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Tonto Trail: Hermit Trail to Boucher Trail - 14 members in 36 triplogs have rated this an average 4.1 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Jan 17 2021
desertadapted
avatar

 Photos 117
 Triplogs 23

45 male
 Joined Apr 25 2017
 Phoenix, AZ
Hermit/Tonto/Boucher Loop, AZ 
Hermit/Tonto/Boucher Loop, AZ
 
Hiking avatar Jan 17 2021
desertadapted
Hiking20.00 Miles 5,300 AEG
Hiking20.00 Miles
5,300 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
I’m in the very early stages of trying to hike the Canyon’s named trails. This weekend was supposed to be the Hermit/Boucher loop on Sunday and an out-and-back on New Hance or Tanner on Monday. Only finished the first.

I’d done Hermit before, and love it. Started at ~6:15. I really enjoy the extended lateral hikes between the steep drops on Hermit. It feels so much more organic to me than Bright Angel or Kaibab (though it lacks Kaibab’s huge views). It’s also not as brutally steep as Grandview. I had the trail to myself, and trail conditions remain excellent. I encountered four backpackers coming out of Hermit Camp. I imagine they had a really cold night but they looked in good spirits. I refilled a liter there and continued on the Tonto. Conditions were chilly, clear and beautiful. I was feeling kind of weak for some reason, which was going to punish me on the way up Boucher. It also took away my motivation to take pictures – I just wanted to keep moving.

Reports that you should go up Boucher, rather than down, are absolutely spot on. Steep and pebbly in some sections, scrambly in a few others, it was definitely a chore going uphill, but it’s not something I would have wanted to go down. It’s striking how much less maintained it is than Hermit, given their proximity. It also suffers from repeatedly entering drainages, which I imagine makes maintenance challenging. There was no water on trail. I have to say, I don’t anticipate going out of my way to take Boucher again. Hermit is just so much easier to climb. I was pooped by the end, and scuttled the idea of New Hance or Tanner, while putting away a pizza and some beer. It’s a bit of a schlep to drive from the Valley to the Canyon for a single day hike, but I just couldn’t motivate. Next time!

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Hermit Creek Heavy flow Heavy flow
_____________________
Apr 15 2017
Tortoise_Hiker
avatar

 Routes 80
 Photos 7,551
 Triplogs 2,881

60 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.
Apr 15 2017
joebartels
avatar

 Guides 245
 Routes 837
 Photos 12,327
 Triplogs 4,975

51 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
_____________________
- joe
Mar 11 2017
BiFrost
avatar

 Guides 4
 Routes 372
 Photos 8,276
 Triplogs 1,006

51 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

47 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:
_____________________
Mar 31 2016
writelots
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 Guides 19
 Routes 40
 Photos 5,607
 Triplogs 340

48 female
 Joined Nov 22 2005
 Tucson, AZ
Tonto Trail: South Bass to Hermit, AZ 
Tonto Trail: South Bass to Hermit, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 31 2016
writelots
Backpack50.00 Miles 5,600 AEG
Backpack50.00 Miles6 Days         
5,600 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
And now, ladies and gentleman, an epic tale of adventure, danger and triumph in the grandest canyon on earth...

I've been trying to "get er done" with this hike for years. My concept of hiking the whole of the Tonto from the LCR to Royal Arch Creek seemed doable enough back in 2009 - and now 7 years later I can finally count it finished :y: . The Gems passage between South Bass and Hermit may not be the most difficult portion of this route, but it has proven over the years to logistically challenging and down right elusive. Cancelled shuttles, sick hiking partners and bad weather have cancelled my prior 3 attempts at this stretch of the trail. I vowed that come hell, high water or bad roads I would complete it this year - and the canyon pulled out some of her best attempts at stopping me.

Oh, and doing the trip this way means you have to hike out Hermit, which I hate by the way. Just sayin'.

The days before our hike, a storm blew into Northern AZ which threatened to make the roads impassable out to South Bass. A stroke of luck kept the worst of the moisture away from our area, and the roads were dry and safer than expected. It seemed almost a let-down that there was no mud on the road in, as I'd really sold it hard to my hiking companions not familiar with that road that as was gnarly and potentially dangerous. Of course, the fact that I was still finding red mud in my Subaru 3 years after driving it to do Royal Arch should have been evidence enough. Thanks to Tim for getting us out there safe and happy!

We originally had permits to camp at South Bass TH the night before our hike in, and we were VERY glad we changed our itinerary to drive in and hike down on the same day. Although it meant a very LONG hike in, it also let us spend that 11 degree night in a camping trailer (provided by the most generous Scat Daddy) rather than cowboy camping it. It ALSO meant that we didn't have to carry the gear needed for 11 degree camping with us for the remaining 5 nights ... none of which dropped below about 40. All around, a great choice!

Day 1: South Bass and Rainbows
I love this trail...up and down it is a delight to hike. The little break you get crossing the Esplanade under the watchful eye of Mount Huethawali feels like a piece of heaven. I was making up a little tune (think along the lines of Gentle On my Mind) as we hiked in...

"Well I'm back here on the Esplanade,
Making up a country song,
Hiking in with some of my good friends,
I feel I'm back where I belong,
in spite of this here country song,
walkin' through the canyon once again..."


If you read Sirena's trip report, you'll note that a couple of the folks we ran into that day either knew her or me or both of us, which made for a fun bit of conversation. I love knowing that our community of Grand Canyon devotees is not as big as one might fear, and that we all congregate in season about the waterholes and overhangs of our favorite side canyons.

