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Trip Report - March, 2014 - Day hiking to the Four Sisters Natural Bridges in Grand Canyon

This day hike was at Grand Canyon to see and photograph the Four Sisters Natural Bridges. I only learned about the existence of these bridges a month or so prior to my vacation and seeing as they were so close to the rim and so easy to get to I could not pass up the opportunity. When I learned of them I was very surprised that I had never heard of them before.

The hike started at Hermit's Rest and I took the Park Service's Hermit Rest shuttle bus out there. From the bus stop I walked to the trailhead for the Hermit Trail and started down. I was told I should break away from the trail into the drainage to the south just before the trail begins to head away from this drainage. I followed the trail down and it only took a few minutes before the trail approached the drainage. As soon as the trail started to break away again to the north I started up backtrack and look for a way down. It was not much of a descent and didn't take long to find a good spot to get down. Almost as soon as I stepped off the trail I noticed that there was an obvious trail heading down into and then up the drainage. Obviously many people had gone this way before.

I continued to follow the drainage leaving it from time to time as necessary to avoid things growing in or across it. In all of these places there were short trails made by others so it was very easy. After only about 1000' up the drainage it forks and I took the branch to the west. After another 1000' or so I was at the Four Sisters Natural Bridges. It was one of the easiest hikes ever.

The bridges are nothing truly remarkable as they are very low to the ground and you really have to stoop down to get below the first and then crawl to get below the others. It's more the fact that there are four of them so close together that makes them unique. I had fun climbing over them, around them, through them and taking many photos from many different angles.

For the hike out I headed out of the drainage as soon as I got back to the fork and headed straight up the slope to the north, taking a shortcut back to the Hermit Trail. This was pretty easy and I suspect that many people come down this way to get to the bridges as well as it would make for a more direct and even shorter hike. After a few minutes I came to the remains of an old barbed wire fence and just a little beyond that I came to the Hermit Trail. I saw a person coming up the Hermit Trail as I was getting closer to it and he must have wondered where the heck I was coming from.

Back at Hermit's Rest I decided to walk part of the way back to the Grand Canyon Village using the Rim Trail. I wished I could have walked the full trail since it has been many years since I have done that. I had plans for dinner back in Flagstaff however and there simply was not enough time. I did manage to walk about halfway however and picked up a shuttle bus to the village at Mohave Point.

The distance covered for this hike was only about 1.4 miles roundtrip and the elevation change is only about 250' so it really is a nice easy one.


Larger version (1024x1325) camera Photo map

Canyon view from the bus stop - Grand Canyon, Arizona

Drainage leading to The Four Sisters natural bridges - Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Four Sisters natural bridges - Grand Canyon, Arizona

View back down into the drainage - Grand Canyon, Arizona

Bell & arch at Hermit's Rest - Grand Canyon, Arizona

Pinyon Jay - Rim Trail, Grand Canyon, Arizona

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