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Boucher Trail - 15 members in 45 triplogs have rated this an average 4.3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Mar 07 2019
charlomechfry
avatar

 Routes 76
 Triplogs 91

male
 Joined Nov 11 2011
 
South Bass to Boucher, AZ 
South Bass to Boucher, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 07 2019
charlomechfry
Backpack64.43 Miles 9,982 AEG
Backpack64.43 Miles3 Days   19 Hrs   31 Mns   
9,982 ft AEG
 
no photosets
Couldn't have picked a more perfect time to tackle this hike. We have had some great moisture for the past month or so now, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous for the weekend. The trail conditions couldn't have been much better, considering the punishment they must have taken. The snow had already melted off at the top and the mud was not terrible. The Tonto Trail is faint as usual, but we managed to keep track of it easy enough. Boucher Trail was pretty beat up after all the weather, but still whole. The water was glorious! When there was not a small stream flowing in the creek beds at or near the trail crossings, there were plenty of potholes full of water. Had a fantastic hiking partner, met some great people, and really just had the time of my life!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boucher Creek Medium flow Medium flow

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Ruby Creek - GC Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Sapphire Creek - GC Pools to trickle Pools to trickle

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Serpentine Creek - GC Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Slate Creek Light flow Light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Turquoise Creek - GC Light flow Light flow
_____________________
1 archive
Apr 15 2017
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 213
 Routes 824
 Photos 10,895
 Triplogs 4,290

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 1996
 Phoenix, AZ
Boucher Hermit Loop, AZ 
Boucher Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2017
joebartels
Hiking22.94 Miles 5,800 AEG
Hiking22.94 Miles   12 Hrs   32 Mns   2.16 mph
5,800 ft AEG   1 Hour   55 Mns Break14 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Partners partners
Dave1
Tortoise_Hiker
wallyfrack
T'was the day before Easter and all through the canyon we searched for companions. A bunny was not to be found yet the buttonose chipmunk near and dear emitted strange sounds.

Shivering was the name of the game for the first hour followed by perfection for the balance. After five miles it felt like we were still near the rim.

Just a nice hike until the mother of all wildflower shows along my least favorite Tonto killed the pace.

Lunched in the shade of the narrows along Hermit Creek before hiking out. Denny didn't care for the ascent but found the gear to get us out before the buses stopped.

Great to hike new terrain and Dave had a funny or two to share. Big thx to Wally for driving, he's been under the weather this week.
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Extreme
Bazillion Sego Lilies, brittlebush gone wild

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hermit Creek Light flow Light flow
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Dripping Dripping
water report recorded in the field on our app Route Scout One drip a second
_____________________
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!
Apr 15 2017
Tortoise_Hiker
avatar

 Routes 78
 Photos 7,233
 Triplogs 2,565

58 male
 Joined Apr 02 2005
 Mesa, AZ
Boucher Hermit Loop, AZ 
Boucher Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Apr 15 2017
Tortoise_Hiker
Hiking21.69 Miles 5,800 AEG
Hiking21.69 Miles   12 Hrs   34 Mns   2.04 mph
5,800 ft AEG   1 Hour   55 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners partners
Dave1
joebartels
wallyfrack
Full disclaimer: I tanked it on the climb out and was praying God would get me up the last 2.2 miles. Joe's mileage is a little more for coming back down and carrying me out.
Wally wasn't feeling good but still drove us up, hiked the first couple miles, then hiked and napped on top until I dragged myself out. He rocks!
The hike itself was a good one and the trails are in pretty good shape. A couple small rock slides but the trail is still visible. This is a good loop. With the wildflowers putting on a show and Joe and Dave joining me it really was enjoyable for the most part. I would say if your going to filter do it at Hermits creek as it's on the way. Santa Maria spring has water in the tank you could filter but not as clean. The pipe was not dripping enough to filter from.
After the hike we took an adventurous ride on the shuttle and meet back up with Wally. We all went over to Maswik food court to eat before the drive home. Thanks to Joe,Dave and Wally for another great outing,like HAZ, :yr:
Named place
Named place
Whites Butte
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Extreme
_____________________
Tortoise Hiking. Stop and smell the Petrichor.
Mar 11 2017
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 338
 Photos 6,903
 Triplogs 803

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Boucher Rapids Hermit Loop, AZ 
Boucher Rapids Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 11 2017
BiFrost
Hiking35.65 Miles 9,452 AEG
Hiking35.65 Miles   18 Hrs   14 Mns   2.20 mph
9,452 ft AEG   2 Hrs   3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
We had done this loop before but without going down to Boucher Rapids so this time we added that piece. Down Boucher went without any issues and all the steep sections were easy to navigate. Took short break at Boucher Creek before heading out to the rapids. Lunch at Boucher Rapids getting there about noon and took 45 minute break to enjoy the river which was unfortunately muddy brown but still nice to see.

After lunch headed back to Tonto Trail junction above Boucher Creek and started the traverse over to Hermit Creek. We had forgotten how long this section is at about 5 miles but made it to Hermit Creek and took another break to fill up water and recharge for the climb out. It was almost 4pm and Hermit camp site was filling up so we talked to couple of the guys. Water topped off and ready to go we headed up Hermit and the long climb. Slow going uphill and reached Santa Maria Spring as it was getting dark. Another short break and last push to the top.

We knew the last bus was about 730 so at this point we were pretty sure wouldn't make that arriving about 1 hour late. Backup plan was to call taxi from Hermits Rest which would have worked if the signal was strong enough. Tried several times but the call kept dropping before I could tell the guy to send taxi to Hermit's Rest. So we started walking the road back to the Bright Angel Lodge where the vehicle was parked. Long day made longer by extra walk but cool to see the rapids!
Named place
Named place
Boucher Creek Boucher Rapids
_____________________
1 archive
Mar 11 2017
slowandsteady
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

45 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Boucher Rapids Hermit Loop, AZ 
Boucher Rapids Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Mar 11 2017
slowandsteady
Hiking35.65 Miles 9,452 AEG
Hiking35.65 Miles   18 Hrs   14 Mns   2.20 mph
9,452 ft AEG   2 Hrs   3 Mns Break
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
We had to renew our "You're an idiot" badges. :y:
_____________________
Apr 25 2015
iborrego
avatar

 Triplogs 348

26 male
 Joined Oct 13 2012
 Tucson, AZ
Boucher TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Apr 25 2015
iborrego
Backpack12.00 Miles 2,290 AEG
Backpack12.00 Miles
2,290 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
_____________________
1 archive
Apr 18 2015
Booneman
avatar

