Dripping Springs

Grand Canyon National Park

Colorado River Grand Canyon, Arizona

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Dripping Springs


  • Descending the switchbacks on Hermit Trail, Grand Canyon National Park.- Dripping Springs
  • The trail cuts across many rock layers on its climb to the rim.- Dripping Springs
  • Pausing to take it all in from an overlook on the trail.- Dripping Springs
  • Wildflowers are everywhere along the trail in April.- Dripping Springs
  • Trekking poles will help with the steep part of this trail.- Dripping Springs
  • Dripping Springs is the dark streak on the wall in the center of this shady alcove.- Dripping Springs
  • The spot where water hits the ground after dripping more than 200 feet down the cliff face.- Dripping Springs
  • Resting on the hand-made bench next to the spring.- Dripping Springs
  • Take time to relax in the shade of the amphitheater at the spring.- Dripping Springs
  • Cliffrose has pretty white flowers and a strong smell.- Dripping Springs
  • Grand Canyon views from the Dripping Springs Trail.- Dripping Springs
  • The real work comes on the return trip, back up the switchbacks.- Dripping Springs
  • Remember to enjoy the views, as a distraction from the uphill trudge.- Dripping Springs
Overview + Weather
Family-friendly day hike. Good views.
Views somewhat limited from side canyon.
Colorado River Grand Canyon, AZ
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
-1,000.00 ft (-304.80 m)
Parking Pass: 
National Park Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
6,640.00 ft (2,023.87 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

One drawback to the South Rim in Grand Canyon National Park is the lack of manageable day hikes. The Rim Trail is nice for strolling along the canyon's edge, but gazing up from below the rim typically requires a committing plunge down Bright Angel or South Kaibab, and the difficulty deters many would-be day hikers. The hike to Dripping Springs, however, is a manageable distance for less experienced hikers and families. It does still require a lot of switchbacks through the canyon's upper rock layers, but they are less steep than on other trails.

The way to Dripping Springs begins on the Hermit Trail at Hermit's Rest. The trail descends into a side canyon of the Grand Canyon, where the panorama is a bit narrower than from the South Rim's main trails, but the views are still far from disappointing. The spring itself is the destination of this out-and-back adventure. Dripping Springs are a year-round water source where groundwater trickles out of sandstone in a small drainage in the rim, then drips down a tall streaked wall to the canyon floor. This is one of several water sources in the Grand Canyon that are vital to the desert ecosystem and that have been precious to Native American inhabitants for generations.

Other highlights of the trail include an exciting but safe traverse above steep cliffs to enter Dripping Springs' side canyon, fragrant wildflowers that bloom in the spring, and a chance at seeing deer grazing on the plentiful vegetation. If you look closely, you can find traces of past plant and animal life in the rocks. The uppermost rock layer, Kaibab Limestone, is rich in fossils of ancient sea creatures, and if you look carefully you can spot fascinating fossils in lower rock layers as well.

Dripping Springs is in a shady north-facing alcove, so it can be chilly even when it is hot in the sun. The initial switchbacks get a lot more sun, so be prepared for a range of temperatures. Bring plenty of water. The only water that is available on the trail is at the spring, but filling a bottle in the trickle would take a very long time, and it would need to be treated. Bottles can be filled at Hermit's Rest near the trailhead.

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(7 within a 30 mile radius)

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(20 within a 30 mile radius)

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