Dripping Springs Trail
Dripping Springs Trail skirts above the head of Hermit Gorge, west of the village. The little-used historic trailhead is remote and difficult to access via several dirt roads or a long walk from Horsethief Tank. Instead, most hikers reach Dripping Springs from the east via the Hermit Trail.
This route is a good day hike, and spring hikers may see blossoming barberry, cliffrose, mock orange, and redbud on the way to the spring-fed “garden” of ferns and scarlet monkey-flowers.
The junction is 1.75 miles from the start of the Hermit Trail. It’s another 1.5 miles along the Dripping Springs Trail across the Hermit Shale Formation to the spring. The intersecting Boucher Trail leads deep into the canyon, where “hermit” Louis Boucher had a cabin, orchard, and copper mine around the turn of the 20th century. Keep left to reach Dripping Springs, where Boucher had another camp.
Just past three miles, the alcove that shelters the spring is a good day-hike destination. The historic Dripping Springs Trail continues west to its remote trailhead, making a steep and rocky climb to the rim. Most hikers choose to return the way they came. Spring water must be treated before drinking; begin the hike with enough water for the return trip.
© Kathleen Bryant from Moon Grand Canyon, 5th Edition