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This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Waldron - Dripping Springs - Silver Bell Loop, AZ

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Guide 2 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List AZ > Northwest > South Rim
3 of 5 by 1
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Difficulty 3.5 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Lasso-Loop 10.98 miles
Trailhead Elevation 6,600 feet
Accumulated Gain 2,458 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 23.27
Backpack No
Dogs not allowed
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
6  2017-04-15 arizona_water
19  2016-10-30 BiFrost
Author BiFrost
author avatar Guides 4
Routes 336
Photos 6,842
Trips 793 map ( 9,313 miles )
Age 49 Male Gender
Location Phoenix, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Sep, Oct, Jun
Seasons   Spring to Autumn
Sun  6:12am - 6:35pm
Official Route
0 Alternative
Flora Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
smile after smile
by BiFrost

Likely In-Season!
This hike begins at the locked gate that marks the trailhead with several parking spots before the gate. The trail follows an old road through pinyon pine and juniper for about 3/4 mile until it reaches the Waldron Trail sign. The actual trail starts here and continues down canyon for another 3/4 of a mile past Horsethief Tank and eventually leaves the drainage onto a saddle. From the saddle the trail drops rapidly into Hermit Basin over the next mile about 800 feet through a series of tight switchbacks. At about 3 miles in the trail reaches the Hermit Trail junction which is the end of Waldron Trail.

Continuing on another 1/4 mile Hermit Trail reaches Drippings Springs Trail junction that will traverse over to the spring. It's about 2 miles over to the spring as the trail weaves in and out of side drainages. Just before the spring is the Boucher Trail junction then continue another 1/2 mile or so to Dripping Springs. The junctions are hard to miss as each one is marked by very large signs.

After passing through the Dripping Springs area the Silver Bell Trail starts on the opposite end up a steep slope. This trail is not maintained and can be difficult to follow at times. For the most part you can see the old trail construction and some cairns have been constructed. In addition the trail is steep as it switchbacks up through the Coconino sandstone for almost a mile. Eventually the trail works it's way back into the drainage and follows an easier more gradual ascent through some Gamble oaks and pinyon pine. At around the 7 mile mark into the hike the Silver Bell finally reaches the rim.

From here the trail turns back into old two track road and is fairly easy to follow. Very flat on top compared to the past 7 miles with easy walking through the forest. Near the beginning of the rim walk there is an old corral along the road. This two track road continues for another mile until it reaches the NPS boundary road. Just before reaching the NPS road there is a Dripping Springs sign on the ground but it's easy to miss. Following the NPS road it's super highway and goes by quickly for another 0.8 miles to the next road turnoff. At about the 9.5 mile mark turn left off the NPS road onto another two track. It's not marked other than spotting the old road but it shows on the topo map only 1/2 from where the Waldron Trail sign is marked. Once arriving back at the Waldron Trail sign this closes the loop and head back on the same road to the locked gate.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2016-11-04 BiFrost
  • Grand Canyon Use Area Boundaries - Dynamic Map
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

Most recent Triplog Review
Waldron - Dripping Springs - Silver Bell Loop
rating optionrating optionrated 3rated 3rated 3
After reading about this loop in Bifrost's recent trip report, I decided it would make for a good car-camp-and-hike kind of weekend.

We had a group of eight who met up late on Friday night, and camped off of FR328. We left early Saturday morning for the trailhead. The Waldron Trail was my favorite part of this loop. Due to the nature of NPS fee-free day, and a weekend, Hermit Trail had a lot of traffic. But since this loop only follows Hermit for less than a mile, the crowded feeling did not detract from an enjoyable hike.

We continued on to Dripping Springs. I had never been here before, and I guess it's worth seeing once. Several people in our group filled up their bottles here. I'm not a proponent of drinking untreated spring water, especially after running environmental samples myself at a genomics lab when I was a grad student at NAU. The reality is that there are pathogens present in surface water that are also found in groundwater/spring water. Another way to say this is: there's no such things as "clean" drinkable water found in the environment. Can you drink it and not get sick? Sure! happens all the time. But personally, I prefer to not take the chance.

Anywayyyy. Climbing out of the canyon via Silver Bell was great. I love the solitude and primitive feel that this trail offers. Once we were back on the rim, it was a 4+ mile walk along the park boundary road (and some other decommissioned jeep tracks). This would have been moderately enjoyable, had we not just hiked in the Grand Canyon a couple miles prior. It's hard to measure up to those views. So that made the road walk less enjoyable. Also, there was incessant noise from the hundreds of sight-seeing helicopters that flew overhead. We counted one every 3 minutes. That was a little frustrating. But overall, great hike. One that I likely won't do again, because there are too many other hikes in this area that I still have to try.

Finally, I would like to note that this loop would best be enjoyed clockwise. We went counter clockwise, and so you get the road and helicopter miles for the last 80-90 minutes on your way back to the TH. Why not knock this part out first, early in the morning before the air traffic gets bad?

Permit $$
Information is listed below

Map Drive
FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

To hike
Phoenix I-17 to 1-40 to Williams. North to Grand Canyon on Hwy 64 to Tusayan. Tusayan north turn left onto FR 328 then turn right on FR 328A Rowe Well Road. Continue to Rowe Well Picnic Area and turn left onto another smaller dirt road. John9L has a nice driving route to the trailhead.

Continue 3.5 miles to the locked gate at the trailhead.

There is the standard Grand Canyon fee if going in through the park entrance.
page created by BiFrost on Nov 04 2016 3:18 pm
3 pack - loud whistle
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