Dripping Springs

Grand Canyon National Park

Colorado River Grand Canyon, Arizona

Start Exploring
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:
Published in collaboration with
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.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Grand Canyon National Park adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to hiking essentials to get you started:

Backpack: Osprey AG Pack

Men's Manta 28L and Women's Mira 26L • $123.99 • Hip Belt, Adjustable Torso, Compression Straps, Raincover + Hydraulics LT 2.5L Water Reservoir Included


Hiking Shoes: Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX Shoe 

Men's and Women's • $123.71 • Cushioned, GORE-TEX, High Traction Contagrip, 15.8 oz

Shirt: Mountain Hardwear Canyon Pro Long Sleeve Shirt 

Men's and Women's • $60.99-71.25 • Sun Protective, Moisture Wicking, Quick Drying, Roll-up Sleeves

GPS Watch: Garmin Forerunner 35 GPS Watch

$169.99 • Waterproof, Calorie Burn Tracker, GPS, Sleep Tracker, Shock Resistant, Speed Tracker, Lap Timer

Trekking Poles: MSR DynaLock Explore Poles 

$99.95 • Aluminum, Adjustable with DynaLock Levers, Four-season Functionality, 20 oz.

Socks: Darn Tough Hiker Micro Crew Cushion Sock 

Men's and Women's • $21.95 • Made in USA, Anti-bacterial, Merino Wool, Breathable, Fast-drying

Headlamp: Black Diamond Storm Headlamp 

$49.95 • LED, Waterproof, Maximum Beam Distance: 80 m, Takes AAA Batteries

First Aid Kit: Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight and Watertight .5 Kit

$19.00 • Ultralight, Watertight, Group Size: 1 person, Trip Duration: 1-2 days

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

Published in collaboration with
Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(7 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(20 within a 30 mile radius)

Published in collaboration with
Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
10 Members
Who's Done It
5 Members
Submission by
Pro Contributor
461 Adventures Explored
306 Adventures Published

Published in collaboration with Moosejaw

Moosejaw is the most fun outdoor retailer in the world! They only do cool stuff. They are notable. They love their customers. They are engagingly engaged. They are Moosejaw!

And, did you know that you earn 10% back on every order? You can apply that $$ to your cart with the click of a button! Learn more about Moosejaw Rewards now.


Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info