Hermit Road, formerly West Rim Drive, has nine improved scenic viewpoints and some of the best Grand Canyon views in Grand Canyon National Park. The road stretches for seven miles from the west end of Grand Canyon Village to Hermit’s Rest.
Hermit Road is a VERY popular Grand Canyon attraction that for most of the year is only accessible by the park’s free Hermit Road (Red) Shuttle Route. The shuttle stops at every Grand Canyon vista point on the way to Hermit’s Rest, and only a couple of the overlooks on the way back to the village.
The road is also paralleled by the Canyon Rim Trail and eventually the Greenway Trail, which means you can choose to hike or walk from viewpoint to viewpoint!
- The Canyon Rim Trail travels 7.8 miles from Grand Canyon Village to Hermit’s Rest between Hermit Road and the edge of the canyon.
- The Greenway Trail leaves from Monument Creek Vista and travels three miles to Hermit’s Rest with a stop at Pima Point.
Checking Out Hermit Road
We saved Hermit Road and it’s scenic overlooks for our second day in Grand Canyon National Park. We wanted to do a combination of hiking along the Canyon Rim Trail and riding the shuttle along Hermit Road, and also wanted a day to get our bodies acclimated to the high elevation.
Also, when we saw the shuttle bus line snaking around a roped area like Disneyland in the middle of the summer that first afternoon, we knew that our experience would be so much better if we waited until the morning to embark on our Hermit Road adventure.
Now parking in Grand Canyon Village is a nightmare, so we parked in the parking lot at the Maswik Lodge. It’s super close to the Hermit’s Rest Transfer Station and it took us less than 10 minutes to walk over to the shuttle station. We arrived just after 8:00 am and there was no line, which was awesome!
Here are the 10 key stops along Hermit Road:
01. Hermits Rest Transfer Station
- Travel 0.7 miles west on a paved trail to the Trailview Overlook
Located at the intersection of Village Loop Drive and Hermit Road near the Bright Angel Trail Trailhead, the Hermit’s Rest Transfer Station marks the beginning of your national park adventures along Hermit Road to historic Hermit’s Rest if you’re riding the free shuttle.
02. Trailview Overlook
- Travel 0.7 miles west on a paved trail to reach Maricopa Point
- Travel 0.7 miles east on a paved trail to reach Hermits Rest Transfer Station
With multiple sets of stairs leading to two large observation platforms and majestic scenic viewpoints, Trailview Overlook in Grand Canyon National Park offers breathtaking views of Grand Canyon Village, the Bright Angel Trail, and the canyon below. From the overlook, you can see the Bright Angel Trail switchbacking down the canyon and tiny specs that are the hikers making their way up or down the trail. You can also see the Grand Canyon Village Historic District and the El Tovar Hotel sitting on the edge of the Grand Canyon south rim.
03. Maricopa Point
- Travel 0.5 miles west on a paved then dirt trail to reach Powell Point
- Travel 0.7 miles east on a paved trail to reach Trailview Overlook
At Maricopa Point, the edge of the canyon sticks out about 100 feet to form a narrow promontory that offers breathtaking, 180 degree, panoramic views of Grand Canyon and the remains of the Orphan Lode Mine. From this viewpoint, you can see the majestic Battleship formation, a portion of the Tonto Trail snaking around Horn Creek and Dana Butte, and parts of the Bright Angel Trail at Garden Creek.
04. Powell Point
- Travel 0.3 miles west on a dirt trail west to reach Hopi Point
- Travel 0.5 miles east on a dirt then paved trail to reach Maricopa Point
Powell Point off Hermit Road on the Canyon Rim Trail in Grand Canyon National Park not only features spectacular, colorful, panoramic canyon views but the Powell Memorial, which honors pioneering Grand Canyon explorer John Wesley Powell, who led the first recorded journey down the Colorado River in 1869, and again in 1871-1872.
05. Hopi Point
- Travel 0.8 miles west on a dirt trail to reach Mohave Point
- Travel 0.3 miles east on a dirt trail to reach Powell Point
Hopi Point is THE point along Hermit Road. It sticks out farther north into the canyon than any other scenic viewpoint on the Grand Canyon and offers the most amazing views on the South Rim. From Hopi Point, you can see Dana Butte, 2,000 feet below the overlook, the Shiva Temple and Zoroaster Temple formations, as well as Isis Temple, Horus Temple, and Osiris Temple on the North Rim.
