The GEMS in the Grand Canyon was the objective for this long weekend. John9L set the route and planning the hike so we had to just show up. However, we did have a shuttle to setup and Chumley suggested we ask the Res gate guys for a ride. So while the others headed down South Bass FOTG and I managed to get one Res guy for a modest fee to shuttle us back to South Bass TH. We were about 2 hours behind the others but no problem and we made Serpentine Canyon Camp 1 by early afternoon. Early enough to venture down to the Colorado to enjoy the river.
Day 2 it was 10+ miles on the Tonto Trail over to Turquoise Canyon for the second night. Passed thru several side drainages along with Ruby Canyon where we had lunch and grabbed some shade before reaching Turquoise. Nice camp with some narrows and rock benches for camping.
Day 3 was the longest day at 15 miles of nothing but Tonto Trail. We passed several more of the Gems Sapphire, Agate, and Slate in route to Boucher and Camp 3. Somewhat hot on the Tonto so we headed down to the Colorado to cool off. Then back to camp at Boucher and relaxing evening listening to the frogs.
Day 4 we all headed out early to get up the trail before the heat set in and have time to make the significant climb up Boucher Trail. We took a break at Yuma Point enjoying the great views and then continued on to Dripping Springs for another short break. Then up the Silver Bell Trail which I'd never been on before. Cool trail but the bottom is really rough and unmaintained. Nice to take a different exit out of the canyon for a change. Finally made it out with the rest of the group waiting so we could hit the road for Flag to enjoy pizza and wings at NiMarcos. Great weekend in the canyon!!