SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.


» Welcome Guest
[ Log In :: Register ]

 

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]

reply to topic new topic new poll
Topic: TR: Grand Canyon, March 23-26, 2013, Hermit-Tonto-Boucher Loop< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
 Post Number: 1
OnDaRox Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 27
Joined: Jan. 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2013, 6:37 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I turned the big 4-0 this year, and I wanted to celebrate it with a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon with my 13-year old son.  I've hiked the Canyon before, but this was his first trip.  I wanted a route that wasn't too busy, and definitely not one that had a hotel and the end of it, so plenty of research led us here to the Hermit-Tonto-Boucher loop.

I've included some photos here, but you can view all the rest by clicking on the link to Flickr.

Day 1:  Hermit's Rest Trailhead down Dripping Springs Trail to Hermit Trail to Hermit Camp.  Approx 8.2 miles.  

We started off around 9:00 am or so with strong winds and cold temps on the Rim.  The first 1.4 miles are switchbacks down, very well maintained, and reasonably busy with dayhikers.  We passed two groups who were returning from the Canyon floor from various locations.  At approx 2.5 miles you reach the Santa Maria Springs rest house and spring.  We still had plenty of water and didn't fill up, but the bench and chairs were all full with a group of 6 men hiking to Hermit Camp for the night, fully loaded with a guitar, large tent in a box, etc.  We never did see them in camp that night.  Beyond the rest house the trail continues down, all in great shape.  There was a rock slide but it doesn't impact the trail at all, it goes right over the top.  The Cathedral Staircase is by far the tougher section of this trail, probably worse going up than down I'd imagine.  


Hermit Trail IMG_0835.jpg by mrmlrlite, on Flickr


We took our time, arriving at Hermit Camp around 3:30 or 4:00 to moderate temps and no wind.  There was a group of 4 in one site, and a group of 2 in another site. A group of 4 came in later that evening.  We picked a nice level site just above the creek, one of the few spots remaining.  Hermit Camp is the only designated camping area we encounter on this loop, and the few people we'd see along our hike. This area has a composting toilet and a bar for hanging food bags - mice are a big issue here.  I brought along my BearVault rather than purchase a RatSack.  We had a nice dinner of chicken, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy.  Hermit Creek was flowing nicely, so we filtered fresh cold water easily.  It was a nice night, almost full moon and temps in the low 40's.



Hermit Camp IMG_0859.jpg by mrmlrlite, on Flickr


Day 2: Hermit Creek to Boucher (Boo-shea) Creek via the Tonto West Trail.  Approx 5.9 miles.

Pancakes!  We started our day with pancakes!  My son specifically asked for those, who could turn him down?  After breakfast we packed up and headed out for the Tonto Trail.  We of course missed it the first time, but a rock cairn led us to it.


Ian spots the rock cairn IMG_0891.jpg by mrmlrlite, on Flickr

Thankfully there were rock cairns the rest of our journey as some parts were harder to tell the best route than others.  The Tonto West Trail was easy to follow and only slightly overgrown in spots.  We really took our time to enjoy the scenery and only passed 2 people all day - 2 trail runners who apparently were doing the same loop we were, in ONE day.  Wow.

We stopped for a break with an awesome view of the Canyon and the Colorado River.


Nice views! IMG_0905.jpg by mrmlrlite, on Flickr

We arrived at Boucher Creek mid-afternoon under a hot sun, so quickly setup camp to get some shade.  We had the place to ourselves.  This is a "use area" so you can really camp anywhere, we chose a spot that had been used before just below the remains of what I believe was the Boucher Cabin.  We had the place to ourselves, only seeing one couple come through the area, get water, and head up Boucher Trail.


Camp near Boucher Creek IMG_0944.jpg by mrmlrlite, on Flickr

Tonight's dinner was tortellini and meat sauce.  Boucher Creek was flowing nicely, so cold water was filtered with ease.  It was another nice night, almost full moon and temps in the low 40's.

Day 3: Hike down Boucher Creek to Boucher Rapids (3 miles roundtrip) then on to Yuma Pointe (3.8 miles).

Our third day was either going to be an off day or a short mileage day, we really didn't have a plan.  So after a breakfast of cheesy-bacon-cous cous we headed down Boucher Creek to see the Boucher rapids.  This was an easy walk, again well marked with rock cairns.  We could hear the river before we saw it, and the pictures don't do it justice.


Boucher Rapids IMG_0975.jpg by mrmlrlite, on Flickr

We spent some time playing around the sand and rocks.  This area is also just outside the "no fly zone" so we consistently heard and saw helicopters, but they do stay quite high up.  We headed back to camp, playing in the creek along the way.

After a lunch of hamburger mac-n-cheese and vanilla pudding we decided to pack up and head out on Boucher Trail to Yuma Pointe and cut down our last day's mileage since we knew it'd mostly be UP.  This is the last place to get water, so we filled all our containers (heavy!).  It's a steep climb right from the start, Boucher Trail is not easy!  We also found it to be quite overgrown in many places.


The trail is in here somewhere... IMG_1023.jpg by mrmlrlite, on Flickr

This was a beautiful trail, but definitely tricky in spots.  We were passed by one solo hiker going the same direction, then later a solo hiker coming down Boucher.

We made it to Yuma Pointe in the early evening, glad to have started the hike out today and not do it all in one day.  I was worried the temps would be low on Yuma Pointe, but it was the warmest night of the 3.  And the views were amazing under a full moon!  Dinner was chicken salad in tortillas and dried applesauce.


