Hermit's Rest Viewpoint to Tonto Trail to Bright Angel Trailhead

hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(19)
Grand Canyon National Park

Hermit's Rest Viewpoint to Tonto Trail to Bright Angel Trailhead is a 21.2 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Grand Canyon, Arizona that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length21.2 miElevation gain5,229 ftRoute typePoint to point
BackpackingCampingHikingBird watchingRunningViewsWildflowersWildlifeRockyFeeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)

Grand Canyon National Park charges a fee to enter. Fees are $35 per vehicle or $30 per motorcycle. If you are entering on foot or bike the fee is $20 per person. You can also purchase a park specific annual pass for $70. A point-to-point backpack of three to five days, following the most popular and well-defined segment of the Tonto Trail. Much of the trail follows the Tapeats sandstone rim of the inner gorge, offering exciting river views from the points between the six major side canyons it traverses. Ease of access and dramatic views account for the popularity of this three-to-four day trip. From March 1 to November 30, Hermit Road is closed to private vehicles. During this time a free shuttle bus offers access to Hermits Rest every 15 and 30 minutes from about 5:15 a.m. to sunset each day. You can board the shuttle bus at the Hermits Rest Transfer shuttle bus stop.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (19)
Photos (3,647)
Activities (19)
Completed (76)
View user's profile page
Patryk Krasnicki
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 14, 2021
HikingGreat!

Did this trail the opposite way over three nights. Down to Indian Garden night one - 3.5 hours down to a great campsite. Took a sunset and sunrise hike to Plateau Point for 6 miles total without packs, great views! To Monument Creek night two - Really challenging 11 mile day two. Mentally and physically exhausted. Great views on the trail and rewarding to see how much ground you've covered. Nice campsite down by a creek. To Hermit Creek night three - Blessed for an easy 3.5 mile day. Took a 3 mile hike down to the Colorado River, Hermit Rapids. Chill little beach with great views. Cool to know you made it from Rim down all the way to the river. It was freezing. An hour of stargazing at night, so many! Out to Hermit Trailhead day four - 8 mile hike out with 3,500 feet if elevation gain. This went well for the first half after an easier day three. The final 2.5 miles and 1,500 elevation gain were exhausting. But we did it! Started snowing right after we got up, luckily great weather when we were down there. Highs in the 60s and sunny, lows in the low 40s in mid March. 25 miles with packs on for this trail over 4 days, plus another 10 day hikes. Awesome trail to explore the Grand Canyon!

View user's profile page
William Chilton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 2, 2021
BackpackingGreat!

I did this with my wife Feb 26-March 1, both in late 20s and good not great shape. Over 3 nights, 4 days, 31 miles, with 30-40 lb packs. Overall, it was enjoyable and we would recommend it. Was moderately challenging. Beautiful and ever changing vistas of the canyon with intermittent small creek canyons and an opportunity to see the Colorado river up close at granite rapids. Detailed report for those of you planning this hike: -Day 1: Hermit’s trailhead to monument creek (MC) 9.5 miles, 0900-1422 approx 5.5 hours with lunch break. Downhill the whole way. Trekking poles are highly recommended. Clear path. Few small rock scrambles. Campsite is secluded near a creek and very enjoyable. Toilet available and creek water drinkable. Not highly trafficked. No critters. -Day 2: MC to salt creek with day trip to Granite Rapids -3 miles round trip hike down to Granite Rapids is worth it! Impressive rapids with smaller creek canyon hike (highlight of the trip) -3.5 miles to salt creek, ideally 2 hours, started around 12:45, arrived 1530 (a bit lost at first). Difficult path to find to begin. Cross monument creek immediately after campsites and look for rock stacks. Difficult ups and downs at first then flat. Will pass cedar Springs campsite (no water). Amazing views. End of hike is along a cliff edge, quite the thrill. Toilet present and no critters. Not very protected from the wind. -Of note, it is not recommended to drink the water at Salt or Horn, so we loaded up on water at MC knowing the next opportunity would not be until Indian Gardens. -Day 3: salt to Indian gardens, 7.5 miles, roughly 3.5 hours with lunch break. Mostly flat hike and very enjoyable across inner canyons with amazing views. Favorite stretch of Tonto Trail! You’ll reach a sign that says West Tonto. To the left is a 3 mile round trip hike to an overlook of the Colorado River, which we did. To the right are the campgrounds. Indian garden has many campgrounds, a bit noisier naturally. Make sure you have a permit. Toilet and toilet paper, picnic tables, ammo cans for food storage and purified water. Pro tip: make you’re way up to the rangers station to watch the sunset. -Day 4: Indian up to bright angel trailhead, 4.5 miles, less than 3 hours. Steep but well maintained with steps, highly trafficked, some mules. No sun in the morning. We had some ice on the path near the top, trekking poles were helpful. No crampons needed. Rest stops and restrooms available at 1.5 and 3 miles points. Overall we did 31 miles with the two side hikes, but the official mileage is 24.8 for hermit to bright angel.

