Grand Canyon Backpacking
Updated: May 6, 2020
Our backpacking trip began at the Hermit Trail on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. There were 9 of us plus 2 guides. The guides distributed 4 days of food among the group. The Hermit Trail starts by descending 2000 feet in 2 1/2 miles. We arrived at Hermit’s Creek, our first primitive campsite, after a 9 mile trek. Our guides prepared dinner as we filtered water from the creek. The day was challenging and everyone felt the effort of the day. That night we had an incredible view of the stars. We watched the constellations roll by and spotted a brilliant meteor too. After a hearty breakfast we continued down the Monument Trail and then towards Granite Rapids. The group campsite was on the sandy beach of the Colorado River. Even though the daytime temperature was 90 degrees, the river water was in the low 40’s. Kevin took a very quick dip in the river to cool off. After 2 days of hiking we encountered only a few other hikers. This part of the canyon is remote and difficult to get to. Day 3 was a challenging 13 mile trek back up to the Tonto Plateau. There are very few water sources so we carried over 3 liters of filtered water for the day. We were warned not to use water from Horn Creek because it was contaminated with Uranium from an old mine. The long day ended at the Indian Gardens campground. It is a popular spot with overnight hikers since it is accessible from the Grand Canyon Village. The campground is located in a grove of beautiful trees and looks quite different than the open and exposed Tonto Plateau. We finished the 35 mile trip by ascending the Bright Angel Trail to the Grand Canyon Village. It was a steep 11% grade to the top of the rim. Our group gathered at the top for one final meal, but this time is was hot pizza and cold beer. Choosing to go on a guided trip where hiking permits and food were provided made the journey so enjoyable. Our hike into the Grand Canyon was challenging, rewarding and provided spectacular views from the bottom of the river looking up to the rim.