GRAND CANYON BACKPACKING TRIP
Henry, Dan, Doug, Skip, Lynda, and Evan (Sharky) pose at the trailhead at the beginning of their journey.
Looking down on the Colorado River
Enjoying the waterfall and pool
Evan (Sharky) taking in the view
The remains of the Boucher homestead
Doug, Dan, Evan, and Skip with a postcard backdrop
Hiking back up
A friendly rattlesnake
30-October 3, 2010
Day 1- Thursday Sept 30, 2010
Thursday morning Doug, Dan, Henry, Skip, Sharky, and I met at McDonalds to coordinate our drive to the Grand Canyon. I was with a great group of guys and was anxious to start our adventure. The plan was to hike the Boucher trail, by way of Tonto trail, to the Colorado River.
“The Boucher trail is arguably the most difficult and demanding of the south side trails. The trail consists of tough tedious traverses linked together with knee-destroying descents, with a section of exposed hand and toe climbing."
“The trail was the creation of Louis D Boucher, the “Hermit” of the Hermit Creek basin. Boucher maintained a residence near Boucher Creek and lived in the area for 20 years. He was named the “hermit” because he lived alone, but was well known and socially active with the south rim community.”
(Description by the National Park Services/U.S. Dept of the Interior)
We arrived at the Hermit trailhead and began hiking around 2 pm. We started with an elevation of 6640 ft. and hiked down approximately to 5429 ft. This was a dry, off-trail camp. We knew water would not be available so we each hauled in about 2 gallons of water. The first day’s hike was 4 miles and each had a pack which weighed in the 50 pound range.
Day 2- October 1, 2010
We packed up early and began our approach to Boucher Creek. This day was the hardest of all four. There were loose switchbacks and exposed ledges. However, as we approached our destination the terrain began to get more green and plush. We began the day with an elevation of 5429 ft. and ended at 2760 ft. We hiked 5 miles that day. We camped at the creek and replenished our water. The remains of Louis Boucher’s homestead are still there.
Day 3- October 2, 2010
We continued our approach to the Tonto Traverse. This was an enjoyable and low impact hike. The Colorado River was now in sight and seemed to call our names. The elevation began at 2760 ft. and ended at 2400 ft. We arrived at the Hermit Creek camp ground early in the day which was a welcome surprise. The campground was nicely set up with lines to hang our food and an outhouse. The creek opened into a beautiful pool and waterfall, which we took full advantage of. Later in the day we received a 20-minute rainfall, and then it was off to hike the mile approach to the Colorado River. To our delight, we were just in time to watch a guided rafting group negotiate their way down the rapids.
Day 4- October 3, 2010
We began our ascent back to civilization. This day we saw an elevation gain of 4240 ft in 8 miles. Even though it was a continual climb, the peaceful beauty of the canyon made this day the most reflective one for me.
Through this adventure, we saw colorful majestic beauty, the Milky Way as it has never been seen before, and heard the call of the canyon. We became close friends, camped with a rattlesnake, and heard stories of the past from Henry. Our Grand Canyon backpacking trip was challenging, fulfilling, and just plain “FUN”!
My thanks to Doug for organizing and the LVMC for making this a reality for me.
Hanging out at camp
The difference in terrain is startling.
On the way back to civilization
The Grand Canyon is truly a spectacular place.
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