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Waldron - Dripping Springs - Silver Bell Loop - 2 members in 3 triplogs have rated this an average 3.5 ( 1 to 5 best )
3 triplogs
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3 Triplogs
Mar 29 2021

 Guides 60
 Routes 562
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 Joined Jan 07 2017
 Fountain Hills,
Waldron - Dripping Springs - Silver Bell LoopNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Mar 29 2021
Hiking11.50 Miles 2,420 AEG
Hiking11.50 Miles   5 Hrs   53 Mns   2.46 mph
2,420 ft AEG   1 Hour   12 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
This was the first of 2 days of hiking in the Grand Canyon, and since I had never done this loop before I thought that I would give it a shot.

We followed the excellent driving track from @John9L to get to the TH. The road is fine for an SUV when dry.

We did the loop CCW with a side-trip on the Hermit Trail down to Santa Maria Spring.

There were several people on the Hermit Trail -- more than I expected for a Monday morning. Several people were hanging around Santa Maria Spring. We did not see any other hikers on the rest of the hike though.

My favorite part of the hike was on the Dripping Springs Trail -- there were some great Grand Canyon views. The climb out on the Silver Bell Trail was fun also.

We saw several stray horses once on the forest roads. As another poster mentioned, there were quite a few site-seeing helicopters flying overhead while on the forest roads.

This is a fun loop, and it would be a good one to do in warm or hot weather since you don't descend too far into the canyon. However, walking on the forest roads isn't the reason that most people go to the Grand Canyon.
Wild horse
Named place
Named place
Dripping Spring

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dripping Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
Water was dripping pretty good

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
the spring box was full
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Edward Abbey
1 archive
Apr 15 2017

 Guides 9
 Routes 118
 Photos 1,079
 Triplogs 118

31 male
 Joined Mar 06 2016
 Salt River Valle
Waldron - Dripping Springs - Silver Bell LoopNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2017
Hiking10.54 Miles 2,394 AEG
Hiking10.54 Miles   5 Hrs   28 Mns   2.07 mph
2,394 ft AEG      22 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
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?

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Dripping Spring Dripping Dripping

dry Horsethief Tank Dry Dry
So dry
- there's nothing like finding Water in the Desert -
2 archives
Oct 30 2016

 Guides 4
 Routes 371
 Photos 8,224
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51 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Waldron - Dripping Springs - Silver Bell LoopNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 30 2016
Hiking10.98 Miles 2,458 AEG
Hiking10.98 Miles   6 Hrs      1.95 mph
2,458 ft AEG      23 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners partners
After doing Cardenas Butte the day before we decided on Waldron-Dripping Springs-Silverbell Loop. We've had this one on the list for awhile wanting to do Waldron Trail but make a loop out of it instead of out and back. Starting from the locked gate TH we headed in on Waldron Trail to sign about 3/4 mile in. The trail then meanders down canyon and within 1/2 mile we started seeing views of the canyon. Shortly after that the trail pops over a small ridge and then opens up to the Hermit Basin below and bigger views of the canyon. Lots of switchbacks down to the Hermit Trail junction and glad we were not going up this section.

From the Hermit junction headed short ways to the Dripping Springs junction and being somewhat early we decided to check out Santa Maria Spring only 1/2 mile down Hermit Trail. Ran into 3 backpackers around the spring and talked to them for awhile who were headed for Hermit CG. Then went back to the Dripping Springs junction and continued on to the spring. Ran into 3 day hikers on the way there and at the spring. The normal drip coming off the spring but we had plenty of water for the day.

After nice break at Dripping Springs we headed up Silver Bell Trail which we had done with backpacks a few years back as part of the GEMs hike. Much easier this time without the backpack but still the trail is challenging in the first mile crossing Coconino layer that climbs steeply above Dripping Springs. Eventually the trail follows the drainage and tops out on the rim. From here we followed old road that crosses the rim area. I wasn't 100% sure if all roads connected back to the Waldron TH but they did. Getting back to the vehicle was quicker than expected which followed good path and even tracked part of the park boundary road. Very few other hikers all day for a weekend in the canyon and nobody at the Waldron TH .
2 archives
average hiking speed 2.16 mph

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.

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