Our trip for water down to Bass Tanks was hot and stressful, but in the end we got enough to drink to support a dry camp out on the point (always a preference!). I'd like to say that we took the wrong route to the tanks (following the creek instead of the trail) on purpose, looking for waterholes we'd found before. But the truth was that we really had no idea what we were doing, and we made a long trip even longer. Luckily, no permanent harm was done and the worst thing that happened was that we were short on mileage for day 1. We made camp on the plateau just before the trail turned back to the south.

When we set our packs down, I pointed out a substantial storm that was building over the Powell Plateau. We all excitedly headed down to the edge of the plateau to see the river, and the storm kept building. Once we realized that it was actually going to hop across the canyon at us, we rushed back to try to make camp before it hit. Instead, we made camp as it hit - with strong winds whipping our tents and tarps out of our hands and strong spray blinding us as we tried to stake everything down. I think the strongest rain was falling for about 5-10 minutes after we got the tents and all up, but it was never really a downpour. When the drops got more infrequent we crawled back out and were treated to that golden-light show that only a sunset shower in the canyon can give you. Even rainbows to play in!

"There's a storm brewin' across the rim,
but Roger says the chance of rain is slim.
Well either way the wind begins to blow.
The rain it beats upon my face
putting me back in to my place
I just hope it doesn't turn to snow."


Day 2: Helicopters and Bright Sunshine

The morning was brilliant as we watched a (much less spectacular) sunrise. We decided to try to follow a pattern of breaking camp before breakfast and eating later on the trail to make the most of our cooler morning hours. We figured it was about 2.5 miles into Serpentine, and we made it in a little over an hour. The hike back into the back of the canyon was a little more challenging than I'd anticipated - the Tonto platform is narrow going into the back of the canyon, and there were many little twists and turns to navigate. None the less, it was a spectacular morning for hiking - with blooming prickly pear abundant, the sage busting out with dark green foliage and delicate yellow flowers and a cloudless blue sky.

"We're Tontouring into Serpentine,
The rocks are brown, the sage is green,
The cacti have such lovely bright pink blooms,
I hope the canyon's kind to me,
I hope I hike out gracefully,
and not have this big rock hole be my tomb...
"

We filled up a few containers with water in Serpentine. Reports of the quality of this water vary from "just fine" to "damn near poison", and we weren't sure which to believe. Like any seasoned canyon hiker, though, we were aware that passing a water source with empty bottles is tantamount to running with scissors - so we topped of. Some people tried a "blend" of Serpentine water, while others kept it in a separate emergency storage device. In the end, after all was said and done, our feelings on the water were mixed. No one reported major intestinal issues, but I've always had difficulties with my inards on backpacking food and water, so it's tough to say what the culprit might have be.

Like most groups, we don't always hike close to each other, but instead accordion out across the trail. John (who earned the trail name BBJ) was out in the lead - still nervous that he wouldn't be able to keep up (obviously he hadn't hiked with me before!). Sirena was cruising in second, a real force of nature out there on the trail. Then the accordion collapsed behind her when she stopped with some unexplained leg pain.

I'll refer you to her very detailed and fascinating triplog for details on her injury, call for help and subsequent rescue: [ triplog ]. We waved goodbye to the helicopter (video here: ) and then encountered that very surreal moment where there's nothing left to do but pick up your pack and start walking again. Minus one.

The rest of the day felt decidedly anticlimactic. We Tontoured in and out of Emerald and Quartz canyons - both of which were very standard, easy Tonto canyons. As we headed back into Ruby our water bottles were getting down to just the Serpentine blends and we were glad to be approaching what we'd been told was a pretty dependable source. The sun went behind the canyon walls while we collected water and chatted with the group planning to camp there (they were curious about the helicopter since they'd all spoken to Sirena as they passed us).

"I'm looking into Ruby now,
my feet are tired, and are they how,
I'm hoping for just one small bit of shade.
The ground is hard, the sun is hot,
for water we've just this one shot
and miles to go before our camp is made."


We watered up and kept on hiking out to a sweeping vista overlooking a particularly pretty piece of marbled schist. A point camp on the Le Conte Plateau made a wonderful place to watch the stars, regain some much needed nutrients and wonder how our friend was doing up on the rim.

Day 3-4: Slogging Out the Miles

The trail description written by the NPS on this portion of the Tonto is full of warnings about the remoteness and challenge of this piece of the Tonto (which felt misleading since we leap-frogged with 2-3 groups the whole way). However, in the end they say, "..it is mostly just a question of slogging out the miles".

If this is slogging, sign me up for a lifetime of it.

We hiked through Jade and Jasper quickly in the morning before breakfast. We knew from the day before that the heat was on its way, and we wanted to water up before it hit too hard. The Shaler Plateau is beautiful with its Muave cliffs and views of the greater canyon's constriction at the Scorpion Ridge on the north side of the river.

"Turquoise is up around the bend
the trail's red, it's green, it's brown again
It's changing just as quickly as my mind.
I love the canyon's morning light
the wren's call and the raven's flight
the worries of the modern world they mend."


Turquoise is a delightful tributary to hike back into, with lots of great views down into the Tapeats narrows and across the very narrow canyon. The big natural rock tank near the trail junction was a delightful place to rest and filter water - with some amorous frogs to keep us entertained and plenty of beautiful ledges to rest on.

After departing Turquoise, the trail becomes more Tonto like than ever, with a long, relatively flat hike around Castor Temple. It started to get quite hot, and so when we started back into Sapphire, we were really hoping for a shady afternoon siesta. The canyon is quite open compared to the previous Tapeats gorges, though, and the floor is baking in the sun...