View user's profile page
Blake Collins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 16, 2021
BackpackingFeeGreat!

So weird this big crack in the ground in the middle of the desert. Only way to do it. Granite rapids is spectacular. SPECTACULAR. Once you get to Indian garden it’s very crowded. Magical place where you can be a kid at any age.

View Blake's activity
View user's profile page
Mark English
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 1, 2021
BackpackingGreat!

Got this permit last minute on New Years Day. Totally awesome trail. Camped at Granite Rapids 1st night. There was a large group there but place was not crowded. 2nd night was at Indian Gardens. A ton of loud people. It's a high use area, is probably always like this. The last stretch of trail from Indian Gardens to Bright Angel Trailhead I saw hundreds of people (Sunday). The decent at Hermit (Friday the 1st) I saw only a few dozen. On the Tonto trail over the course of 2 days I saw a dozen or 2 at most. If you want solitude, the Tonto Trail offers it. But the accent/descents get kind of crowded. AllTrails mileage may be a little off. I got 34 or so miles, including the 3 miles to Granite Rapids. I also hiked the shortcut power line trail between the 2 trailheads, which is 4 miles. My phone died, so I didn't get it recorded all the way.

View Mark's activity
View user's profile page
Shaun Walker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 26, 2020
Hiking
View Shaun's activity
View user's profile page
Ryan McGinnis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 5, 2020
HikingRocky

An amazing hike that gives you an appreciation for the Grand Canyon that you just can’t get from the rim or sticking to the corridor trails. The section between Monument Creek and Indian Garden is particularly breathtaking. Best done as a 3-4 night backpacking trip. A few things to note: 1. The Hermit Trail is pretty rough in spots, and requires some boulder scrambling. You can hitch a ride on the shuttles during the main season, so this is a good place to start, but bring good footwear. 2. Hermit and Monument Creek both have reliable water year round that must be filtered. These are both great places to stay, but make sure you hang your food from the pole to avoid raiding from rodents at the former. 3. The water at Horn Creek is not drinkable, so if you can, get a reservation at Indian Garden, which isn’t much farther, and has potable water that doesn’t require filtering

View user's profile page
Juan Carlos Ducca
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 5, 2019
HikingNo shadeRockyScrambleWashed out

We did this trail in one day on October 5th, took the red shuttle to Hermit point, the first shuttle starts at 5am, it takes about 40 minutes to get to the end of the route. This trail is more than 24 miles long point to point and not 21.4 as described on All trail, be sure you have enough water to reach Indian Gardens since late in the season (October) there is no much water in the creeks we saw just a bit of a stream at Monument Creek and some standing water at Salt Creek. Hermit Trail was a bit more than we bargained for, it's very rocky and washed out at some points but easy to follow nonetheless, it took us over 5 hours to get to West Tonto Junction, I never worked so hard going downhill! It makes the South Kaibab trail look like a walk in the park! Monument creek is very impressive, there are also campsites with some shade and brand new bathrooms, but here it is where the trail gets hard to follow, look for cairns and after passing the campground, cross the creek and the trail will be on the left a few yards up the creek, that was the hardest part to follow, the other creek crossings were not as bad and there were cairns to help also. I had downloaded the gps map to my phone so that we knew where we were on the trail at all times. West Tonto continues meandering the edge of the canyon, at some sections its very smooth and level but then i gets rocky, especially at the creek crossings, the views are slowly changing and the Colorado River is within view at several points on the trail. At about 19 miles it will join the Bright Angel Trail at Indian Gardens where there is water and restrooms. From there it's another 4.7 miles and 3000 feet elevation gain to the Rim. Overall it was an amazing hike with awesome views and the solitude of the canyon made it for a very mystical experience.We only saw a handful of hikers on Hermit trail and none on West Tonto. We have done Rim To Rim a few times and this is a completely new way to experience the Grand Canyon.

