A short hike on the Grand Canyon’s South Rim into the Hermit-Waldron basin, the Waldron Trail is an alternative to the Hermit Trail. Getting to the trailhead simply involves walking 1.2 miles (2 km) down Hermit Trail and deciding that Waldron is a far easier option.
Splitting off from Hermit trail, the remaining path extends for barely a mile, making it one of the shorter trails on the South Rim and an excellent option for a day-hike. That being said, Waldron Trail is hardly ever used as a trail in itself- rather, hikers use it to bypass Hermit Trail on their way to Hermit’s Rest, Dripping Springs, or the Colorado River.
Waldron trail, while rarely used, offers every basic Grand Canyon element without intense physical demands. Since it borrows the first half of Hermit Trail, the beginning consists of a steep descent down an eroded walkway. At one point, this section of Hermit Trail was completely paved in smooth slabs of stone, but erosion has deteriorated most of the path, leaving only a section of the Coconino Standstone as proof of the project’s ambition.
Once you reach the Waldron trailhead (more of a detour), the terrain gets significantly easier to navigate and you’ll have the option of following the Dripping Springs spur trail about half an hour into the hike. If you decide to visit Dripping Springs (a feat you can afford, as the entire Waldron Trail is barely 2 miles), retrace back to Waldron Trail and have some lunch along the section of flat rocks preceding the descent toward the Santa Maria Springs.
This trail has very restricted usage for the camping area. It is only available during the day time, so if you plan hiking the Waldron Trail and would like to camp out, consider using the campsite at Boucher Trail. Also keep in mind that while the Waldron trail is a fairly easy hike, it is still a primitive trail unmaintained by park officials. This means that there are no toilets, emergency booths, phone lines, or rangers to provide assistance. The trail is also waterless, except for the potential of limited water at Dripping Springs (which should be treated before consuming).