...except for the space just under 2 Apache pines at the base of the canyon just below the trail crossings. Glorious pine tree shade! We napped until the sun dipped behind the walls of the rim, then gathered water from the slick rock pools upstream. We hiked on, determined to make enough miles to give us some room for a trip to the river the next day, and we ended up at a glorious rock shelf suspended in the middle of the rocky and dry Agate Canyon.

That night, we played with our headlamps and long-exposure camera shots to pay tribute to our lost comrade. We watched the stars (so brilliant with the late moon rise) and contemplated the nature of the universe that was laid out before us.

Then its back on the Tonto - singing my new lyrics and enjoying the eternal views. Scylla Butte made me think of my favorite Stripey Butte on the AZT Passage 17a, and it made me miss my hiking buddy even more.

"I'm out here on the wide plateau,
how far it goes, it's hard to know
you walk until your feet can go no more.
The side creeks all fall into line
already eight, or was it nine?
the Tonto always has some more in store."


Water was plentiful in Slate Creek, once you get down to it. Of course, like all of the Tonto canyons that deliver a big drop through the Tapeats to get to their floor, you get a nice healthy climb to get back out and up on the plateau again. By this time, though, we were feeling quite strong and it was fun to climb. Besides, it was but a warm up for the big show coming our way at Boucher Creek.

Hiking around Marsh Butte involves navigating some massive landslides that are reasonably recent as Grand Canyon landslides go. We picked our way through boulder fields and dry moraines, hiding from the intense sun under the cover of my umbrella. rounding the corner into Boucher is like entering a whole new type of canyon - the amphitheater created by Topaz and Boucher Creek is MASSIVE, crowned by Vesta Temple.

The descent into Boucher follows a huge collapse in the Tapeats that keeps you looking upstream in Topaz Canyon. It was steep and rugged enough to motivate us to put away the umbrellas and use both poles (and our full concentration) on keeping our feet where they belonged and our pumpkins off the dirt. There was nowhere to hide from the shade, except for about a 3 square foot space at the base of a boulder, where we found our companion John resting and waiting for us to finish the descent. Then we headed over to the babbling base of Boucher Creek to top off our water bottles, dump water over our dry, sweaty heads, and begin the final descent to the river (at last! The river!).

The hike from Boucher creek to the beach is a beautiful and easy walk down the gravel creek bed. I didn't bother to keep my feet dry, but enjoyed the cool water washing through my shoes and soaking my socks. There were lots of new flowers and plants down here, including some gorgeous scarlet monkey flower. By the time we made the beach, there was ample shade and just enough sun to indulge the skinny dipper in the party.

We watched a boat trip run the rapid, wistfully I might add, wishing that we could ride along (freezing water notwithstanding). Though I'd originally intended to camp upstream of the creek confluence, I'd completely forgotten about the GIANT beach downstream. The boys went off exploring and their excited discovery of a practically virgin stretch of white sand where the boaters usually camped got us to pack up what we'd spread out and move. Thus ensued one of the more delightful nights I've ever spent backpacking - with barefoot dancing on the beach, long ballads being sung and Scat Daddy's first cowboy's night out (of the tent). The rapid sang us to sleep and woke us in the morning again, refreshed, rehydrated and ready to climb.

"I'm still singing this here country song,
aren't you glad you've come along
on my travels through the canyon wide?
Camped under a starlit sky
the sand is soft, the hikers high
I wish the boats could offer me a ride..."


Day 5: Finishing the Tonto
The day went precisely as planned. We woke early, followed the winding stream up to its travertine dome and ate breakfast next to a gushing waterfall. We explored the ruins of Boucher's cabin briefly before beginning the climb back out of the canyon behind White's Butte. Then it was across the Tonto again to the next (dry) tributary. There's a beautiful if small campsite at Travertine which was still in the shade when we arrived at lunch time, so we took our siesta there. It was a little difficult to be still, knowing that I was so SO close to my finish point, but the clouds which had kept us cool in the first part of the day had burned off and hiding from that sun was a important part of keeping things fun. Once the death-orb had moved into position to erase our shade, we picked up and started the final leg into Hermit Creek and my last little piece of un-explored Tonto Trail.

I loved the little stretch that skirted the cliffs just above Hermit Rapid, ducking around an ancient juniper that clung to the slopes like a stubborn old man. My vertigo liked it less, though, so I didn't linger. By 3:45 we were in Hermit Camp, doing my happy dance and throwing Wendy's all over the place like I'd done something special. Yes - I was doing the happy dance with my pack ON - that's how excited I was!

We managed to snag the awesome ledge camp just as it got shady and we settled in for a delightful afternoon and evening of story swapping and booze finishing. A wonderful night's sleep was all that was in between me and the only part of this trip that I hadn't looked forward to: the hike out on the Hermit Trail.

Day 6: Did I Mention I Hate Hiking Out Hermit?
Okay... I guess this has become an epically long triplog, and all you really need to know at this point is that I successfully hiked out the Hermit Trail. We did have one fun encounter along the way: a young woman who was traveling from Grandview to Hermit met us on our hike up. She was a solo hiker from Australia by way of British Colombia, and would be traveling into the canyon once more the next day to help bring some food down to a group traveling very slowly from South Bass and out the Bright Angel. She was fun to talk to, and we helped her a little with rides once we got to the rim.

The Hermit is just a frustrating hike out. I actually enjoy the Cathedral Stairs...it's those "paved" ramps in the Coconino that really kill me. My feet don't like that steeply angled tread, I'd rather do steps up any day. But, for all the bitching it wasn't that bad and we were out in time for showers before grabbing an early dinner in Tusayan.