 Guides 9
 Routes 33
 Photos 728
 Triplogs 2,946

38 male
 Joined Nov 25 2008
 Chandler, AZ
Boucher TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Apr 18 2015
Booneman
Hiking20.40 Miles 4,290 AEG
Hiking20.40 Miles   9 Hrs   30 Mns   2.40 mph
4,290 ft AEG   1 Hour    Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
Bob and I returned for our annual Grand Canyon trip to hike the Hermit trail to Boucher Rapids. Temperatures were warmer than we anticipated from the start and the mileage to the rapids was a bit longer than we wanted to tackle. Bob and I decided to turn around at Boucher Creek to conserve water and exit the canyon before it became too hot. This route is slow going as described, and quite steep at times. I really liked it though, especially the solitude. After the campsite near Yuma Point, we didn't see anyone else until we climbed back out and were greeting by the same couple from Flagstaff relaxing at their site.
_____________________
Mar 19 2015
friendofThunde
avatar

 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,737
 Triplogs 718

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
S.Bass to Silver Bell, AZ 
S.Bass to Silver Bell, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 19 2015
friendofThundergod
Backpack53.00 Miles 10,900 AEG
Backpack53.00 Miles4 Days         
10,900 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
John put together a nice four day trek to the Gems for the six of us. The shuttle was our biggest obstacle entering the trip. However, Karl and I solved that problem by volunteering to drive both cars back to our end trail head (Silver Bell) and then hiking the 11 miles back to our starting TH South Bass. I will admit I had lost some of my enthusiasm for the 11 mile road walk to start our trip, so on a suggestion from Chumley and John we asked the guy at the reservation boundary gate if he wanted to make a little extra money. He was unable to help but his uncle took up our offer and followed us to silver bell and then dropped us off at the TH for S. Bass, saving us 11 miles of forest road walking and putting us just a couple hours behind the main group.

We reunited with the group at a cool little camp site located along the ledges of Serpentine Canyon. The shuttle help turned day one into a nice pleasant hike down S. Bass, with time enough left over to make a trip to the Colorado. The only blemish on an otherwise perfect day was me missing the ruins coming down S. Bass.

Day two was a pretty modest 10 mile movement to our next camp. We all left late and found the Tonto to be warm at times, but managed just fine. Another cool camp, another night sleeping on ledge for me and another late night for me ;)

Day three required an earlier start with 15 miles of the Tonto to cover to get to Boucher. I loved the Tonto at moments and cursed it at times, but generally enjoyed it. We seemed to all cover the Tonto pretty quickly and made it to Boucher just in time to enjoy our non-shaded site. We located the route down into Slate Creek and mulled a potential trip back, but not in the works for day three. The only other eventful activity of day three was the trip down to Boucher Rapids.

I dreaded day four a little because of the climb up Boucher. However, I did not find the climb to be that bad and I was at Dripping Springs and the start of the Silver Bell before I knew it. I really liked the Silver Bell route. It was a little challenging, but nothing overwhelming and a great way to hike out of the canyon. John and I reached the vehicles first and drove to the boundary line road. When Chumley arrived we just picked up the rest of the group as they came out along the Boundary Road, once all accounted for it was to Flag for pizza.

Final thanks to John for going through the permit process and keeping me safe, Chumley and Karl for driving, some props to Kathy for hanging in there with a cold and a special thanks to clairebear for watching my delinquents.
Culture
Culture
Intrepid Back Shot
_____________________
8 archives
Mar 19 2015
Tough_Boots
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
South Bass to Silver Bell - THE GEMS, AZ 
South Bass to Silver Bell - THE GEMS, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 19 2015
Tough_Boots
Backpack51.00 Miles 11,050 AEG
Backpack51.00 Miles4 Days         
11,050 ft AEG37 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
9L put together a real hum-dinger of a trip :)

Thursday morning we headed down South Bass. We did some miles on the Tonto, hit the Colorado a couple times, and camped in some beautiful places. Sunday finally arrived and we headed up. There is no warm up-- just up. And then there is more up. And a lot more up. And then there is a cooler with beer.

Great time with some great people :D
_____________________
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan
1 archive
Mar 19 2015
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 338
 Photos 6,903
 Triplogs 803

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
South Bass to Silver Bell - THE GEMS, AZ 
South Bass to Silver Bell - THE GEMS, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 19 2015
BiFrost
Backpack51.48 Miles 9,238 AEG
Backpack51.48 Miles4 Days         
9,238 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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!!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boucher Creek Medium flow Medium flow
decent pools in and around the camp area

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dripping Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Ruby Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
small pools with light trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Sapphire Creek - GC Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
small pools with light trickle

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Serpentine Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
small pools with trickle

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Serpentine Creek - GC Light flow Light flow
light flow with multiple pool options

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Slate Creek Light flow Light flow
small pools with light flow

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Turquoise Creek - GC Light flow Light flow
small pools with light flow
_____________________
1 archive
Mar 19 2015
John9L
avatar

 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
South Bass to Silver Bell via the Tonto Trail, AZ 
South Bass to Silver Bell via the Tonto Trail, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 19 2015
John9L
Backpack53.75 Miles 10,500 AEG
Backpack53.75 Miles4 Days         
10,500 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Another memorable trip to the Canyon is complete! A group of six of us made the trek along the Tonto through The Gems over the course of four days. This was an amazing hike and we covered a lot of ground. Water was our biggest concern but we found plenty. Shade was also a premium. The following is a day by day triplog of our adventure.

Wednesday, March 18
Our group left Phoenix on Wednesday evening in two vehicles and made our way to Flagstaff where we topped off gas and grabbed some food at Crystal Creek. From there we drove all the way to the South Bass Trailhead. FR328 was completely dried out and relatively easy to follow. The Havasupai Gate was unmanned but we had to pay the following morning when arranging the shuttle. We camped at the South Bass Trailhead and turned in before midnight

Thursday, March 19
We woke on Thursday morning and started getting geared up. Karl and Lee left fairly early in the two vehicles to set up the shuttle. They paid a Havasupai member at the entrance gate to shuttle them between FR2501/2506 and the South Bass Trailhead. The total came to $100 ($25 for each vehicle and $50 for the shuttle). This worked out really well!

