We left the motel around 6:40 a.m. to head to the park to catch a shuttle to Hermit’s rest. Then we went on Hermit Trail until it meets the Dripping Springs Trail. These trails are unmaintained which made them more interesting than the Bright Angel and South Kiabab trails we had done earlier. We really had to pay attention to our footwork.
The Hermit Trail was pretty steep on the way down, descending about 1400 feet in the first mile or so. After it met the Dripping Springs Trail, we took it to the end, and of course there were dripping springs there. The ground was fairly level on the Dripping Springs part. It had ups and downs no matter which way on the trail you were going, which made it different from the other trails we’ve been on.
The most memorable part of the Dripping Springs Trail was the way it navigated around a huge depression on the western edge of Hermit’s Basin. The trail was narrow, and at places, a single step or two toward the depression would land you about a thousand feet lower. One of the hiking guides we looked at suggested that the trail was not for those with a fear of heights.
On the entire hike to the spring, we encountered only 4 other hikers. That was a refreshing change from the other trails in the park as well.
Since Hermit trail had been so steep at the beginning, so we knew it wouldn’t be easy going back up, and it wasn’t. We ended up getting to the top at the same time, even though we would rest at different places on the trail going back up. I was dragging myself up the trail because near the end of the hike, Dad seemed to have more energy than I did. He was tired too though. It took us 2.5 hours to get to the end of the trail and 3 hours to get back.
I ate lunch at Hermit’s Rest and Dad just got a coke. Then we got on the shuttle and Dad was breathing hard from the walk to the bus stop. I had recovered though. We took the shuttle to Yavapai Observation Center. It had science stuff on the rocks and how the Grand Canyon was formed. It was interesting but there is a limit to how much of that stuff we want to know.
After that we took the shuttle to Shrine of the Ages to see what it was. It looked like a church thing, so we took the shuttle back to our car and back to the motel.
After we cleaned up and rested briefly, we returned to the park for sunset. This time we chose Mojave Point for viewing. After sunset, we returned to the motel.