Boucher-Tonto-Hermit­ Trail Loop Backpack Grand Canyon

  • March 1, 2014 · 7:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Boucher Trail is a very steep down hill and considered a knee buster. Boucher Trail is 9 miles and 4200' of elevation loss to camp Saturday. Sunday on Tonto Trail is about 6 miles with minimal elevation change. The hike out on Hermit Trail Monday is 8 miles with 3700' of gain.

Skills required: This is not a beginner backcountry hike or backpack trip! Be sure you thoroughly read the trip description below. You must have hiked Grand Canyon backcountry trails (yes, more than one) in the past. You must be highly skilled in route finding and find your own way on trail. You must be proficient at traversing landslides and bouldering with a backpack

The Plan:

We will leave the Friday night. to car-camp outside the Park or in the park(Mather CG or Maswik Lodge) so we can get an early start on trail. We will return on Monday afternoon/evening. Travel details will be worked out with those attending

Day 0: (February[masked]) Meet the night before on the Rim
(Mather?) or near Tusayan Forest Road(?) (Maswik)

Day 1: (March[masked]) Start hike at Hermit Trailhead to Boucher Creek. (9.5 miles)

Day 2: (March[masked]) Hike east on Tonto Trail to
Hermit Creek. (6 miles)

Day 3: (March[masked]) Hike out to Hermit Trailhead (9 miles)

Gear: If you need to ask, you probably shouldn't go.

Trail Conditions: At this time of the year the weather will already be getting hot. We can expect daytime temps in the 70s and lows 40s.

Weather forecast

Food: It takes twice as much food to hike out of the canyon as it does to get in. Bring plenty of food, but remember that you have to hike out what you don't eat.

Water: We will have water at Boucher Springs (Camp #1) and Hermit Springs (Camp #2). Some type of water purification is required, sharing is ok.

Trail History (courtesy of NPS)
The Hermit Creek basin was the scene of one of the most aggressive of early improvement efforts in the Grand Canyon. Initiated by the Santa Fe Railroad in 1911, this program involved much development on the rim and also included the construction of what was, at the time, a state of the art rim-to-river trail. The Hermit Trail was built to serve a luxury campsite near Hermit Creek. Hermit Camp predated Phantom Ranch by 10 years, and in its heyday was complete with a tramway from the rim, a functional automobile for transportation within the facility, and a Fred Harvey chef. Operations ceased in 1930, but for two decades Hermit Camp was the last word in gracious tourism below the rim. As is always the case at Grand Canyon, time and erosion have taken a heavy toll. The old Hermit Trail is today a mere shadow of its former self, but for experienced, knowledgeable canyon backpackers the walk offers a direct link to the excitement and romance of the early days at Grand Canyon.
The Boucher Trail was the creation of Louis D. Boucher, the “hermit” of the Hermit Creek basin. Boucher maintained seasonal residences at Dripping Spring and near Boucher Creek and lived in the area for 20 years. Labeled a hermit because he lived alone, Boucher was in fact well known and socially active within the South Rim community during the latter part of the 19th century. Boucher called his trail the “Silver Bell”. Very few modern hikers follow the original Silver Bell Trail from the rim above Dripping Spring. Most of the old switchbacks are intact, but the location of the trailhead is an obscure spot no longer accessible by vehicle. For all practical purposes, the Boucher Trail, as we know it today, starts at the intersection below Dripping Spring.

*The Boucher Trail is arguably the most difficult and demanding of the south side trails.

HERMIT (excerpted from NPS):


Tonto (excerpted from NPS):
The Tonto Trail could be used to complete a loop hike from Hermits Rest down the Boucher Trail and up the Hermit Trail (or vice-versa). It is about five waterless miles between Boucher and Hermit Creeks, and the trail is well-defined. Great canyon views and spectacular travertine deposits near the bed of Travertine Canyon provide diversion en route.

BOUCHER (excerpted from NPS):


Sign up on the Waiting list. I'll contact you and put you on
the "Attending" list if we both agree
. I am looking for experienced Grand Canyon Hikers.

I am looking for at least one and at most four hikers.

Because of the intensity of the hike and because I have no
intention of being on the 5PM news for a rescue.....I RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DENY
YOUR ATTENDANCE BASED ON PHYSICAL FITNESS.

Cost for permit will be $12 per person. Once you pay no
refunds will be given. GC Entrance Fee is separate at $25 per vehicle ,which will be paid per vehicle group.

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