View Juan Carlos's activity
View user's profile page
skin flick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 4, 2019
Hiking

4-6June 2019 (Commenced: Tuesday 0430 - Ended: Thursday 0130); BLUF: This a very pleasant, easy-moderate hike (I am 48, 10lbs overweight, 40 lbs pack, completed without rushing, and with several blisters slowing me down in 45 hours); perfect for those that want fantastic vistas, surprise glimpses of the Colorado and solitude from the N-S Kaibab Corridor. Per NPS literature it is a 25.5 mile hike. Recommendation. Make it a three night, 1st night: Hermit's Creek (8.2 miles), 2nd night: Salt Creek (7.2 miles), 3rd night: Indian Garden (7.3 miles) and then 4th day hike out: Bright Angel Trailhead (4.8 miles). *HR to MC (9.3 miles, 5 hours, 820' elevation gain, 4350' lost). Rode the 0400 shuttle with 0430 drop-off at Hermit's Rest. Planned one night at Monument Creek (MC) and one night at Indian Garden (IG) campsite. One other hiker got off the bus and we both leaped frog lead until arriving at MC at 0930. No other hikers encountered. Easy albeit rocky ambling descent with a few ascents totalllng 800' over the almost ten miles to MC. (Santa Maria Springs flows into a wide stainless sink and has a nice rest shelter.) The trail hugs the wall and was mostly shaded until 0815. MC campsites offered little shade from sun, some sites under trees. Temperatures so hot between 1000 - 1600, that I alternated between sitting in the creek (really a crick! 2 - 8" deep and 2 - 3' wide) and laying in my tent sweating profusely. After 1600, I hiked down to Granite Falls (on the Colorado River, 3.2 miles round trip), the hike follows a tributary canyon to a sandy beach on the river, a worthwhile detour if you have the energy. The main trail cuts through the camp across the creek and then works it way around and above the campsite, make sure to scout out the night prior a few well placed cairns assisted me in ascertaining the trial. *MC to IG (10.7 miles, 6.5 hours, 1900' elevation gain, 1130' lost). The next morning got a 0500 start with the intent of making it to IG by 1000 to avoid the heat. The trail was in and out of the sun until full exposure by 0930. Filtered some water at Cedar Springs but running slow and shallow, Salt Creek looked like a nice campground with cooler and faster flowing water (better choice if you can hold out for water), the trail is a little tricky it does not pass through the toilet and campsites, instead crosses the creek directly. Horn Creek (below the uranium ore mine) was flowing very nicely and is an awesome lush space to rest with a tall wide shady tree. Departed around 1000 knowing I had only 2.5 miles to IG. The whole trail is essentially flat with mild inclines and declines but this last section was extremely exposed to the sun. Occasional large boulders or stunted trees provided a modicum of relief. After not seeing a soul (the way I like it) I saw a veritable expressway of folks soon after turning off the Tonto onto the IG trail. Arrived at IG campground at 1145, temperature was 97 degrees and hit 100 by 1300. Campground was extremely nice with large cottonwoods keeping the entire 16 site campground cool and pavilions with picnic tables,water fountains, and food storage boxes nice amenities. While there soaked feet in multiple small streams that flow through area and rested in tent. *Although, original plan was to hike out at 0500 next morning, decided to hike out at 2200 and enjoy the stars. The cool breeze during the entire hike up (4.8 miles, 3.2 hours) was a welcomed relief and by the top the air temperature was in the high 40's. * Wildlife: not much, saw mule deer tracks, coyote? scat, squirrels, common birds of prey, spotted towhee, ash-throated flycatcher, and northern flicker. *Aside: I have been told that GPS mileage is not accurate in the canyon and therefore I do not comment on Garmin Fenix 5x mileage other than certain segments matched with published reports and overall time was consistent with expectations.

View user's profile page
Vince Glisson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 9, 2019
Hiking

May 3rd thru May 7th 2019 We did this in 4 nights and 5 days as we really wanted to enjoy the Canyon and not be in a hurry. The mileage on all trails does not include the 1.2 miles to Hermits Camp if you are camping there, so that’s another 2.4 mile round trip to get back on trail. Conditions were perfect the entire trip. The entire canyon was blooming, colors every where you looked. A few difficult places where the trail had been damaged from rockslides but nothing to block progress. There are many side hikes that can be done from this trail, hermits creek, monument creek, horn creek, plateau point, so you can add a lot of miles just in side trips so allow enough time if your planning on doing any of the side hikes. We saw many animals but no condors, deer, or sheep, maybe next time. All in all this was a great trip, special thanks go out to my girlfriend who planned out the entire trip, love you Heidi.