"As I climb all those Cathedral Stairs
the condors circle up in pairs
but they won't get a feast from me today.
I'm feeling good and pretty strong,
though the canyon sometimes proves me wrong
I think I'm gonna make it all the way"


As the sun set on yet another wonderful adventure in the canyon I began thinking about my next big goals, both in the canyon and beyond. I hope all of them provide me with as much challenge, satisfaction and sheer magnificent beauty that this one has.

But maybe, if at all possible, a couple fewer side canyons.

"I'll be back, I don't know when
to hike the Grand Canyon again
You know, I just can't seem to stay away.
There's something there I can't resist
a special kind of magic bliss
Come with me friend next time, and we will play...

...another stupid country song,
I promise it won't be so long,
but then again I always tend to lie.
I'm better off just walking there
deep inside the great rock lair
lets go and hike the canyon one more time.
Fauna
Fauna
Garter Snake
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Prickly pear and black sage were blooming a lot. Cliff rose and the redbuds in the canyons up above the plateau.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boucher Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Flow varied by location


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hermit Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Looked wonderful!




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 less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Serpentine Creek - GC Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
100' of flow at trail junction

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Slate Creek Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Flowing nicely at the trail crossing

dry Topaz Canyon Dry Dry

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Turquoise Creek - GC Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
No flow - 200+ gallons in rock pool above trail junction
_____________________
-----------------------------------
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.- Barack Obama
Mar 07 2016
autumnstars
avatar

 Guides 25
 Routes 19
 Photos 562
 Triplogs 1,391

female
 Joined Jan 04 2011
 Las Vegas, NV
The Gems - Grand Canyon, AZ 
The Gems - Grand Canyon, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Mar 07 2016
autumnstars
Backpack52.59 Miles 10,895 AEG
Backpack52.59 Miles7 Days         
10,895 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Day 0
A simple drive over to the canyon to camp at Mather turned unexpectedly interesting. Just as I was setting up my "rim tent," heavy wet snow began to fall. It snowed heavily for many hours, a fun turn of events for a Las Vegas resident. Still managed to make it to the ranger talk about mountain lions. Who knew they have a 5.5m (18ft) vertical leap?

Day 1
The day began by scraping my car windows clean of snow and ice - thank goodness for that ice scraper my dad insisted on giving me when I moved to Vegas! :lol: Wanting to get an earlyish start, I moved my pack to the passenger seat and crammed the wet, snowy tent in the trunk. After some snowy road conditions, and obligatory elk stops (No, I'm not a touron - they were IN the road), the Hermit parking lot was pleasantly sunny, and I took my time prepping to head down. Hermit was mainly snow free, but the logs were slick with frost and best avoided. The hike down was uneventful and the familiar landmarks seemed to pass quickly. As the first arrival at Hermit Creek, I picked a site and settled in. It was by no means a quiet night at Hermit with a large boyscout group plus an arguing couple beside me, and I was happy to have the sound of the creek nearby to help drown it out.

Day 2
The goal today was Slate Creek, 10.8 mi away. I was excited to be headed toward unfamiliar territory and get started on The Gems in earnest. The section of the Tonto Trail between Hermit and Boucher provides stunning views of the Colorado River, and I spent some time soaking in the scenery. At some point before Boucher, there were 2 men headed in the opposite direction and we talked for a bit. They were doing a Boucher :next: Bright Angel Loop, and were the only people I interacted with until hiking out of the canyon 5 days later. :y:
With no recent water reports, I made a stop at Boucher Creek to top off my water load at 2 full days' worth. This was a theme for the trip - always carrying too much heavy, heavy water. Guess it was good for my fitness level, though, and it was definitely good for my peace of mind. The rest of the hike to Slate was mostly scenic, if uneventful. The climb out of Boucher via Topaz was initially steep, but my legs were happy to go up after all of yesterday's down. Hiking toward the back of Slate, the water in the drainage sparkled invitingly. Nice campsite and flowing water for tonight's supply.

Day 3
Today's goal was Turquoise, 9.3 mi away. Although some find it tedious, I find something strangely game-like about "Tontouring" around the drainages. It's a puzzle to assess where the trail will come out and how it will avoid or traverse the various obstacles you can see across each side canyon. The views aren't half-bad, either. Arriving at Turquoise, it was a bit of a downer to find no flowing water at the crossing after Sapphire was flowing nicely. Could have hiked down-canyon ~30 min to flowing water (heard and seen from above), but I simply didn't feel like it and ended up filtering from a pool below the dry falls. Enjoyed some exploration up-canyon, above the seeps. When backpacking, it is a wonderful feeling to walk around free of your pack! Another nice campsite tonight.

Day 4
The park had inserted an extra night in the Ruby Use Area to my permit, expanding my options for today. Ruby was a beautiful canyon of ledges complete with a small waterfall, and I decided to spend the night. Nice campsite and again flowing water for tonight's supply.

Day 5
I reluctantly broke camp and left Ruby, possibly my favorite camp spot of the trip. Today was short mileage, and it passed quickly. As expected, Quartz and Emerald were both dry. Reaching Serpentine Canyon, there was flowing water and lots of frogs. They didn't seem deterred by the alleged poor quality of the water here.

After a long break, complete with foot soak in the icy waters of Serpentine, I made a fateful decision... To decrease my mileage the next day, I decided to push on past Serpentine to near the boundary of the use zone and set up a dry camp on a point overlooking the Colorado and Bass Canyon. The nicely sheltered spot I noted in Serpentine Canyon would have been a better choice. Weather predictions had run out by this time, but I was not worried as I settled down for the night under cloudless skies. At approx 2:30 am, the warning sprinkles began and I jumped out to set up the rain fly. Out on the point, the wind gusts were intense, and I had staked my tent lazily. With the wind, I couldn't get out to fix the staking problem without having the tent potentially escape entirely. Although the most important things (sleeping bag and clothes) stayed dry, the bottom half of my ground pad and inside the bottom of the tent were pretty soaked by the time the rain and wind let up at approx 4 am. Pack towel to the rescue! I placed it between the wet ground pad and my dry sleeping bag and caught a few hours of sleep.

