Bike the Hermit Road at the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon South Rim Visitor Center

Great opportunity to skip the crowds and ride beautiful open roads and paved greenways along the rim.

The Hermit Road, originally built by early pioneers and then improved by the Santa Fe Railroad, winds along the Canyon’s rim for 7 miles. It boasts some of the grandest views along the South Rim of Grand Canyon and is your best opportunity to see the river and its rapids from the rim. This is the best scenic bike ride to do in the West!!

You have two options on how to bike this road. You can depart from the visitor center and ride the 21 mile roundtrip route via the greenways to the Hermit route. This version of the route includes a one mile uphill climb which makes it's suitable for those who want a challenging ride. The other option is to rent bikes from Bright Angel Bicycles and get their shuttle which drops you at the Hopi Lookout Road, passes the hills and offers a 5 mile mostly flat ride suitable for families and recreational cyclists.

Along the route, which is a combination of open paved road and greenways winding through the forest along the rim, there are several "pull outs" with benches where you can rest and enjoy the view. If you pack a lunch you can enjoy some of the most scenic picnic tables on the planet.

At the end of the line, Hermit's Rest, there is a "tuck shop" where you can buy ice creams, drinks etc. It's also the trailhead of the Hermit Trail in case you want to combine your bike ride with a hike. The free NPS shuttle system services the route and buses are equipped to take bikes if you run into an emergency or if you need a break on the way home.

Bike rentals are available here. They have a good map showing you the various ways you can ride this route.

Pack List

  • Bike
  • Bike helmet
  • Water bottle (bottled water not sold in park for conservation reasons, but plenty of water taps along the way)
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
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RT Distance 10 Miles
Elevation Gain 50 Feet
Activities Cycling
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

The Best Way to See Grand Canyon in a Short Amount of Time

I have done the canyon by boat which is the best way to do it if you have time and money. If you're going to visit the Rim for a day or less, you'll defineately want to figure out a way to avoid the terrible crowds. You can do a hike if you're in shape which is also awesome, but the best way to cover a ton of ground and feel like a kid again is biking the rim. The Hermit route REALLY gets you away from the crowds onto awesome paved routes that are quiet and absolutely stunning. I recommend using Bright Angel Bicycle's shuttle service. I've done it both ways (21 mile round trip) and the cruiser version where they bypass the village and hills and shuttle you right up there and it's worth it!


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