The rest of us started hiking around mid-morning and took our time dropping down the South Bass Trail. This trail was dried out and in excellent condition and easy to follow. We made decent time as we reached the Esplanade and then started the drop into Bass Canyon through the Supai and Redwall. This Redwall break is quite possibly the easiest break outside the corridor. The trail makes an easy descent through the break and then it’s high speed along the Bright Angel Shale. We arrived at the Tonto junction and gathered all four of us and then made the last few miles to Serpentine Canyon where we found cool and clear water and plenty of campsites.

About an hour after getting camp set up Karl and Lee showed up to our surprise. They told us about hiring the shuttle and this saved them at least two hours of hiking. They got situated and then our group day hiked to the Colorado River. The route down the wash is fairly easy to follow with a few minor obstacles in the way. We took a break at the Colorado River and I filtered three liters with my Sawyer Squeeze. The river was murky but easy to filter. From there our group returned to camp and settled in for the evening.

Friday, March 20
Our group started hiking around mid-morning as we only had ten miles to reach Turquoise Canyon for our second night’s camp. The going was easy at first but became more difficult as the sun beat down and temps rose into the 80’s. We reached Ruby Canyon around the five mile mark and took an extended break there. Ruby provided the rare opportunity for shade and there were a few small pools of water right at the trail crossing. We all rested here and filled up on water and drank electrolytes. From there we continued the final five miles to Turquoise Canyon where we set up camp.

Turquoise Canyon had lots of good camping available. FOTG and I selected sites under an overhang while the others set up just below us. There was good water available about a minute up canyon. After getting camp set up I went for a solo walk down canyon. I was surprised to find a full blown creek about a quarter mile down canyon. This area is so lush and beautiful! I spent just under an hour exploring. I wish I had more time and energy. I was curious if one can walk all the way to the river or if any obstacles impede progress. Anyways I returned to camp and all of us settled in for another night in paradise!

Saturday, March 21
All of us left camp fairly early around 7am. We have a long day ahead of us. We need to cross three major drainages and make it the fifteen miles to Boucher Camp. We wanted to get a jump on the heat. The first few miles were in shade and the temps were cool. All of us made good time as we reached Sapphire where we found good water at the crossing. We continued on and reached Agate which was dry. It was another five miles to Slate where we took an extended break in the shade. There was plenty of good water at the Slate crossing. Once again we refilled and drank electrolytes. From there we continued east and passed the monument that provides access to the bed of Slate Creek. FOTG and I wanted to go down there but didn’t have the energy. We want to plan another trip in the future.

It was a long day hiking but we finally reached Boucher Camp and set up camp. Afterward the four of us settle next to the creek in a shaded area and waited for Karl and Kathy to arrive. Sitting and relaxing is such a treat in the Canyon. It’s nice to not move after the long mileage day! Karl and Kathy arrived soon after and set up camp. From there the five of us, excluding Kathy, day hiked down Boucher to the river. This is a very easy hike and it was nice seeing the river up close for the second time. We all returned to camp and settled in for our last evening in the Canyon.

Sunday, March 22
All of us were dreading the hike out Boucher. The plan was to start early and exit the Canyon via the Silver Bell Trail. We’ll have to walk a few miles cross country through the forest and connect to the Boundary Road where the two vehicles are parked. The hike up Boucher was the typical grind but was easier with the early start. I hit the trail right at 6:30am and had cool weather and shade all the way to the top of the Supai. I continued the sunny traverse to Dripping Springs were I saw FOTG on the lower portion of Silver Bell. He said he would wait for me near the top.

The hike up Silver Bell was a joy! The old route has deteriorated but is easy to follow although very steep and loose in places. I didn’t realize how much elevation you gain there. You basically have to climb the Coconino, Toroweap and Kaibab layers. The climb is around a thousand feet and it took some effort! I met FOTG when the trail levels off in the forest and we followed an old road for a bit and then went cross country through the forest to the Boundary Road. Once there we headed west and connected on FR2506. The vehicles were about fifteen minutes down the road. We were both very happy and spent when we reached the vehicles. From there we played roundup and gathered the entire group. After that it was off to NiMarcos in Flag for pizza and wings!


This was one hell of a trip! We covered a lot of ground and saw a large portion of the Grand Canyon. Be careful when planning this hike because some of the drainages are seasonal and will dry up in the hot months. Thanks to Chumley and BiFrost for driving! And the entire group was a lot of fun and I look forward to the next adventure!
Culture
Culture
Campsite
_____________________
1 archive
Mar 19 2015
chumley
avatar

 Guides 75
 Routes 667
 Photos 13,238
 Triplogs 1,423

46 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
South Bass to Silver Bell via the Gems, AZ 
South Bass to Silver Bell via the Gems, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 19 2015
chumley
Backpack51.80 Miles 10,767 AEG
Backpack51.80 Miles4 Days         
10,767 ft AEG39 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
So this trip covers what is commonly known as "The Gems" -- The Tonto Trail between South Bass and Boucher.

For people who make this journey, the biggest factor is water availability. The NPS officially reports that there are no reliable sources of water along this route, though seasonally water can be found in some of the drainages. For those who read this doing research for a future trip, I'll start with the water report. (You may view the map and click each water source to see reports from trips other than this one.)

Water Report:
The 2014/2015 winter was near normal for precipitation in northern Arizona. It was unusually warm however, and most storms dropped rain on the south rim rather than snow. On our trip start date of 3/19, there was no snow pack anywhere on the south rim. There was no mud or any other sign of recent moisture on the road. The last precipitation had fallen on 3/2 ... a storm that dropped 1-2" of rain in the canyon with about a foot of snow on the South Rim. So it had been totally dry, sunny, and warm for 16 days when we began our hike.

In order west to east:
Bass: dry with isolated pools 1/2 mile below Tonto
Serpentine: pools and light flow at crossing. Nobody got sick from drinking it.
Emerald: pools and light flow
Quartz: dry
Ruby: dry with a few pools in rock
Jade: dry
Jasper: dry
Turquoise: pools and light flow above Tonto crossing. Very nice flow down canyon from crossing.
Sapphire: some pools and a light trickle at Tonto crossing.
Agate: dry
Slate: pools at crossing, light flow and larger pools just upstream of crossing
Topaz: dry
Boucher: flowing as normal. A reliable source all year.

A different time of year, or a different quantity of precipitation over the winter and your results may vary. Turquoise and Slate seem to be the most likely to find water. Serpentine is apparently fairly reliable in cooler months, but some have reported stomach illness due to mineral content. We did not experience that and 5 of us drank plenty from Serpentine.

