A week in the Grand Canyon / Boucher / Hermit / Tonto Trail


Mar 29, 2022
Hi everybody!

I am attempting (read: struggling) to plan a week long backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon for the end of October. I have backpacked the canyon before but never off the beaten path. I find the NPS website incredibly unhelpful for planning a trip like this (I completely understand why!) and am hoping anybody on here can shed some light on any of the trails mentioned, or suggest something I have not thought of? The Hermit trail to Boucher trail, and then perhaps connecting to Tonto trail to make it a loop has looked appealing to me. I'd like to spend a week, and I am not one to tack up miles quickly, ha. I really like to take my time and explore any and all side canyons and as I have descended into the canyon a number of times before I know how sore it makes some very unique places in my legs. So definitely not trying to do more than probably 30 miles total. But I am open to all suggestions. I would prefer to start form the South Rim since I live in Tucson and that would shave off a lot of driving, but I AM open to North Rim areas (just spent some time near Timp point last month and WOW! That's what got me started planning for this trip!)

So yeah, this is a little vague, but the planning process is pretty confusing with all the at-large zones plus individual campsites you can reserve within them....so if anyone has been on a trip you think might suit my desires here, I'd love to hear about it. Of course I know water will be an issue, but the Boucher trail appeals to me because Boucher creek is a perennial water source and I have been looking at planning routes more or less around that area.

As I have said in previous posts on here, when it comes to backpacking in national parks, I really hate to call the rangers for advice before I know more precisely where I'd like to go/more exact areas. I also know this is time sensitive as reserving Grand Canyon permits is a process in itself and for all I know, they may all be reserved. I think I will call today and see what's available in general, but regardless I would still love to hear from anyone who might have more knowledge of this area.

Thanks so much in advance.
Only thing that far east Ive done is the Little Colorado from Cameron AZ to Grandview Pt. I mostly stayed in the west end.

Try these as a starter:

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I've never hiked there, but I've spent some time thinking about it. I assume you have seen the NPS trail descriptions here https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/campsite-information.htm I'd think these descriptions plus reading some online trip reports would give you enough to start asking rangers some questions.

sorry I can't be more useful
I decided to just go for it and made a loose plan, sent in my permit request today for 7 nights next month. the ranger was really helpful today and sent me the corridor availability which i was shocked to see was mostly open. some of the at-large zones had NOBODY booked in them the entire month of october. so made it pretty easy -- always a nice surprise.
Awesome, please post a trip report