Sunrise patterns from Pima Point
Pima Point looks down on Hermit Camp, the site of a major tourist camp operated on the edge of Hermit Creek on the Tonto Plateau. An aerial tramway once spanned the 4,000-foot space between Pima Point and Hermit Camp and was used to haul supplies to and from the site.
When Grand Canyon National Park was created in 1919, the present Grand Canyon Village was already the focus of tourist activity on the South Rim due to the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad a few years before. The only problem was that there wasn't a freely accessible trail to the Colorado River. The Bright Angel Trail was still privately owned, and the owner charged an exorbitant fee for the use of his trail. Fred Harvey Company wanted to build a tourist camp below the rim, so they built the Hermit Road out to to the head of Hermit Canyon west of Grand Canyon Village, and then built the Hermit Trail down Hermit Creek to the Colorado River.
Hermit Camp was established on the Tonto Plateau just east of Hermit Creek. Tent cabins accommodated guests, and the camp was complete with running water and even a Model T Ford that was sent down in pieces on the aerial tramway. Hermit Trail continued to the river along lower Hermit Creek, though little of the original construction has survived the periodic floods.
When the National Park Service gave up on buying the Bright Angel Trail and constructed the South Kaibab Trail as an alternate route to the river below Grand Canyon Village in the late 1920's, Fred Harvey Company opened a new tourist camp, Phantom Ranch, along lower Bright Angel Creek. When the North Kaibab Trail was completed, creating a trail across the Grand Canyon from Grand Canyon Village to North Rim Village, Phantom Ranch took over from Hermit Camp as the premier tourist camp within the canyon, and Hermit Camp was abandoned. Read more about 6.2 Pima Point