The Gems:
Not really sure why it's called this. Of the officially named canyons (Serpentine, Ruby, Turquoise, Sapphire, Agate, Slate, and Topaz) one could argue that there are a few minerals that aren't gems. The unofficially named canyons don't help. In any case, it's all a ruse of reverse psychology since there are no rocks in any of these canyons that resemble their given names. In fact, there's nothing exotic, or particularly scenic about any of this trip! It's as if the names are given to give a false impression of something special!

Don't get me wrong. You're in the Grand Canyon. Thirty miles of absolute solitude in the middle of one of the 7 wonders of the world. On several occasions I looked around and felt incredibly small. It's a great perspective. But unless you are motivated to hike a trail just because it's on a map, this isn't the most scenic or interesting route you could spend your time on. (And yes, I realize there are plenty of people who are motivated by that).

The Hike:
John put this together, and I appreciate his planning. He was confident about our water sources (but gave up on Serpentine and hiked to the river to filter after a passing hiker told us a friend had gotten sick two years ago -- the rest of us drank it and survived just fine.) Approaching each drainage, we all would begin to doubt if water would be available, but it's amazing how accustomed you become to thinking a small pool is more than enough! Water was never a problem for us. I think we all carried more than necessary in anticipation of not finding any.

The Tonto is a great trail when it's out on the platform parallel to the river. When it dives into the drainages, it's a pain in the ass. If it was all on the platform, the hike would be so much more pleasant, but I would guess far more than half of it is in the drainages. The northern/western half is much rougher than the southern/eastern half. Serpentine, Emerald, Quartz and Ruby especially. The southern/eastern half canyons are easier to get through, with the exception of the two miles getting out of Slate Canyon which is rough. The descent into Topaz/Boucher is steep and loose, but at that point, you can see water and know that camp is near, so motivation and adrenalin easily overcomes the rest.

On our way out we opted for the Dripping Springs Route, formerly the Silver Bell Trail - the original trail built by Boucher from above Dripping Springs to his camp near the river. This old route is the real gem on this trip and a very pleasant way to exit the canyon without dealing with the crowds and tourists one would normally encounter by exiting on the Hermit Trail.

The Group:
It was great to hike with Kathy, Karl, Lee, John, and Kyle. Everybody is independent and hiked on their own, but also of similar ability and speed that we were all within a short distance of each other each day. It was nice to gather together each night at camp for dinner and desserts. Some people snore louder than mating canyon tree frogs, but luckily, ear plugs were packed and sleep was not interrupted. Also, some people seem to think that 4:30 is a perfectly normal time to get up in the morning. I'm still not sure why. :zzz:
Geology
Geology
Vishnu Schist
Culture
Culture
Campsite

dry Agate Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at the Tonto crossing

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Bass Canyon Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Secondhand report from other hikers. Small pools in the rock 1/4-1/2 mile down from the Tonto junction.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Boucher Creek Light flow Light flow
Nice consistent flow. Some short sections go underground between Boucher Trail and the Colorado River.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Emerald Canyon (Gems unofficial) Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Visible pools and some light flow between them at the Tonto crossing

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Jade Canyon (Gems unofficial) Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
No flow visible. One pot in the rocks with 20 or so gallons available for filtering



water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Ruby Creek - GC Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
No flow at all at Tonto crossing. A couple of small pots with stagnant water.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Sapphire Creek - GC Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
A few small pools and a light trickle at the Tonto crossing

dry Serpentine Canyon Dry Dry
No flow from Serpentine at the Colorado. Trip down from the Tonto was dry the entire way.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Serpentine Creek - GC Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry 100 feet below and 100 feet above the Tonto crossing. But pools and light trickle at crossing were enough for a night at camp. Reports that Serpentine is mineralized did not prove true for our group. Water tasted fine and 5 of us filtered and drank several liters each with no ill effects.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Slate Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
A couple of stagnant pools at the crossing, but 50 yards upstream, light flow and small cascades at least as far as 300 yards and probably farther. I didn't explore any farther.

dry Topaz Canyon Dry Dry
No flow in Topaz, but who needs it with Boucher so close?

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Turquoise Creek - GC Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Dry at crossing, but a seep just upstream provided a light trickle. About 300 yards upstream a good size tub about 3 feet deep provided plenty of water, and a good place to take a dip! The tub is very sheltered and should hold water for a long time into the hottest and driest times of year.
_____________________
Profound observer
5 archives
Mar 19 2015
slowandsteady
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

45 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
South Bass to Silver Bell - THE GEMS, AZ 
South Bass to Silver Bell - THE GEMS, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 19 2015
slowandsteady
Backpack47.88 Miles 8,878 AEG
Backpack47.88 Miles4 Days         
8,878 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
chumley
friendofThundergod
John9L
Tough_Boots
I was super excited to have been invited on this trip. I thought maybe I was getting a cold, but no way was I going to back out on the opportunity due to a little cough.

It was an adventure to see a new area of the Grand Canyon. I learned that crows will eat cough drops but will pass up Nyquil. It was comforting to find out that even those who appear extremely fit and excel at hiking will also dread that last day and the hike out!

My only regret is not making it down to Boucher Rapids...now it will eat at me until I get to go back!

I also want to do a Waldron-Dripping Springs-Silver Bell Loop now...
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Feb 16 2015
slowandsteady
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

45 female
 Joined Jan 05 2012
 Phoenix,AZ
Boucher - Hermit Loop, AZ 
Boucher - Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2015
slowandsteady
Hiking21.49 Miles 5,291 AEG
Hiking21.49 Miles   11 Hrs   48 Mns   1.98 mph
5,291 ft AEG      58 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
BiFrost
We earned our "You're an Idiot" badges on this hike. :y: (To be fair to the Ranger that said that...since it took me twice as long as Dave1 to do this hike, she probably would have been correct calling me an idiot)

We headed down Hermit as the sun was coming up. We turned onto the Boucher trail and headed for Yuma Point. Pretty quickly we realized our 10 hour plan might not work out, as HAZ Tracks was telling us we were doing 30 minute miles. I was nervous about what I would find on the Supai layer. It felt like the "flat" of Boucher had exposure. We ran into a group of three backpackers heading up who had spent the night at Yuma Point. They seemed to be enjoying themselves and didn't mention anything sketchy. I tried to calm my nerves,then I tripped over my own feet and fell down. Now my nerves were on full alert. We cruised by Yuma Point, finally dropping down into the supai layer, I just sat on my bum and scooted down a few spots. Anticipation was probably worse then what we encountered. I just took all the time I needed to go slow and careful.