Yuma Pointe IMG_1048.jpg by mrmlrlite, on Flickr

Day 4: Yuma Pointe to Hermit's Rest Trailhead via Boucher Trail and Dripping Springs Trail.  5.4 miles.

We awakened early to a beautiful sunrise and of course had to cook bacon!


Bacon! IMG_1069.jpg by mrmlrlite, on Flickr

Today's hike was much easier than yesterday's hike, that's for sure.  Looking back, once you got past Travertine Canyon it seemed to ease up a bit.  It was an overcast day, not too hot, not too cool.  The trail was easy to follow all the way to the Dripping Springs connector.


Boucher Trail IMG_1095.jpg by mrmlrlite, on Flickr

We were back at our car around 11:30 (ok, so my mountain goat of a son beat me by 30 mins to the top!) and were ready to get back to Phoenix for a hot shower and cold root beer.  All total we did just over 26 miles in the 4 days.  This was an amazing trip, not an easy one, but was everything I could have wanted it to be and so much more!  My son has already asked when the next trip is....I love that kid!  :)

Feel free to PM me if you want more details about our itinerary, gear, meals, maps, etc.  I had lots of help from forum members and am happy to share what I've learned.

I apparently tried to include too many photos, so feel free to click on the link to see my Flickr album.

Tom and Ian
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 2
ol-zeke Search for posts by this member.
Clear Creek
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 13009
Joined: Sep. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 04 2013, 8:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Good TR, nice pics.  Glad you both had a good time.  I think you did a great job in planning your menu, choosing many items that would appeal to him.  Makes hiking all that much more fun.  

--------------
Everything I know, I learned by doing it wrong at least twice.

"I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth."  Steve McQueen
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 3
starwalker Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1476
Joined: Feb. 2002
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 05 2013, 12:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great hike for a father and son.  He'll be talking about this hike when he's got his own kids.

--------------
"Straight paths made by man
Are unnatural and full of curses
But a trail is a song."

Louis Oliver (Creek Indian poet)
"Songs on Winding Trails"
in Chasers of the Sun
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 4
DaveAZ Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr. 2013
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 27 2013, 1:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Nice trip report! I think I may have been the solo hiker (white shirt, white bandana) heading up Boucher in the lower Redwall. Small world! I remember seeing you 2 and then shortly after another guy coming down. Sorry I didn't stop to chat - too tired and ready to get it over!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 5
RebeccaD Search for posts by this member.
Double Arch, Arches N.P.
Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 11644
Joined: Jul. 2004
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 28 2013, 12:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great TR.  Thanks for sharing it!

--------------
Writerly thoughts, book reviews, and random short fiction found at
The Ninja Librarian Blog
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
 Post Number: 6
TigerFan Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 2726
Joined: May 2010
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 29 2013, 8:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great TR (don't know how I missed this!)  I get such a kick out of seeing kids/teens hiking in the Canyon.  And Boucher's an impressive first GC hike. :)  So, is your son ready for more?

--------------
Duct tape is like the Force.  It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 7
hikingFF77 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 5474
Joined: Aug. 2005
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 9:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Very nice report.  Sounds like an awesome trip.  I agree, a well planned out trip can definitely help make the trip much more enjoyable for a younger hiker.

I hope that when I'm 40 (I rue the day) my son and daughter are hiking with me regularly... and they make many memories... as I'm sure this will be a very nice memory for your son to enjoy.


--------------
“I’m just hanging on while this world keeps spinning and it’s good to know it’s out of my control.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this living is that it wouldn’t change a thing if I let go…”
Jimmy Buffett & Martina McGraw
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 8
OnDaRox Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 27
Joined: Jan. 2009
PostIcon Posted on: Apr. 30 2013, 11:35 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

DaveAZ - small world! That was probably the start of the toughest part of the the trail where we saw you.  I hope you enjoyed your hike.

TigerFan - yes!! My son was asking what was next before we ever got back to the car. We'll be hiking closer to home here in the Midwest this summer, but will for sure be heading back to the Canyon when we can.

I make up books (Shutterfly) of our major hikes with pictures, the storylines, trail info, etc.  My son shows those books to everyone, he's so proud of his accomplishments and memories.  He couldn't wait for the GC book to arrive; he sure knows how to make me smile!

Tom
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 9
medicmom Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 90
Joined: Aug. 2009
PostIcon Posted on: May 25 2013, 11:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Great trip report and beautiful pictures!  My kids have all hiked since they were babies and we've created some wonderful memories.  I think the photo books are a great idea!
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info 
 Post Number: 10
Krocker360 Search for posts by this member.

Avatar



Group: Members
Posts: 10
Joined: May 2013
PostIcon Posted on: May 30 2013, 10:16 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

those way are tough! you got a big son there, and really enjoying the hiking adventure, I'm too scared to bring my son for hiking maybe when he reach 14 his just 10 right now.
Offline
Top of Page Profile Contact Info WEB 
9 replies since Apr. 04 2013, 6:37 pm < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

[ Track This Topic :: Email This Topic :: Print this topic ]


 
reply to topic new topic new poll

» Quick Reply TR: Grand Canyon, March 23-26, 2013
iB Code Buttons
You are posting as:

Do you wish to enable your signature for this post?
Do you wish to enable emoticons for this post?
Track this topic
View All Emoticons
View iB Code



Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions