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Sunday, April 19, 2015

Hermit to Boucher Trail - GCNP

Hermit to Boucher (Boo-Shay) Hike
Grand Canyon National Park
Mileage - 20.4
Time - 9:30
AEG - 4200 ft

Bob and I resumed our annual tradition of hiking a new trail in the Grand Canyon every April since 2011. We typically spend the weekend hiking to the river and back, then camping at Mather Campground. This year it would be a trip down the Western side of the national park's South Rim in hopes to reach the Boucher Rapids.

We fell just a few miles shy of reaching the river this time, partly due to misinterpreted distances each way and warmer than anticipated temperatures. A twenty mile hike would have turned into a 24-25 mile hike and left us exposed longer and later into the heat of the day. We learned our lesson on the Tanner trail two years ago. By Grand Canyon standards, twenty miles isn't all that long, except Boucher is a rough one with steep, uneven terrain. A few areas required hands on for scrambling up and down the "trail." Somehow we managed a pretty good pace throughout the day, even with numerous stops. There were three significant climbs over those ten miles, the nice thing was that they were spaced out, offering time to recover before ascending again. Fatigue didn't set in until we were finished, and it hit Bob and I hard. I felt like I had just run a marathon. We were so wiped out, on the bus back to the GC village all we could think about was a hot shower and getting some pizza at the Maswik Lodge!

I think each year our trip gets better and better. Knowing the best time of year and familiarizing yourself with the park is key to making the experience as good as you possibly can. Over the years we have noticed improvements, including new bathrooms and parking areas. The market is top notch and staff is always helpful. I'm excited to get back up there!

A view of Whites Butte and the narrow canyon where we are headed.

My favorite view from the hike, near Boucher Creek
Enjoying some shade and the view into Boucher Creek