Day hike from Hermit Creek to the Colorado
Hike down Hermit Trail, then about 1.1 mi west on the Tonto Trail to Hermit Creek.
Hiking on this day of the trip was easier as we were able to leave a good amount of weight at the campsite in the form of tents and sleeping materials. We carried our food and some trash with us so critters would not get into it while we were away. We did leave one bag of trash (properly hung with fishing line) at the campsite and were happy to find that nothing had gotten into it while we were gone. Apparently the ravens have not worked their way down to this section of Grand Canyon yet.
We started the hike relatively late at around 10 am or so and found that the trail was exposed to the sun for much of the way. The official trail starts by backtracking up the Hermit Trail a short distance to an intersection with a sign labeled Hermit Rapids. We used the official trail on the way down but on the way up followed the creek directly to the campsite.
The hike itself was not difficult. There were several creek crossings and the occasional spot with some optional mild scrambling. Most of the creek crossings had rocks that could be used to step across and keep your feet dry. Navigation was a bit interesting as the trail tends to disappear or split into multiple branches and there is more than one way to arrive at your destination. It is impossible to get lost as the canyon walls keep you going in the right direction.
There was an interesting section about halfway down where several hundred (if not thousand) tons of large rocks fell from the canyon wall that made for some entertaining exploring as well as a small waterfall. There are some severely undercut sections of rock in this area of the canyon so future collapses are likely.
We were able to hear the river long before we could see it which got everyone hyped for the final reveal. The Colorado was roaring through the rapids and was suprisingly clear. It is usually muddy in the Grand Canyon so were were fortunate to see it up close in its rarer form. There was a beach off on the right hand side of the rapids a few hundred feet upriver where access and swimming is possible. The water was extraordinary cold this time of year and no one could stay in for long. We tried our hand at fishing but had no luck. We were on the outside of a river bend and the strong current continuously pushed our lines into the weed along the near shoreline. There were definitely trout in the river (we could see them jumping out at points) so another more suitable location might yield better results.
While we were at the rapids we saw several groups of rafters go through. One group even pulled up to the beach for a bit of a rest before proceeding on. We had lunch by the side of the Colorado and stayed there for most of the day. We hiked back up to our campsite at Hermit's Creek just before sundown and enjoyed fantastic views of the sun setting on the canyon walls all the way back.
Check out the Official Route.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.
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.