Day 6
What should have been a mellow day was derailed somewhat by low-lying clouds and sleepiness from my rude awakening by the storm. Snow was visible on both rims, lasting well into late morning. The trail through Bass Canyon passed quickly, but the trek from there to Copper Canyon seemed endless. With grey skies overhead, I was anxious to find a protected camping spot, resulting in many stops to check every ledge. At Copper, I spotted the perfect overhang, clearly used previously, as evidenced by rock "seats" and a pile of very old cans on a shelf. After the early morning rain, I found enough water in shallow potholes along the canyon bed - score! Time to explore. Shortly, I noticed a very weathered coil of rope behind a rock above a dry fall. At some point, someone must have left it there for "next time," but next time never came. Interesting. The sky finally cleared up and the night was beautifully star-filled.

Day 7
Hike out day. I had no idea what to expect from South Bass Trail, and it turned out to be an interesting change. Odd how, in caparison to most trails in Grand Canyon, you hardly notice the Redwall ascent, at least not in the sense of one continuous push. Unique trail that I would hike again. Met 2 maximum-size (or slightly above) groups on my way up. They wanted to talk way too much for a person who hadn't had any human contact in several days, but at least I could help them out with a very recent water report. Didn't head over to the granary, so I have something new to look forward to the next time. A few small patches of snow near the top, but mostly melted. Climbing the last bit of trail, I saw my ride standing at the trailhead. Nice timing, as he had arrived only 5 minutes before me. Also, he had a delicious sandwich, fresh carrots, and fresh fruit in hand for a lunch. :y:
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated
Just beginning

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


water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hermit Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Normal flow conditions

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Jade Canyon (Gems unofficial) Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Pools near Tonto crossing



water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Ruby Creek - GC Light flow Light flow
Flow at Tonto crossing.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Dripping Dripping
Only dripping from pipe, but trough full.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Sapphire Creek - GC Light flow Light flow
Flow <1 min above Tonto crossing

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Serpentine Creek - GC Light flow Light flow
Flow at Tonto crossing.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Slate Creek Light flow Light flow
Flow <1 min above Tonto crossing

dry Topaz Canyon Dry Dry


water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Turquoise Creek - GC Pools to trickle Pools to trickle
Pools at Tonto crossing. Flow ~30-45 min down-canyon from crossing.
_____________________
"Let it ride / Let it roll / Let it go"
Feb 16 2015
slowandsteady
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 966
 Triplogs 694

47 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!
_____________________
Feb 16 2015
BiFrost
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 Guides 4
 Routes 372
 Photos 8,276
 Triplogs 1,006

51 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 78
 Triplogs 93

male
 Joined Nov 11 2011
 
Hermit Rapids Loop: Hermit to Boucher, AZ 
Hermit Rapids Loop: Hermit to Boucher, 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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3 archives
Oct 31 2014
gunungapi
avatar

 Photos 67
 Triplogs 9

50 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
friendofThundergod
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 Guides 28
 Routes 314
 Photos 9,133
 Triplogs 868

39 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
avatar

 Routes 67
 Photos 2,708
 Triplogs 755

64 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
_____________________
May 04 2013
John9L
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 Guides 6
 Routes 174
 Photos 5,294
 Triplogs 1,639

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
_____________________
May 04 2013
chumley
avatar

 Guides 83
 Routes 692
 Photos 16,127
 Triplogs 1,618

48 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Boucher Hermit Loop, AZ 
Boucher Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar May 04 2013
chumley
Backpack31.50 Miles 8,286 AEG
Backpack31.50 Miles3 Days         
8,286 ft AEG41 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
My 5th weekend trip to the canyon this spring entailed a 2-night backpacking trip on the Boucher and Hermit trails.

We started Saturday morning and made good time, stopping at Dripping Springs before traversing around the Eremita Mesa to Yuma Point. 9L and I spotted a couple of deer and a group of three backpackers on their way out. From Dripping Springs to Boucher Camp we saw no others.

The traverse around the mesa is easy cruising but it ends fast when the trail dips through the Supai in a steep, rocky, and difficult to follow section of trail that drops 1000-feet in .75 mile. After a .5 mile respite, the trail makes its final descent through the redwall dropping an additional 1800-feet in the final 1.5 miles to the creek. We were glad not to be hiking out this way! Exiting via Boucher would deliver a solid 3000-feet of vertical in the first 3 miles!

Anyway, a group of 11 backpacks were piled by a boulder, but no campsite had been set up and there was nobody around. Naturally, we took advantage and grabbed the best spot we could find and quickly set up our tents. The beer got stashed in the river, water filtered, and some time to rest and relax. Unfortunately, there's no shade in Boucher camp as any trees that might once have provided it are no longer living.

After a couple of hours we decided to head on the short 1.5 mile hike to the river. Along the way we passed all the people who had left their packs at camp. They were a college geology class from Indiana and were on their 5th night in the canyon. They didn't have tents and didn't seem to mind us camping near them. They took off for Yuma Point before 5am Sunday, and we waited until much later to begin our leisurely stroll across the Tonto to Hermit Camp.

9L got there first and grabbed the best camp spot there ... camp was empty on our arrival. After a while we headed downstream to the river. The section of Hermit Creek that cuts through the Tapeats is awesome. And Hermit Rapid might be the mightiest I have been to. A real treat! On the way back to camp, we headed up out of the creek to visit the ruins of the old Hermit tourist camp. There are plenty of ruins and remnants around, and we marveled at the history of a cable car taking tourists and supplies directly from this spot to the rim at Pima Point. That would have been a sight to see! (Not to mention, an exhilarating white-knuckle ride!)

Three other groups arrived at Hermit late in the afternoon and set up camp. I explored upstream a bit where a series of beautiful cascades appear, one after the other, until you get above the Tapeats layer.

We saw only one mouse run across our little cave overhang campsite, as he figured out quickly that there was nothing for him to get into. We had seen one the night before at Boucher too, but being well-prepared for them, we had no problem with their brief visits.

Monday, I woke up early, and instead of trying to get back to sleep, I got up and started packing quietly. Kyle and 9L were awake by the time I was ready to go, and knowing that I'm slower on the ascent, I headed out to get a head start. I was at the base of the Cathedral Stairs before I spotted them come up out of the creek, figuring I had close to an hour and almost 2 miles on them. I made good time and felt good about my "lead", so I took a detour out onto Lookout Point.

At Santa Maria Spring, I was exploring the old stone restrooms below the resthouse that I hadn't noticed on my 2 first trips past here when I suddenly heard 9L. I was a little disappointed that he had made up the distance in just 4 miles. I was at least hoping to make it to the final ascent above Waldron. Oh well. Kyle was close behind too. We hiked together for a short stretch before 9L took off for the top. I struggled up the last 1000 feet as I always seem to. But apparently I arrived only 10-minutes behind 9L, and Kyle was there just a few minutes behind me.

We stopped in to say hi to Hippy before heading home with the requisite pitstop for wings and pizza in Flagstaff.
Fauna
Fauna
Canyon Tree Frog
Geology
Geology
Chert Travertine

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boucher Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Nice flow below camp. Plenty of cool water for filtering or dipping your feet into. Not more than calf deep in the deepest pools.
Above camp, you can hear the flow while descending down the trail, but it goes underground before reaching camp.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Dripping Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
More than a quart, but not quite a gallon/min. A second spring about 20 yards farther up has a nicer pool built to hold the water for filtering. Avoid the one by the sign unless you are sticking your head under the "Drip"

dry Fourmile Spring Dry Dry
No sign of water.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Hermit Creek Light flow Light flow
Refreshing and cool. A couple of knee-deep pools, otherwise just a shallow stream. No problem filtering or taking a shallow dip.

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Dripping Dripping
Dripping from the pipe. Trough was full and easy to filter from if needed.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Topaz Canyon Light flow Light flow
Didn't venture far upstream, but all the flow in Boucher Creek below camp was coming from Topaz Canyon.
_____________________
33s over 45s
Mar 15 2013
nonot
avatar

 Guides 98
 Routes 249
 Photos 2,067
 Triplogs 495

male
 Joined Nov 18 2005
 Phoenix, AZ
Boucher TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 15 2013
nonot
Backpack43.20 Miles 2,290 AEG
Backpack43.20 Miles5 Days         
2,290 ft AEG40.8 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
We left the bus to Hermit's rest at about 9:30 AM and headed down the Hermit, finding excellent trail conditions. Quickly we were onto the dripping springs trail, which had some icy sections and hadn't been pruned yet this year. Onto the Boucher trail, which was the one official trail I had yet to complete to the river on the south side. The contouring to Yuma Point took longer than expected, though it was not that physically difficult. We checked out the potholes and found some nice campsite options, but continued on, scaring up a dozen mule deer soon afterwards. The route down through the Supai in Travertine Canyon is perhaps the most interesting trail routing I've seen yet, and was a victim of the big rain/snowstorm in sections, as some of the more critical portions of the trail are now pretty sketchy and missing important parts, making it more scrambly. The trail down from White's Butte down to the Tonto resembles the Brown's Peak chute more than anything else, and isn't much in terms of a nice mule trail. Also spent some time exploring an old mine in the area not on my map I observed, and some other old constructions. Camped near Boucher Creek, and saw some other group make their way in that night by headlamp.

The next morning we checked out the rest of Boucher Creek to the Colorado. It was pretty nice without much of a trail, but it gets a little narrow in some spots and creates some nice scenes. Then made our way over to Hermit Creek, and noticed it was getting pretty warm in the afternoon. I explored Hermit Creek below the campsite and the trail up to the Old Sante Fe camp, where I noticed that rockfall of a few car and sofa side boulders wiped out a good chunk of this horse trail.

The next day we checked out Hermit Rapids and the nice beach, then packed over to Monument Creek and also checked out Granite Rapids. Monument Creek disappears for the majority of the creekbed between the monument and the river. Finally encountered a raft party - must be too early in the season for the permits to actually get used much. On the way back took the waterfall scramble route back up - that was a lot of fun.

