By Michael Lanza

There’s not another hiker in sight as my friend David Ports and I start down the Hermit Trail on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, even though it’s nearly 8 a.m., hardly an early hour to hit the trail. And that’s just the first conspicuously unusual circumstance at the outset of our hike. The second obvious oddity this morning is that it’s overcast—a welcome sight here—and actually chilly enough that we’re wearing the light jackets we brought.

But most unusual aspect of this hike is that we’re only carrying light daypacks—and cruising along almost effortlessly—for a walk of nearly 25 miles, with some 4,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. That’s because we’ll do it all today.

David and I have set out to dayhike the 24.8 miles from Hermits Rest to the Bright Angel Trailhead on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim. Descending the Hermit Trail, traversing the Tonto Trail for 13 miles across five major tributary canyons of the Colorado River, and then ascending the Bright Angel Trail, we’ll enjoy a grand, 11-hour tour that delivers a magnificent sampler of Grand Canyon hiking (which is why this is the most popular backpacking route in the canyon, after the corridor trails: Bright Angel, South Kaibab, and North Kaibab).


Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Click here for my e-guides to classic backpacking trips. Click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

Looking down the Hermit Trail, Grand Canyon.
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” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gran6-002-Hermit-Trail-Grand-Canyon..jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gran6-002-Hermit-Trail-Grand-Canyon..jpg?fit=640%2C427&ssl=1″ />Hermit Trail, Grand Canyon.
” data-medium-file=”https://i2.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gran6-004-Hermit-Trail-Grand-Canyon..jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i2.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gran6-004-Hermit-Trail-Grand-Canyon..jpg?fit=640%2C427&ssl=1″ />Hiking up Monument Creek Canyon.
” data-medium-file=”https://i1.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gran6-014-Monument-Creek-Canyon-Grand-Canyon..jpg?fit=200%2C300&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i1.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gran6-014-Monument-Creek-Canyon-Grand-Canyon..jpg?fit=427%2C640&ssl=1″ />Hermit Trail.
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gran6-005-Hermit-Trail-Grand-Canyon..jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gran6-005-Hermit-Trail-Grand-Canyon..jpg?fit=640%2C427&ssl=1″ />Along the Hermit Trail.
” data-medium-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gran6-006-Along-the-Hermit-Trail-Grand-Canyon..jpg?fit=300%2C200&ssl=1″ data-large-file=”https://i0.wp.com/thebigoutside.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Gran6-006-Along-the-Hermit-Trail-Grand-Canyon..jpg
Did you miss our previous article…
https://www.mansbrand.com/inspiration4-in-flight-update-with-the-crew/

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