GCNP Backcountry use information
Before you can hit the trail in Grand Canyon National Park GCNP you need to get your permit. For a more indepth trip planning article please see GCNP Backcountry Use Information. Plan ahead and submit your request 6 months in advance. Permits are very difficult to get. Make sure when you send in your permit request that you have several alternatives so you are not disappointed if your first choice is taken.
This particular trip begins at the Hermit Rest Trailhead (N36 3.6252/W112 12.7381) descends down the Hermit trail to the Tonto Trail. Once on the Tonto Trail you hike to Monument Creek Campsites (N36 4.8998/W112 11.1555). Day 2 continues along the Tonto Trail until you join the Bright Angle Trail at Indian Garden Campsites (N36 4.6598/W112 7.6657). Day 3 is the climb out to Bright Angle Trail Trailhead. (W36 3.4409, W112 8.6665).
Total distance for the trip is 24.3 miles with an elevation gain and loss of +-10,000 feet. Plan on your descent the first day taking about 8 hours depending on how fast you travel. The climb on the third day will take about the same time as your descent.
The highlight of the GCNP trip besides Grand views of the canyon and the Monuments of Monument Creek is the chance to view some of the remaining California Condors that call GCNP home.
Some of the most remarkable and beautiful scenery you will see is in Monument Canyon. Many monuments will be seen here, but the main monument can be found just shy of the camping area in Monument Canyon.
During this hike make sure you carry plenty of water, especially in the late spring or early fall when temperatures can be quit hot. A bladder is an ideal choice so you can sip your water as you hike. You will find that water sources are available but they are good distance between them. Always remember to filter or treat your water before using.
Sun screen, hat, sun glasses and breathable clothes are important items when the mercury soars in GCNP. But during the high season, late fall to early spring, you need to be prepared for snow and ice near the GCNP rim as you descend and climb out of the canyon. I found Kahtoola MICROspikesto be ideal and light to carry.
Trekking poles are another necessity while trying to navigate some of the sections descending on the Hermit Trail in GCNP. Some of the trail tends to disappear as it crosses broken rock fields and reappear on the other side. Using the trekking poles to help maintain balance can save your knees and skinned hands. Also using the poles to help during the long descent into the GCNP and the climb out is very beneficial as well.
Below are the profile for each day on this hike in GCNP.
By John Dragotto