View user's profile page
Erin Sheridan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 27, 2018
Running

I did this shuttle run on 26 October. Started a little late due to waiting for the shuttle, so I was off at 0700 (15 mins after sunrise). My intensions were to run/hike the trail in a day, within 12 hours. I carried 1600 calories in fuel and 3.5 ltrs of water. The first downhill was fairly challenging, rocky and steep which limited my ability to run. The shelter at the spring was a pleasant surprise; I signed the book but didn’t take water. The decent to Tonto took 3 hours, longer than I planned and here’s the reason why. This app has the whole run at 21 miles. The park service and my GPS has it at 25.3 miles! This difference is in this beginning section. I got to Monument Creek at 1030. Here’s where I discovered Tonto’s biggest disadvantage. The trail gets lost at the campsites. Here, salt creek, horn creek. The trail is not marked and hard to find. It often decides to go up and down stream beds. Consult your position on this map at these spots. I had consumed a ltr before monument and filled up my nalgene there. It took me 5 hours total to cross the Tonto trail to Bright Angel, running maybe 30% of it. It was likely in the low 80s with little shade. Besides the campers at monument, i saw only 2 other folks. Between monument and bright angel I consumed 2.5 ltrs. Indian Garden was right around the corner and then it took me 2.5 hrs to climb out right after sunset. Total time: 11 hrs. Of the whole trail, the Tonto section was the most challenging. Between the little shade, rough narrow trail, and losing the trail in washes, it was mentally hard as well as physically. It was worth it though. A great day.

View user's profile page
Ariel Cairns
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 10, 2018
First to Review

We started at Hermits Rest to Hermits Creek Campgrounds for 1 night then Hermits creek to Granite Rapids Campground for 1 night, then from Granite Rapids Campground to Monument Creek Campground for a night before the hike out. You do need permits far in advance for any overnight camping. We booked the permits in January for our trip starting April 20-25th. Hermits Rest to Hermits Creek is an AMAZING hike and the views are something words can’t even express. You truly have to see this in person to grasp how incredible the Grand Canyon really is. When we started at the rim it was snowing and pretty cold with rain clouds to cover us with shade thank god! The trail was well marked with heavy traffic for the first 2 miles. Following Santa Maria Springs there is almost no one on the trail which is what we wanted. The snow stopped and it quickly got warmer the feather we got down, making us stop to take off all our layers, I was down to a tank top and warm leggings. The rain clouds gave the Canyon a very mystical magical, eerie look which was incredible. There is almost no shade on this trail so we got very lucky on the hike down. About half way to our campsite at Hermits Creek a massive rain storm came through making us have to creep between two huge boulders to hurry up and cover our packs. We pushed through the rain and keep trekking as there was no cover. After a what I would call fun hike in the rain we got to our camp site and it stopped raining as we walking in, 3 hours later. It took us about 5 hours total from Hermits Rest to Hermits Creek. Great campground with a new bathroom hut that was surprisingly nice! If you get to the Campground early enough there is a huge cliff overlooking the waterfall and spring we would have loved to have! After we hung everything out to dry and set up camp we went down to the waterfall and explored a bit! Great pools to swim in that are very cold but awesome! Views are incredible and all in all great Campground. Only problem was we were soaking wet and so were out packs so when we hung it out to dry over night the temperature dropped and everything froze, and since it’s in a Canyon there was no sun until almost 10AM to help dry it out before our next hike to Granite Rapids over the Tonto Trail. So we got a late start and it was very hard due to the sun at that time with no shade or water before hitting Granite Rapids.

View user's profile page
Andy Stover
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 20, 2020
Hiking
View Andy's activity
View user's profile page
Casey Lamm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 2, 2019
Backpacking
View Casey's activity
View user's profile page
Meredith Morrissey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 2, 2019
Hiking
View Meredith's activity
View user's profile page
Mike Colaco
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 17, 2019
Hiking
View Mike's activity
View user's profile page
David Safley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 22, 2019
Hiking
View David's activity
View user's profile page
David Safley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 20, 2019
Hiking
View David's activity
View user's profile page
TONI GALLAGHER
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 24, 2018
View user's profile page
Claudia Villa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 13, 2017