Over to Indian Gardens, passing Cedar Spring, Salt Creek, and Horn Creek. There - we ran into yet more people, including Sirena, on her way to Salt Creek. At Indian Gardens, found that they have installed quite an impressive and excellent set of latrine facilities, 10 stars out of 10. First time actually camping there - it is a pretty nice setup. Hoofed it out the next day, 2hrs 20 minutes to the bus stop, lots of construction on the rim.
Fauna
Fauna
Mule Deer
Named place
Named place
Whites Butte Yuma Point

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Boucher Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Decent flow, above ground almost entire way to river. It does diminish in the above-ground portion, but is flowing strongest near the campsites and near the beach.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Cedar Spring Quart per minute Quart per minute
From the Tonto, I observed pools and the rock pourovers were wet.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Garden Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Very nice and cool, as usual.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Hermit Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Nice flow, and cool.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Horn Creek Light flow Light flow
Very light flow through Horn, did not taste it, due to the radiation warnings.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Monument Creek Light flow Light flow
Light flow near the creek campsites and at the river, dry in between. A bit more than a trickle.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water less than maxwater less than max Salt Creek Light flow Light flow
Had a light flow, did not taste it, worried it would be too mineralized.

dry Travertine Canyon Dry Dry
Dry at Tonto crossing, and wherever the Boucher trail goes through, the inaccessible Travertine spring below the Tonto was dripping as usual.
_____________________
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Hike Arizona it is full of sharp, pointy, ankle-twisting, HAZmaster crushing ROCKS!!
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Feb 23 2013
toddak
avatar

 Guides 8
 Routes 7
 Photos 1,244
 Triplogs 476

56 male
 Joined Nov 15 2005
 Puhoynix, AZ
Boucher TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 23 2013
toddak
Hiking25.00 Miles 5,000 AEG
Hiking25.00 Miles   12 Hrs   30 Mns   2.00 mph
5,000 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Another rim to river route: down Hermit, Tonto west then down to Boucher rapids, return up Boucher and Dripping Springs, which had a bit of snow and ice on them.
_____________________
Dec 20 2012
sguffey
avatar

 Photos 69
 Triplogs 4

49 male
 Joined Oct 09 2011
 Gilbert AZ
Hermit - Boucher - Tonto - Hermit Loop, AZ 
Hermit - Boucher - Tonto - Hermit Loop, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Dec 20 2012
sguffey
Backpack28.50 Miles 340 AEG
Backpack28.50 Miles3 Days         
340 ft AEG31 LBS Pack
 no routes
1st trip
One of the best trips of my life. I had always wanted to visit the grand canyon and hike it, but I've heard so many stories about how challenging it is that I was actually getting a bit of an unreasonable fear about the whole thing. So I was thrilled when Rob and Mark invited me to go on their trip in December.

----Summary----
DAY 1
Hermit trail head to junction with the Boucher trail 2.7 mi.
Boucher trail to Yuma point 2.5 mi
Yuma Point to Boucher Camp sites 4.1 mi
Camped at Boucher Camp sites

DAY 2
Boucher Camp sites along Boucher Creek to Boucher Rapids at Colorado River 1.5 mi
Boucher Rapid to Tonto trail junction 2 mi
Tonto Trail to the Hermit creek 1.2 mi
Hermit Creek to Hermit Rapids 1.5
Camped at Hermit Rapids

DAY 3
Hermit Rapids to Hermit Trail head 9.7 mi

Highlights:
I loved the view at Yuma point
Descending the redwall made me pee my pants a little
I loved camping at Boucher Camp -- perfect spot for base camp
I loved camping at the river shore at Hermit Rapids
The view from the top of the cathedral stairs was awesome!

One of my favorite trips ever!
The Hermit creek gorge was amazing

water 1 out of 5water less than maxwater less than maxwater less than max Santa Maria Spring Dripping Dripping
_____________________
Nov 22 2012
GrottoGirl
avatar

 Guides 3
 Routes 314
 Photos 11,581
 Triplogs 1,359

46 female
 Joined Sep 18 2009
 Tucson, AZ
Boucher TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 22 2012
GrottoGirl
Backpack32.23 Miles 8,279 AEG
Backpack32.23 Miles4 Days         
8,279 ft AEG50 LBS Pack
 
no photosets
1st trip
Joel organized an awesome loop in the Grand Canyon for Thanksgiving. This marks our third Thanksgiving under the Rim. For once, we had awesome weather.

Day 1 - Hermit's Rest to Yuma Point

We started out on Thanksgiving day by stopping at the backcountry office to check water and trail reports. I drug in my pack to weigh it. With 8 liters of water (dry camp planned), 4 days of dinners/breakfasts for two people, the usual items, plus ipad, solar charger, GPS, and my camera it weighed in at 53 lbs. Joel's was a lot ligher since we decided to go tentless and filterless so he carried my ipad/charger for half the day.

We started our walk at Hermit's Rest. I went to put on my backpacking boots and realized that I forgot to switch out the Superfeet with my hiking boots. I had no insoles! Luckily, my friend had new boots and she hadn't decided if she'd use her orthotics or just the insoles that came with the boots. She gave me the cheap insoles and on we went.

There were six of us on the trip. This was Josh's first time to the Grand Canyon so it was fun to watch his reactions to the sites and wonders that the Grand Canyon has to offer. I was able to impart some of the knowledge that I learned from our last trip to the GC, which I hope gave him a basic understanding of what he was looking at.

Along the first part of the trail, I told Josh to look for the footprints in Coconino Sandstone. He was able to spot them without any trouble.

Dropping our packs at the junction, we went onto Dripping Springs for our lunch stop and replenished some of our water. Dripping Springs has a great place to hang out underneath the overhanging Coconino. The Hermit Formation has eroded away underneath it. Within the Hermit layer we found some bulbous rounded blocks known as an example of spheroidal weathering. We also spotted some cracks that had been filled with sandstone from above (which is less erosive so it sticks out a bit). We also saw some evidence of Liesegangen rings. On our way back to our packs we spotted Kaibab Limestone blocks full of fossils plus a slab of Coconino sandstone with more tracks.

We wandered along the trail which ran a few feet from the cliff along the Hermit Formation. Finally we came to Yuma Point where we camped our first night. As we got close to Yuma Point we noticed that there was a slab of rock that was just held up with a small piece of land forming a window.

