Long term closures throughout most of 2008 are planned for Hermit Road, the seven-mile drive extending from Grand Canyon Village to historic Hermits Rest. Constructed by the Bureau of Public Roads and National Park Service in the mid-30s, this serpentine road with the big views is a favorite among visitors riding the park’s free shuttle bus, and hikers utilizing the adjacent Rim Trail.
Both road and trail have long been in need of structural improvements. To this end, a rolling rehabilitation schedule will begin in early April, and last through November. The park service will be diverting visitors to other points of interest during the construction period. One notable exception will be the morning shuttle for backpackers heading to the popular Hermit Trail. This user group will be allowed to descend the Hermit Trail, but will be required to exit the canyon by other routes such as the Bright Angel Trail.
If all goes as planned, the new and improved Hermit Road will be ready again next spring to host the thousands of visitors seeking the unparalleled beauty and relative remoteness of this breathtaking stretch of the South Rim.