Heading over to the red wall, another group of six was heading up from Hermit Creek. We chatted and this young girl said this was her first backpack! Way to go big! I asked her about exposure, she said she was just watching her feet and not looking around. She was a calming force, she came across that she was genuinely enjoying her hike. Hiking down Travertine Canyon called for a little more bum scooting but without exposure, it was enjoyable. Then it is never ending down until finally reaching the Tonto. We took a break and a deep breath.

Now for the Tonto, it felt good to be away from exposure and on nice trail. We could get Haz Tracks down to 22 minute miles, rebuilding my confidence. Just gorgeous scenery, we could see Boucher and Hermit Rapids and the Colorado was pretty green. Tonto was up and down and in and out. We spooked four deer before arriving at Hermit Creek. Karl pumped water and filled up our Camelbacks in the cool clear creek. After a short break we headed up to the Tonto-Hermit trail junction.

Now we just had Hermit left, approximately seven miles and done. I put my HAZ Tracks at half mile intervals, in hopes it would motivate me. During the initial switchbacks a large group of ten were headed down to Hermit Creek. Then on Cathedral Stairs we passed four more headed down to Hermit. We got to Breezy Point and I caught my breath. Now I just needed to do the three rolling miles to Santa Maria Spring, where I could take a nice break in a rocking chair. It is those giant steps and hauling yourself up that get you. The wind picked up a little, but it felt good. It got chilly quickly resting at Santa Maria. Ok, only 2.2 miles to go and done. With barely half a mile to go, we pulled out the headlamps and then finished in the dark. But, we finished!

Last May on our hike from Phantom Ranch to the rim via Bright Angel-Tonto-Hermit, we were racing the clock too. At the time we had a conversation wondering how long it would take to forget how painful that journey was. Apparently nine months.

Thank you Karl for taking me on these adventures and for having the patience to see that we both finish!
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Feb 16 2015
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 338
 Photos 6,903
 Triplogs 803

49 male
 Joined Nov 20 2012
 Phoenix, AZ
Boucher Hermit Loop, AZ 
Boucher Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Feb 16 2015
BiFrost
Hiking21.00 Miles 5,341 AEG
Hiking21.00 Miles   11 Hrs   47 Mns   2.04 mph
5,341 ft AEG   1 Hour   28 Mns Break
 
Partners partners
slowandsteady
End of Presidents Day weekend so after doing Humphrey's on Sunday we decided to follow up with Boucher Hermit Loop in the Canyon on Monday. First time down the Boucher Trail for either of us so the Supai and Redwall sections would be interesting. Turned out to be nothing too difficult but it was pretty slow down climb. However the traverse along Boucher Trail before dropping into Supai is very cool out to Yuma Point. After making it through the climbing sections we finally made the Boucher Tonto junction. Would have been nice to see Boucher Creek but time was not on our side. Tonto Trail was faster and we made it over to Hermit Creek quickly. First time seeing Hermit Creek and definitely have to be back to see more and hike down to the rapids. Took our longest break at Hermit and then started the long climb up Tonto and onto Hermit Trail. We had previously done Hermit Trail so we knew what to expect. Not sure if that's a good thing or not but it is an amazing trail regardless. Through the Cathedral Stairs and Redwall section which is always cool and on to the traverse over to Santa Maria Spring. We took one last break at the spring....tanked up on gatorade and snacks for the final push up the rim. We made it to the rim just as it was getting completely dark...long but great day hike in the Canyon!
Geology
Geology
Supai Group
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1 archive
Feb 14 2015
charlomechfry
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 Routes 76
 Triplogs 91

male
 Joined Nov 11 2011
 
Hermit Rapids Loop: Hermit to Butcher, AZ 
Hermit Rapids Loop: Hermit to Butcher, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Feb 14 2015
charlomechfry
Backpack23.92 Miles 6,473 AEG
Backpack23.92 Miles3 Days         
6,473 ft AEG
 
no photosets
1st trip
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2 archives
Oct 31 2014
gunungapi
avatar

 Photos 67
 Triplogs 9

48 male
 Joined Mar 17 2014
 Tucson, AZ
Hermit-Tonto-Boucher-Dripping Springs, AZ 
Hermit-Tonto-Boucher-Dripping Springs, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Oct 31 2014
gunungapi
Backpack22.00 Miles 2,290 AEG
Backpack22.00 Miles3 Days         
2,290 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
My friend Sam and I, along with several kids from each of our families, usually manage at least one Grand Canyon hike per year. Several years ago we had hiked the Hermit Trail to Hermit Creek, and we all enjoyed it quite a bit. This year we decided to hike down the Hermit Trail again, but to come back out via the Boucher Trail. Sam brought two of his kids (ages 13 and 15) and I brought two of mine (ages 12 and 14).

Day 1: Hermit trailhead to Hermit Creek

We started off at the Hermit trailhead about mid morning. The weather was perfect. We ran in difficulties, though, just shy of Santa Maria Springs, when Sam had a major wardrobe malfunction: the back half the sole on one boot separated from the upper. We sat for a few minutes and considered how to proceed. We didn’t have any extra boots back at the trailhead vehicle, so getting a replacement was going to be a time consuming process. As far as repairing the boot, Sam had a tube of superglue in his backpack and I had some duct tape, but we didn’t think that either one would repair the boot well enough to complete the hike. Sam was carrying some Teva sandals in his backpack, however, and he decided that he could make do with those if he had to. We decided we would nurse the boot along as far as possible, hopefully getting through some of the roughest downhill stretches.

Accordingly, we applied superglue and wrapped several lengths of duct tape over the joint and around the heel. This pseudo repair lasted a couple more miles before giving way. Not willing resort to hiking in Tevas, we wracked our brains for another repair method. We finally seized upon the idea of using some zip ties that I had in my backpack to “sew” the heel back onto the upper. We punched three holes through the heel at the top edge and three corresponding holes in the leather upper directly above them, threaded a zip tie through each set of holes, and then cinched the zip ties tight. This repair worked perfectly and Sam was able to wear the boot throughout the rest of the hike. (See the photos for the boot repair.) We were rather proud of our MacGyver-ism.

The remainder of the descent to Hermit Creek went smoothly. The trail was in good shape, in fact better shape than when we had hiked it several years before. During that hike some of our party had gotten slightly off track during part of the descent through the Supai, but this time the trail was so plainly marked that we weren’t even sure when we had passed through the trouble spot.

