll receive a 5% early registration discount!

4 Days
$1295 Per Person
5 Days
$1525 Per Person
Pre-permit Registration $1230/$1448  

Pre-permit Registration $1230/$1448

  • 4 Days: $1230
  • 5 Days: $1448

Grand Canyon’s permit process is complicated, but we take care of everything so you don’t have to worry about it! Here’s what you do need to know – Grand Canyon issues backpacking permits through a lottery system 4+ months in advance (deadlines listed below). Permits for popular trips sell out immediately during the initial lottery, so it’s important to register before the process begins. Pre-permit registrants also receive a 5% discount and can pick any dates!

Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 2-9 Guests
Trip Length: 4-5 Days
Distance: 29MI / 47KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 4

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
30-40 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
4.5-9 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
3000 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
3400 feet
Quality of Trails:
Lightly maintained and rugged in places
Additional:
The longest hike is mostly flat, and the last day is 8 miles up a relatively rugged trail.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. regularly exercise vigorously
  3. be comfortable hiking, biking, running, or swimming for several hours without many breaks

SOLITUDE LEVEL 3

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Grand Canyon hike a solitude 3 because it enters the Canyon on the most popular trail in the park (Bright Angel), but then follows the sparsely populated Tonto and Hermit Trails. You can expect hours of solitude at a time and often a feeling of having the Canyon to yourself.

WHY WE BASE IN FLAGSTAFF VS. PHOENIX
  • Reduced drive time by 3 hours on first day of hiking
  • Guide support is only an hour away vs. 4-5 hours away in Phoenix.
  • Increased flexibility with unforeseen circumstances
  • Flagstaff is a scenic mountain town with great hiking and restaurants!
Groome Shuttle

Groome Transportation operates an Arizona Shuttle that makes 9 dependable trips daily each direction between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The duration is 2.5-3 hours. They pickup/drop off at Sky Harbor Airport and the Metro Center in Phoenix, and in Flagstaff at the Amtrak Station (near downtown) and the NAU campus.

Note: Groome also offers daily transportation (3 trips in each direction) from Flagstaff to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.

CAR RENTAL

Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix has a fantastic car rental facility that is easily accessible and hosts a great variety of companies. We recommend checking Priceline.com as well for especially good deals.

ARIZONA EXECUTIVE TRANSPORT

Arizona Executive Transport offers private, reliable SUV service between Phoenix and Flagstaff. This option is best if you’re traveling in a group of 3 or 4. As Wildland Trekking guests, your one-way cost for up to 4 passengers is only $275. Simply type “Wildland Trekking Company” in the Discount Code Box at the bottom of the online registration page. You can go to http://www.arizonaexecutivellc.com to make your reservations online.

Arizona does not charge sales tax on services, so there is no sales tax for this trip.

All trips in Grand Canyon National Park have a 5% fee required by the National Park Service. This fee is applied when your reservation is made and is passed through directly to the national park.

There are no other taxes or fees associated with this trip. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person

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We’re here to help. If you have any questions, call 800-715-HIKE or contact us online.
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ITINERARY

ITINERARY

Day 1

  • Shuttle to the South Rim: 1.5-hour drive from Flagstaff
  • Hiking Mileage: 6.9 miles (+ optional 2-mile side hike to Plateau Point)
  • Elevation Loss: 3,060 feet

This memorable Grand Canyon backpacking tour begins with a 4.9-mile downhill hike on the Bright Angel Trail to Indian Garden, a Havasupai spring site that watered seasonal garden plots for centuries. At Indian Garden we’ll relax in the shade of the Cottonwood trees, dip our feet in the ice cold spring water of Garden Creek, and enjoy a peaceful picnic lunch. If time and conditions allow, we’ll add a side hike to Plateau Point – one of the most stunning views in all of Grand Canyon – before continuing to our first night’s camp at Horn Creek. Horn Creek is a beautiful creek-side camp with wonderful solitude, where we’re guaranteed to be the only group since only one group is allowed per night.

Day 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 8.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 800 feet

We’ll get an early start and begin our westward trek along the Tonto Plateau to Monument Creek. This is a long hike of almost 9 miles, but most of the route is on a well-groomed, relatively flat trail. Our hike takes us around the head of two large drainages: Salt and Horn Creek, and offers an abundance of classic, expansive views of the Grand Canyon, inner gorge, and Colorado River. Our destination for the night is Monument Creek, a cozy camp nestled beneath towering Redwall Limestone cliffs next to a trickling, spring-fed creek.

