The trail starts just west of Hermit's Rest on the South Rim. The Hermit Road is eight miles long and starts just past the Bright Angel Lodge and ends in a paved circular parking lot at Hermits Rest. In the southwest corner of the paved parking lot near the bathrooms there is a dirt road leading toward the trailhead. The Hermit Road is typically closed with automatic gates. Access during is provided by free shuttle buses that run approximately every 15 minutes, starting one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset. Hikers who have a backcountry permit can obtain the pass number from the backcountry office to open the gate. Alternate access is gained from the Waldron Trailhead or from the Dripping Springs Trailhead, these alternate trailheads are not accessible by vehicle and require considerable extra hiking.
Water can be obtained near the Hermit Trailhead, Santa Maria Springs, Hermit Creek , and the Hermit Rapids at the Colorado River. All water sources in the Grand Canyon should be filtered or treated before consumption.
The only designated sites are at Hermit Creek , and Hermit Rapids at the confluence of the Hermit Creek and the Colorado River.
The Trail starts down the kaibab and toroweap layers through long switchbacks that take the trail back toward the southwest into the hermit basin. The trail then descends long steep switchbacks through the coconino layer. Through this layer the trail is constructed of sandstone riprap and is extremely steep in places.