When we arrived at Hermit Creek, the only open camp site was the one with the overhang. I believe others have referred to it as the “penthouse”, though we ended up calling it the Urine Camp because of the odor that surrounded it. While it is a beautiful spot with soft, level sand, and a convenient stone table, it appears that perhaps too many people are waking in the night and just peeing right outside the perimeter. I don’t recommend choosing this spot without first sitting at ground level and taking a whiff. Hopefully a good rain will clear things up for future campers.

We didn’t hike down to the Colorado this time. Instead, Sam and I relaxed while the kids played in the creek.

Day 2: Tonto Trail to Boucher Creek, then up the Boucher Trail to the saddle at Whites Butte

Despite the relatively late time in the year, it stayed so warm overnight that we could sleep on top of our sleeping bags most of the night. The sky had clouded over, and it stayed that way all of the following day.

Not long after starting out on the Tonto we spied something shiny a few yards off the trail. I dropped my pack to fetch it, and it turned out to be a large foil balloon with “Happy Birthday” emblazoned on it. Who knows how far it drifted before landing where it did – there’s probably a little girl somewhere in California mourning the loss of her balloon. Anyway, since my son was turning 15 in a week, I presented it to him. I hate picking out presents, and what fifteen-year-old doesn’t love getting a balloon for his birthday?

I can see how hiking on the Tonto could be a bit monotonous if you’ve hiked it numerous times, but being as to how this was my first time over this stretch of ground, I thought it was quite beautiful. There were numerous interesting rocks on the ground just outside of Hermit Creek and again just before reaching Boucher Creek, the approach to Travertine Canyon was quite striking, and the views of the Colorado River were noteworthy as well. I was the only one in our party with a camera, so I often lagged behind to take photos.

We reached Boucher Creek about noontime. We spent a while finding the cabin and the mining tunnel, and then Sam and I settled down for a nap while the kids tried to dam the creek. My nap never really got started because of all the bugs, so hiked down to the Colorado River instead. While it was a pleasant walk, the route down Hermit Creek is nicer. If you only have time for one, walk down Hermit Creek instead of Boucher Creek.

Mid afternoon we filled up on water, and started up the Boucher trail toward the saddle by Whites Butte. Sam and I were carrying extra water for camp that night, so we were working pretty hard. I was interested to see how the trail would take us through the Redwall, but the route turned out to be rather unremarkable – straight up a canyon that forms a break in the Redwall.

We reached the saddle at about 5 pm and went about setting up camp. This was a beautiful place to camp, with fantastic views on every side. You felt that you had some elevation even though the saddle is broad enough that you don’t have to worry about a kid getting up in the middle of the night to take a leak and wandering off a cliff. It was definitely worth the effort of hauling water up the hill instead of camping at the creek.

After the tents were set up, my younger son wanted to explore Whites Butte, and the rest of us followed him up. We had to move quickly because the sun was soon to set. The climb was easy and the top was fun – contrary to its appearance from the saddle, the top is a ridge instead of a point. Walking/climbing along the ridge was exhilarating, giving one the feeling of being on top of the world. The views from the top were well worth the climb.

While we were on the butte, several from our party saw a hiker heading down the trail toward Boucher Creek. This was the only hiker we would see that day after leaving Hermit Creek, or for that matter the next day until the Boucher Trail met up with Dripping Springs Trail. Blessed solitude!

We got back to camp at about 6 pm just at full dark. We ate dinner and went to bed early because it was dark, it was getting cold, and we were bushed.

Day 3: Boucher Trail to Dripping Springs Trail to Hermit Trail and out

Rain started falling at almost exactly midnight. I got up and covered our packs and made my older son come into the tent for the remainder of the night. It rained steadily until about 7 am in the morning. I had trouble sleeping, listening to the rain and wondering if the trail would turn into a slippery, unstable morass of mud. I became less worried about the trail conditions when I got up before dawn during a brief lull in the rain to dig a hole (for a reason that will go unnamed in this polite triplog) and found that the ground was wet to only half an inch deep or so. The rain was steady but rather light.

As a side note, we found out that a Tyvek home wrap ground cloth is waterproof enough to work as an improvised rain fly. (The real rain fly was not discovered until unpacking one of the packs after the conclusion of the hike.)

This day started out cold because of the rain, and wind was whipping across the saddle. By the time that we had broken camp and started out on the trail, though, the sky was clearing and the temperature warming a little. Looking up at the Supai above us, we predicted that today’s climb wouldn’t be as difficult as the previous day’s climb through the Redwall, and it turns out that we were right. While the trail went straight up at times, it was in decent shape, and it was easy to follow. I had read online reports that the trail was difficult to follow and somewhat intense as it passed through the Supai, but we did not find this to be the case. Maybe the Park Service has performed maintenance on it.

It took us a couple of hours after we broke camp to get to the overlook below Yuma Point. This would be a scenic place to camp, but I wouldn’t want to do it with kids because I’d be worried about someone wandering off a cliff in the night. I got startled pretty good by a wind gust while taking a photo at the edge of the cliff, making me glad that I was standing a few feet back from the edge.

The trail from overlook over to where it met up with the Dripping Springs Trail and then the Hermit Trail was easy going. This flat section of the trail was probably in the worst shape of any section, because of numerous washouts. Fortunately only a few of the washouts were at areas with exposure, and they were easily negotiated.

We arrived at the Hermit trailhead about five hours after breaking camp.

Overall, I really enjoyed hiking this trail. It was great to see a part of the Grand Canyon that I had never seen before. The helicopters, which so many others have complained about on this trail, were not too bad, probably because of the time of year. In fact we didn’t hear any helicopters at all from mid day on the second day until noon on the third day -- I suspect because of the heavy cloud cover. If I have one complaint about the Boucher Trail, it’s that it’s all feast or famine: extremely steep or nearly level. That being said, it’s a minor complaint, and the steepness of the trail is really just due to topography and where the breaks in the cliffs lie. Half the fun of the trail is wondering how it’s going to get you through the next layer of cliffs towering above you. I probably won’t repeat this hike any time soon, but I am looking forward to trying out some of the other less maintained trails in the Grand Canyon sometime soon.
_____________________
Jun 07 2014
friendofThunde
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 Guides 18
 Routes 280
 Photos 7,737
 Triplogs 718

37 male
 Joined Jan 21 2013
 AZ
Boucher to Bright Angel, AZ 
Boucher to Bright Angel, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Jun 07 2014
friendofThundergod
Backpack54.90 Miles 12,700 AEG
Backpack54.90 Miles5 Days         
12,700 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
I was finally able to do something of subsistence in the Grand Canyon. A big thanks to 9L who designed a nearly perfect initial 5 day excursion into the Grand Canyon. This time of year is not the easiest to plan with the lack of water and high temperatures, so our options were a little limited. Nevertheless, we came up with a plan that included starting at Hermit's Rest, taking Hermit Trail to Boucher Trail and then to my home for two nights along the Colorado River near Boucher Rapids. From there it was Hermit's Creek, then Monument Creek and on the final day the Tonto East from Monument Creek to Bright Angel and out.