After we set up camp we went exploring. We found a spot where a painter had dabbed his brushes on the rocks. Plus we scrambled down and saw the window up close.

We had an after dinner reading time in which we read from Harvey Butchard's hiking logs. Then we went to bed under the stars.

Day 2 - Yuma Point to Boucher Camp

We awoke to a sunrise glow just after 6 am. The sun wasn't going to rise for about an hour but there was a nice yellow-orange color in the sky to the east. It was nice to see the sunrise without getting out of a tent! I could make out the shapes and the details of the canyon coming awake as the sky brightened. I'd have to say that sleeping without a tent definitely has it's advantages...

The hike from Yuma Point starts with a plunge through the Supai Group into Travertine Canyon. I was having one of my scared-y cat days and so it was a bit nerve wracking with the heavy pack. We then contoured over to the saddle next to White's Butte.

In true Harvey spirit we had to climb White's Butte. We had read the night before that he had completed that bit of exploration in 37 minutes. We were happy to complete it in less than an hour complete with a nice break on top!

Then we headed down a steep, steep drainage down into Boucher Camp through the Redwall Limestone. We found a spot for our camp and then headed downstream to Boucher Rapids. The walk down to the rapids is nice and easy. It is quite scenic as well due to the somewhat narrow walls. We checked out the Colorado River which was running higher due to a controlled flood release to help naturalize the river. It was interesting to see the river running faster, higher, and browner than usual. I wasn't to impressed with Boucher Rapids as there wasn't any great canyon views from the beach. We've been spoiled by some of the river beaches we have been to in the past.

On the way back we hunted down Boucher's mine in which we had read that Harvey had often camped in during bad weather. We found it and looked it in. We did find that it was warmer in the mine than outside. We found some bat guano and someones panties..

Then we checked out Boucher's Cabin. It was a small cabin with very little room. I guess hermit's don't need much! Unfortunately, some recently also had checked out the roofless cabin and mistaken it for a toilet - ewww!

Again we had an after dinner reading from Harvey's logs and also had a nice night out under the stars.

Day 3 - Boucher Canyon explore and Tonto Trail from Boucher Camp to Hermit Camp

In the morning we went to explore up canyon. We got the idea from reading Harvey's notes and I'm really glad we did! We wanted to go as far as Harvey had went his first time. As we explored we found the spring feeding the creek. We also discovered that the creek bed was dry upstream from the spring. We continued on and found the horseshoe shaped limestone that we could use like stairs to rise to the next level. We saw fossilized worm burrows in the limestone as we climbed.

We continued until we were stopped by a 10 foot fall in which we thought one might be able to bypass by climbing to one side. We figured that this is where Harvey had stopped the first time he explored the canyon. Harvey had mentioned that he had gotten back to camp in some amazing time by running the flats so we decided to do just that. We got back to camp in 50 minutes which is pretty good for 2.5 miles of canyon terrain! To my dismay, I found that my GPS was missing! I headed back up canyon and luckily found it only about .25 miles from camp.

We had lunch and then headed out to Hermit Camp. Along the way, we soaked in the views from the Tonto. Around each bend you get to see something new! We had a break in Travertine Canyon. I had been curious as to why the canyon had this name and as we continued along the Tonto trail I looked back and saw an amazing site. Where the canyon came through the Tapeats you could see that there were a few springs seeping through. Where the water had come through the ground the minerals had deposited as travertine. It actually looked as though the travertine had flowed over like cake frosting. In some spots it looked just like the Tapeats had melted! I couldn't get enough of the view!

At camp we explored up stream to some cascades. Then we settled in for the night. I was figuring we'd be pestered by mice since this is a popular camp area but we didn't see any.

Day 4 - Hermit Camp to Hermit's Rest

We got up early since we needed to hike and drive home to Tucson. Josh and I explored the Hermit Camp ruins while the rest of the group started up. We found the remains of the old tram that used to bring supplies from Pima Point on the rim. We also found the old cellar, toilet, and other historic things. The Santa Fe Railway and Fred Harvey Company built Hermit Trail and Hermit Camp in 1910s for tourists. It was used until the 1930s when the Bright Angel Trail and Phantom Ranch was opened to the public. After 40 minutes it was time to hit the trail.

This was my third time up the Hermit Trail but it had been a while and I've done a lot harder trails in the Grand Canyon since then. It was nice to feel like I could just fly up the trail compared to my first ascent!

We stopped briefly at the top of the Cathedral Stairs. I had a quick conversation with a Raven who was waiting to rob tired hikers of their snacks. Then we continued on until we found the rest of the group hanging out at one of the saddles.

We stopped at Santa Maria Springs. It is always a welcome site as you know you are getting closer to the rim. I hung out waiting one of my friends who was having an issue with her right leg. Even though she was having problems she was making good time. I hung out with her until the Taroweap. I just wanted to be done hiking so I continued on past. I completed the climb out in about 6 hours.

We stopped in Flagstaff on the way home for pizza and then a stop at Macy's for coffee.

What a great way to spend Thanksgiving weekend! No cooking - No Shopping!
_____________________
Nov 22 2012
RedwallNHops
avatar

 Guides 1
 Routes 10
 Photos 548
 Triplogs 1,290

46 male
 Joined Dec 22 2003
 Tucson, AZ
Boucher TrailNorthwest, AZ
Northwest, AZ
Backpack avatar Nov 22 2012
RedwallNHops
Backpack32.23 Miles 8,279 AEG
Backpack32.23 Miles4 Days         
8,279 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
The canyon never disappoints! One of the best parts of the trip was seeing an amazing view of Vishnu Temple from the Tonto. Methinks I need to climb that soon...
_____________________
average hiking speed 2.09 mph
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