for free!
show related photosets
mini location map2023-03-11
5 by photographer avatarshelby147
photographer avatar
Hermit TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack38.50 Miles 8,100 AEG
Backpack38.50 Miles3 Days         
8,100 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked   none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
This was a relaxing trip out to Hermit to check a few curiosities off my list.

On Saturday I stopped by the permit office to see about cancellations at Hermit Creek (no luck) and ran into a fellow canyon enthusiast who has just moved to Flagstaff. Maybe we'll hike together sometime. The weather was GORGEOUS. Hindu Amphitheater was socked in by a system, wind was blowing and clouds were moving, the canyon looked purple, and rainbows were popping for the first hour of my hike. It's a little hard to get out of the car when it's windy and rainy, though.

I took my time descending Hermit. There were just a few patches of ice (no spikes required) and it was such a nice change from the previous trip. I finally checked out the old Hermit Camp, which has a lot to discover. The tram remains and a very tired toilet were highlights. I also hiked up to what looked like mine tailings but actually was a small pass hacked out of the shale for a pipe that might have delivered water to the camp.

I took my time meandering down Hermit Creek and scrambling around in the Tapeats before arriving at Hermit Rapid. Lots of shenanigans going on... someone was doing unsanctioned "campsite improvement", lots of cairns needed knocking, a camper on the beach wasn't supposed to be there. I found my first scorpion under a cairn and had a bit of a jump-scare. During dinner three rangers arrived on the beach. I finally met the famous Della and also recognized a ranger from Bright Angel Campground. Side note - Boucher is passable and in okay shape in the Supai. Yay!

The beach at Hermit got very early sun and on Sunday I headed out with the ideas to explore Travertine and Monument creeks. I reached Travertine and quickly concluded that I wasn't getting down to river level without some time invested. Any route has to get through the tapeats near the river because the head of the canyon is impassable. I wandered a short way up canyon but quickly lost motivation because time was running short to hike over to Monument.

Above Monument Creek, the hiking was very easy. There are lots of game tracks up there. I was hoping to find some falls in the limestone, especially with all the recent snow, but no dice. The swarming flies turned me around a little early. On my return I took a different arm through the top of the Tapeats then wandered down through the Metamorphic narrows. This last part was gorgeous, if a little nerve-wracking with the knowledge of how much snow was melting on the rim. I'd originally planned this trip with the idea of visiting the narrows in Hermit, but decided the conditions were unsuitable for that one.

Back at Hermit Rapid, a boat party was just pulling in. My tent was smack in the middle of the boat camp from the previus night so I was bound for company. They were nice enough - food, water, groover offerings - but my (brand spanking new) tent was directly downwind of the fire and now stinks.

On Monday morning I watched boaters run Hermit for the first time, and that was kind of fun. Then I spent an hour lounging in a nice Tapeats section of Hermit Creek. It finally feels hot in the canyon again, although it couldn't have been more than mid-70s. My body needs to re-adjust. A few purple flowers are starting but no cacti yet. On the hike out I met another canyon enthusiast from Flag (two on one trip?!) and we also exchanged numbers. I was in a good mood until the Coconino, where I encountered Spring Breakers who were stacking rocks and smoking cigs. What a buzz-kill.

end of page marker