Because the Colorado River bends northwards, this is also the first scenic viewpoint where the western Grand Canyon comes into full view and you can see all the way to Havasupai Point and the Great Scenic Divide.
06. Mohave Point
- Travel 1.1 miles west on a dirt trail to reach The Abyss
- Travel 0.8 miles east on a dirt trail to reach Hopi Point
Mohave Point boasts several small overlooks clustered together and wondrous views of sandstone mesas, the Colorado River, and the nearly 3,000 foot tall vertical cliffs that make up The Abyss between Mohave Point and Pima Point.
07. The Abyss
- Travel 0.9 miles west on a dirt trail to reach Monument Creek Vista
- Travel 1.1 miles east on a dirt trail to reach Mohave Point
Unlike other scenic viewpoints along Hermit Road, The Abyss doesn’t protrude out into the canyon. Instead, The Abyss is steep, notch or hollow indented in the canyon walls that drops vertically almost 3,000 feet into Grand Canyon to the Redwall Formation.
08. Monument Creek Vista
- Travel 1.7 miles west on a paved trail to reach Pima Point
- Travel 0.9 miles east on a dirt trail to reach The Abyss
At the small Monument Creek Vista, you can look over the edge of the canyon to see Monument Creek traveling to the Colorado River to create some pretty violent rapids. Monument Creek Vista also marks the start of the Greenway Trail.
09. Pima Point
- Travel 1.1 miles west on a paved trail to reach Hermits Rest
- Travel 1.7 miles east on a paved trail to reach Monument Creek Vista
Pima Point is a south rim scenic viewpoint in Grand Canyon National Park that overlooks 40 miles of rugged canyon lands from Bright Angel Canyon to the east to Powell Plateau and the Great Scenic Divide to the west. The scenic overlook is one of the best places to see and sometimes hear the Colorado River. The splash and grind of Granite Rapids below can be heard echoing up the canyon walls on quiet days.
10. Hermit’s Rest
- This marks the end of the Rim Trail
- Travel 1.1 miles east on a paved trail to reach Pima Point
Built in 1914 and designed by architect Mary Colter, Hermit’s Rest was originally built as a rest area for tourists on coaches operated by the Fred Harvey Company who were traveling to the now-vanished Hermit Camp. Located at the western end of Hermit Road, the structure was built to resemble an old miner’s cabin or hermit’s hideaway.
Hermit Road Rehabilitation
Hermit Road and most of its scenic overlooks and parking areas are historic, designed and constructed in 1934-1935 by the Bureau of Public Roads and the National Park Service. While the structures remained intact, the road condition degraded and did not keep up with current safety standards.
In 2008, a major rehabilitation project was completed along Hermit Road that included widening the road for visitor safety, widening and improving the rim trail, and constructing the new multi-use Greenway Trail. The project also included a vegetation restoration and rehabilitation effort where 20,000 plants were planted and 200 pounds of native grass and shrub seed were spread.
Know Before You Go
- Hermit Road is located just west of Grand Canyon Village, Arizona 86023 in Grand Canyon National Park in Coconino County.
- Hermit Road follows the South Rim for 7.0 miles from Grand Canyon Village to Hermit’s Rest. In the winter, you can drive your own vehicle from scenic viewpoint to scenic viewpoint, but the rest of the year, you need to ride the free shuttle bus.
- The Canyon Rim Trail also travels from Grand Canyon Village to Hermit’s Rest, but over 7.8 miles because it hugs the edge of the canyon rim and runs between Hermit Road and Grand Canyon.
- Traveling from Grand Canyon Village, the Hermit Road (Red) Shuttle Route stops at nine overlooks — Trailview Overlook, Maricopa Point, Powell Point, Hopi Point, Mohave Point, The Abyss, Monument Creek Vista, Pima Point, and Hermit’s Rest. Traveling from Hermit’s Rest to Grand Canyon Village, the shuttle stops at only four overlooks — Hermits Rest, Pima, Mohave, and Powell Points.
- You can also travel to Hermit’s Rest by bike. If you didn’t bring a bike, you can rent a bike at Bright Angel Bicycles near the South Rim Visitor Center.
- Parking near the Hermit’s Rest Transfer Station is terrible! Consider parking at Maswik Lodge and walking to the Transfer Station — it takes less than 10 minutes. Or park at the Visitor Center and ride the Blue Shuttle to the village and walk to the Transfer Station.
- There are restrooms at Hopi Point and Hermit’s Rest.