Archive for the 'Bright Angel Trail' Category

Trip Report: Hermit, Tonto, Bright Angel Loop

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

Thanks to Ken, from Washington State, for sharing the following trip report:

Trip Report Dec 17-23, 2005
Hermit’s Rest, Tonto Plateau, Bright Angel by way of Ribbon Falls.

Hermit’s Rest to Hermit Ck 7.8
to Monument Ck 3.8
to Horn Ck 8.2
to Bright Angel Camp 7.2
to Indian Garden 4.7
to South Rim 4.6

3 miles round trip to Plateau Point,
and 12 miles round trip to Ribbon Falls.

I got to the Grand Canyon Village on Friday, Dec 16th, and stayed at Bright Angel Lodge. A reasonable price of 56 dollars, and I share the shower rooms with other visitors. I went to the Backcountry Office and got my permit, to start the next day. In the off season, the permit seems to be readily available.
It was cold on the rim, but no snow, and the forecast was that the weather would improve as time went by.

Day 1
The next morning, I had coffee and breakfast in the lodge, and got a ride to the Hermit’s Rest trailhead, since there aren’t shuttles there in the off season.

My Platypus tube was frozen everytime I got a drink, until some time past Santa Maria Springs. The tub at Santa Maria Springs was frozen, but the water was flowing into the tub.

The Hermit trail has some obstructions, from rock fall, along the way down to the Tonto Trail, but not real bad, and if being observant, I don’t see anyone missing the way through the jumbled rocks. This trail is said to be un-maintained, so be advised, if you are uncomfortable with trails in this condition.

I didn’t have anything uncommon happen the first day, except for the many moments of awe, when pausing to take in the view. This is what I had hoped this hike would be like for all the years I have wanted to hike it. Dropping down into the canyon, and seeing the color changes all around me is really a charge for my energy, when I ever wonder “Why am I here?”

Several places along the trail I dropped down quickly, and also got a great view of the cliffs above and the plateau below, with a taste of the Inner Gorge, that has the massive Colorado River hidden in it’s folds.

The junction with the Tonto Trail is very well marked and after trudging the rest of the way, I set up camp under an overhang, and well away from the NPS provided privy.

Camp was quiet, except for a few ‘voices’ enveloped in the wind, and a little Kangaroo Rat checking out my vestibule, it left when it found nothing to eat. I had expected to see other people here, but, was surprised to find I was unique in my interest of hiking here at this time of year. The creek was running well, and could picture summer time sun bathers, dipping into the water, but I chose not to bathe yet, even though I was alone, it was December. (more…)