Day 3 (5-day Itinerary Only)

  • Day Hike Hiking Mileage: 3 miles
  • Day Hike Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,000 feet

This is a layover day (if a 5 day trip) to sleep in, relax, read, bathe, hike and explore, or do nothing at all. For the willing, we’ll hike down Monument Creek to the Colorado River and Granite Rapids. This is a great day hike, and we often see bighorn sheep as a small population inhabits the area. At our leisure, we’ll eventually hike back to camp to enjoy a quiet evening.

Second to Last Day

  • Hiking Mileage: 3.5 miles (plus an optional 3-mile day hike)
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1,200 feet (includes day hiking)

We’ll get up reasonably early, eat and pack up. We’ll hike west to our camp on Hermit Creek. We’ll set up camp and have lunch, then hike approximately 1.5 miles one-way to Hermit Rapids, where we’ll take a few hours to explore this breathtaking section of the Colorado River. If we’re lucky we’ll get to watch a rafting party brave these impressive rapids! We’ll return to camp and enjoy a tasty dinner beneath one of the clearest night skies you’ve ever seen before turning in for the night.

Final Day

  • Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3400 feet
  • Shuttle to Flagstaff: 1.5 hours

The first mile of hiking takes us to the junction of the Tonto Trail and the Hermit Trail. At the junction we begin our ascent out of the Grand Canyon on the Hermit Trail. We’ll switchback throught the immense Redwall, then contour a series of shelves high above Hermit Creek. This section of hiking features increasingly stunning views of the Grand Canyon behind us. The last bit of hiking is on beautifully constructed, hand-fitted rock slabs – a true work of masonry art – and takes us past 250+ million year old footprint fossils that are some of the best in the Canyon. Once we reach the South Rim, we’ll shuttle back to the South Rim Village where our shuttle awaits us.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Permitted and Confirmed Trip Dates

These trip dates are permitted and confirmed. Click on a date to book!

Pre-Permit Trip Dates

Permits have not yet been issued for these months. It is best to book before the listed deadlines. You can pick any dates (listed or not) and receive a 5% discount! Click on a date or contact us to book. (Permit system details)

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Use of trekking poles and Microspike Crampons if necessary
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Grand Canyon hiking guide
  • Roundtrip transportation from your hotel in Flagstaff, Arizona to the Grand Canyon and back
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed information about what to pack.

Meals: What to Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

What Gear to Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are three 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

What Clothes to Bring

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed information about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

How Do I Register?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

Where Do We Meet?

Unless we tell you otherwise, you will meet your guide and group at the Little America Hotel in Flagstaff (use this reservation page for a 10-60% discount at Little America) for an orientation meeting at 5:00 PM the evening before the trip begins. We’re happy to give you a ride to this meeting if you’re not staying at Little America, but staying at one of our other recommended hotels. Your guide will then pick you up at your hotel the next morning for transport to the trailhead. For Private Grand Canyon Tours your guide will meet you at your hotel in Flagstaff at an agreed upon time.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed information about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s pick-up time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 4 and 7 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will drop you off at your hotel on the final day normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time).

Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time…etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides’ off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on Grand Canyon backpacking trips is 5 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 9 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

Weather in the Grand Canyon

The weather in the Grand Canyon varies tremendously from the rim to the canyon floor, with as much as a 30 degree Fahrenheit difference. For this reason, the Canyon is truly a year-round hiking destination. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). Read below for average high and low temperatures at the South Rim and the Canyon bottom:

MonthSouth RimCanyon Bottom
hilowhilow
Dec-Feb41°18°60°38°
March51°25°71°48°
April60°32°82°56°
May70°39°92°63°
Jun-Aug82°

53°108°75°
September76°47°97°69°
October65°36°84°58°
November52°27°68°46°

Accommodations

Accommodations

Backcountry Sleeping

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

Backcountry Cuisine

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

Amazing Campsites

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (78 reviews)
Thiago M
5.0

Took My Breath Away

6 days ago

The Hermit Loop 5 day trip is a fast paced adventure with amazing views, every corner took my breath away. The terrain provides challenging downhills and up hills and is very physically demanding for even active persons. The camp sites are pretty cozy, and Wildland's equipment is of good caliber.

Tracey G
5.0

Very Knowledgeable

28 days ago

Wildland takes care of every detail and the guides are very knowledgeable about history and geography of rack location.

Jim A
5.0

Wildland Trekking Made it Easy

28 days ago

The Hermit Loop was an amazing way to experience the Grand Canyon. I had visited the GC several times prior but this was a much more intimate way to enjoy all the Canyon has to offer. Wildland Trekking made that easy by planning the route, arranging for campsites and providing most of the major supplies you might need. The meals were incredible and more than exceeded my expectations for a backpacking trip. All you have to do is get in shape, carry your pack and hike. Our guide Eddie Bowers was top notch and really added to the experience with his knowledge, stories and backcountry kitchen skills.

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