Quick Anecdote: We had a crotchety SGT in our platoon during my last deployment to Afghanistan. Typical old guy, deployed like four times, woke up at three every day, always grumpy etc anyways, he would always compare me to the young mouthy guy from Biloxi Blues. So every now and then when it was a moment know one was thinking about laughing I would say SGT Blank, "man its hot today, its like Africa hot," and he would reluctantly chuckle. How does this relate to the Grand Canyon? Well just a heads up, "The Canyon is hot, like Africa hot right now!" I found myself repeating that phrase in my head several times over my five days in the bottom of the Canyon and in the absence of another hiker it was just enough to usually make me chuckle.

I drove up on Friday June 6th. I treated myself to some great Thai food in Williams of all places! I am a huge Thai fan and I give this place two thumbs up, Dara Thai Cafe worth a stop for sure. I got to the Canyon when they were still charging admission, but I told the lady of my plans and she just let me in for free and gave me permission to sleep in BCO parking lot, so that worked out just about perfect, gotta love it when things fall together like that. Only problem was the Canyon was bumping and that coupled with a little anxiety literally meant I got about 35 total minutes of sleep. No worries though to echo the words of one of my over-caffeinated drill sergeants, "sleep is a crutch for the weak." That would have to be my motto on day one as my first real intro into the Grand Canyon would be Boucher Trail.

Day 1:

Made first shuttle to Hermit's Rest, 4:30 a.m. Was boots on trail by about a quarter after five, skipped my intended carb loaded breakfast in lieu of 8-9 hour old Thai food that had been sitting in my car all night, turned out to be about only bad decision of trip. Stepped off with over 160 ounces of fluid, visited Dripping Springs, saw no one, loved the mild challenge of Boucher, got annoyed quickly by helicopter traffic and eventually had feet in Colorado River by 11:30 a.m. Tried to eat a little lunch, then literally spent about 4-5 hours in some of worst stomach pain ever. Cant figure out if it was mild dehydration, the Thai Food, first day acclimating to the oven or what, but was literally out of commission lying next to Boucher Rapids in a little grotto of trees until nearly six in the evening.

Day 1 Tally's: 11.7 miles, 5:13 a.m. to 11:17 a.m. Including frozen Gatorade carried nearly 170 oz, used about 80 oz of water and half of Gatorade to reach river.

Day 2: Slept in late. Woke up to find that my picturesque camp site had turned into Kuwait over night and nearly buried me in sand inside of my own tent sans rain fly of course. Lesson learned scorching hot canyons equal thermals and high winds at night leading to lots of blowing sand! My ambitions were a little curtailed by late start but stepped on the Tonto and headed West to Slate Creek, made a couple half-hearted and very cautious attempts at entering the Slate Creek drainage and eventually making my way to Crystal Rapids. I think I know how it can be done, but was not feeling overly adventurous on second day solo in back country and five miles from camp, so I headed back to camp with Slate Creek being my furthest advance west in Canyon now. Did finally get braver and hit up what I thought were some very promising over hangs and caves on way back, but found nothing. Later that evening I read in Spangler's hiking guide that she had actually attempted to drop down into Slate Creek on one of her trips but was probably turned back by the same impassable pour over that I hit in one of the eastern "finger-like" side drainages. I guess if proper side drainage is chosen one can enter Slate, with the attraction being to view Crystal Rapids. I was certainly on the right track, just lacked full commitment I guess and my private beach along the Colorado was calling.

Day 2 Tally's: 10.8 miles :started late 6:33 was back to camp just after noon.

Day 3: Went from Boucher Rapids camp to Hermit's Creek area. There were two other groups there, loved Hermit's Creek, rapids were great, saw a herd of Big Horn, lounged around pool area, day was only slightly diminished by man in HAZMAT suit cleaning the restroom all day. Hermit's Creek was by far the highlight of the trip.

Day 3 Tally's: 10.3 miles, left Boucher Rapids 5:30 a.m arrived Hermits Creek around 9 hiked to rapids and back and a little upstream exploration, lots of rest and relaxation around creek.

Day 4: Easy hike to Monument Creek, left late in morning had no need to rush. Forest service employee let me take a little off my load by allowing me to put trash in barrel on pallet that was being flown out by helicopter later in day. Was fully prepared to pack it all out, but could not turn down opportunity to get rid of three days worth of mountain house packages, and snack wrappers :) Explored the narrows of Monument Creek, real cool! Hiked down to Granite Rapids, watched a few boats go through, prepped gear and made final preparations for longest day yet to come.

Day 4 Tally's: 7.2 miles. Lost a bag of Peach O's to desert Sun, completely liquefied them inside baggie, making them inedible, believe me I tried, it was a very sad discovery

Day 5: Started early, in fact, very early left camp at 3:34 a.m. Plan was to use the generous light from moon, however, there was a slight problem with that, as moon had set before I even stepped off, alas, it would be a head lamp hike after all, not one lit by the moon. Even with following it for the first time and following the first portions of it in complete darkness, Tonto East proved to be a race track and I was at Indian Gardens around 8.

I took a short break and then prepared to take the United Nation's walk up the Bright Angel. Everyone knows the Bright Angel is what it is, so I just appreciated it for its awesome grade and well kept trail.

Day 5 Tally's: 14.9 miles, left camp 3:34 a.m. was on South Rim and walking to BCO lot by 10:20 a.m.

Final Notes and Observations:

My camp along the Colorado had a certain stranded desert island appeal to it. I certainly was not swimming across the Colorado and with cliffs to my back, lots of AEG, and a limited shore line my world for two days was pretty much relegated to about a 45 meter white sand stretch of beach.

One of the guide books I read said something on the lines of, "it is impossible to hike in the Grand Canyon and not become at least an amateur geologist." I think there is certainly some merit in that statement, I found myself pondering rock stuff more than probably at any previous moment in my life. A truly fascinating place...

Lessons Learned: Throw out all preconceived notions about what constitutes an early start when hiking in the Canyon during warm months. Anything after six better not have far to go, 5-5:30 solid start time, 4-5 better, anything before 4 ideal for long days.
Fauna
Fauna
Bighorn Sheep
Geology
Geology
Beach
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2 archives
May 04 2013
Tough_Boots
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 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

40 male
 Joined Mar 28 2008
 Phoenix, AZ
Boucher / Hermit Loop, AZ 
Boucher / Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 04 2013
Tough_Boots
Backpack30.10 Miles 8,286 AEG
Backpack30.10 Miles3 Days         
8,286 ft AEG
 
1st trip
This was a fun three days! We woke up Saturday morning at Haley's and headed over to the trailhead. We decided to hit Dripping Springs first since it wasn't too far out of the way and ended up hiking with a guy from Brooklyn who seemed to enjoy our banter or at least was good at pretending. We hung out at the springs for a minute and dunked our hats/bandanna's and were on out way.

The Boucher Trail is one hell of a trail. Its harder going down then most trails I've ever gone up. Its beautiful and well worth every step, though. Chumley and John quickly broke ahead of me as usual and I had a nice quite morning to myself hiking through the canyon. I missed the turnoff to Boucher Camp and luckily realized soon after that I should have already dropped in. I turned around and met up with them at our camp spot for the night. There would be two other groups there that night. We took our time setting up and I took some time to drink a beer while soaking my feet in the cool creek.

After resting a bit, we headed down creek to the Colorado to check out Boucher Rapids. Everyone had the same idea and we passed quite a few people as they headed back. The Colorado is always nice to see. We headed back and lounged for the rest of the day.

We woke up sunday and took our time packing up. It was going to be a short and easy day. We climbed back up to the Tonto and took it over to Hermit Camp. We were the first ones there so we ended up with the penthouse spot-- John picked the sweet spot. After setting up camp, we headed down creek to check out Hermit Rapids. Hermit Creek is awesome! Waterfalls and areas where it tightens into a slot canyon. It was really fun. We hung out at the river for a bit and headed back. John wanted to make a little loop and take an old trail back up to the Tonto where we could check out the old Hermit Camp ruins. Those were pretty interesting. Its hard to believe they actually used to run a cable car down there. We got back to camp and slowly watched it fill up as more backpackers showed up.

Monday we got packed up pretty quick. We knew it was going to be a trudge back out of there and we wanted to be out pretty early. It was a beautiful hike out and the temperature turned out to be perfect. It sprinkled for a few minutes which was actually nice. John and Chumley finished just a little ahead of me and I finished in just under four hours. Awesome hike out!

Good times and good company! Thanks for setting this up, 9L!
Geology
Geology
Tapeats Sandstone
Culture
Culture
Cag Shot
Named place
Named place
Hermit Creek
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"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan
May 04 2013
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 170
 Photos 4,848
 Triplogs 1,619

male
 Joined Mar 12 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Boucher / Hermit Loop, AZ 
Boucher / Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 04 2013
John9L
Backpack30.10 Miles 8,286 AEG
Backpack30.10 Miles3 Days         
8,286 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Our trip started on Saturday morning from Hermits Rest. We quickly made our way down and headed for Dripping Springs. After a quick stop we connected to the Boucher Trail and started the traverse across the top of the Supai. The going is easy along this shadeless section. We continued on and stopped by Yuma Point to enjoy the views which were stunning! From there we continued our traverse and then started the descent through the Supai which was steep and rough. Once at the bottom we proceeded towards Whites Butte. Our original plan was to make a quick summit but I was running low on water and the trail was taking its toll. We decided to continue on which lead us through the break in the Redwall. Again the going is steep and loose as you drop toward Boucher Camp. The lower sections winds back and forth and continued dropping. It seemed like it would never end...

We arrived at Boucher Camp to find two other groups settled in but no one was there. We picked a site and then I immediately pumped water from Boucher Creek. As I pumped I soaked in the beauty of this area and tried to imagine what it must have been like back in the days of Louis Boucher. It must have been quite a site with a tourist camp and a variety of fruit bearing trees. Boucher Creek is a welcome oasis!

Anyways after we got camp set we started the hike to the Colorado. This section of canyon is beautiful. The creek is flowing and the walls rise up around you. We strolled to the river and passed at least a dozen of our fellow campers. Once at the river we took our time exploring the area and got to watch a massive boat power through the rapid. It went so fast as everyone sat in their seat. Didn't look like much fun compared to all the small rafts I've seen fight their way through the rapids. Our return hike was very chill and we all settled into camp for the night.

We woke on day two and took our time packing up. The plan was two hike the five miles to Hermit Camp and then day hike to the river. We started the hike across the Tonto and took a few quick stops to enjoy the views. We all hiked at our own pace and I was the first to arrive at camp. As I neared Hermit Camp I was delighted to see the entire area was vacated! My eyes then lead me to the "Penthouse". The site called to me and I hurried down hoping to beat anyone else just showing up. Naturally I scored the site (see pics) and Hermit Camp would instantly turn into one of my favorite camps ever! Yes I have a lot of these. :)

After camp was set up we made the walk to the Colorado. Hermit drainage is another gem! We lazily followed Hermit Creek and stopped for pics and periods just to admire the beauty! Did I ever say I like the Canyon? If not I am now! :D Hermit Rapid is another strong one. There weren't any rafters as we chatted it up with some backpackers. From there we headed back up stream and cruised by the old cable system set up on the Bright Angel Shale. The operation was impressive. I didn't realize how large the footprint was. It took us some time to walk around. Afterward we returned to camp and several groups showed up very late in the day. They all looked envious at our "Penthouse" location.

I woke on our final day to hear Chumley tearing down camp. I got up and started prepping for the hike out. I was ecstatic to see overcast. It was going to be a cool hike out. Chumley left early as Kyle and I packed up our gear. We started the hike out just as our neighbors were starting to stir. They really slept in. The first few miles were uneventful. The hike up the Cathedral Stairs took some effort. Chumley was up ahead and left several calling cards for us which helped bring out a laugh despite the grind hiking out. See pics. I finally caught up with Chumley near the Santa Maria Spring. We had a chat and then made the hike out.

We've been hitting the Canyon hard and it never disappoints! Every trip leaves me wanting more! I never want them to end. Each one becomes a part of me. Thanks to Chumley and Kyle for coming out for this one and thanks Hippy for putting up with us for the short time we stayed with you.
Geology
Geology
Tapeats Sandstone
Culture
Culture
Campsite
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average hiking speed 2.15 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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