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:

Last edited:
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
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Mike Jones 1 Week Grand Canyon trip Backpacking 2
Mike Jones Week Long backpacking, Zion or Grand Canyon? Need Suggestions Trip Planning 27
S Titcomb Basin week itinerary options? Trip Planning 11
fossana A challenging week on the Escalante Overland Route Trip Reports 21
Janice Wonderful Week in the Winds Backpacking 7
radioradio Sad Cowboy Traverse - A Week in Escalante Backpacking 12
Outdoor_Fool Week-long Ramble Through Southern Yellowstone Backpacking 22
Outdoor_Fool A week in the Big Belly Backpacking 20
forest dweller Invite update / edit - have off second and third week in August - wanting to backpack in Glacier, Olympic or Yellowstone, hinges on finding companions. Meet Up (Members Only) 37
J Trip first week of April 2021 Southern UT/Anywhere AZ - Death Hollow, Coyote Gulch, or other suggestions? Trip Planning 9
TrektheWorld St. George - Thanksgiving Week Everything Else 7
scatman Yellowstone Lake - A Two Week Paddle Trip - July 28, 2019 On The Water 44
RyanP Lower Death Hollow next week (late May/early June), miscellaneous questions Trip Planning 16
scatman Yellowstone Lake - 2 Week Canoe Trip - Summer 2019 Trip Planning 24
W 3-4 days in the Sawtooths, first week of June 2019 Trip Planning 16
Titans This week- Kanab, Arizona strip Trip Planning 13
Titans 3 week Arizona road trip: Tucson Desert Rain & Hiking SAGUARO NP Hiking & Camping 1
wsp_scott A week in the Sierra Nevada Backpacking 23
Glasterpiece A week between Kingman and Williams, AZ Trip Planning 0
regehr Aspen this week Trip Planning 10
Mike Jones Big Sur or Zion Next Week? Trip Planning 20
LarryBoy A week in Zion... Advice needed! Trip Planning 7
Cburton A week along the Continental Divide in Wind River Range Backpacking 20
T Water availability next week in Cedar Mesa & Escalante areas Trip Planning 5
b.stark If you had a week in Utah... Trip Planning 32
TrektheWorld Meetup in the desert Thanksgiving week? Meet Up (Members Only) 1
Tystevens Buckskin or Coyote this week? Trip Planning 3
BryanG A week on Cedar Mesa Hiking & Camping 3
regehr Rattlesnake Creek / Ashdown Gorge this week? Trip Planning 7
Tanasi 50 mile trip suggestions for 1st week of August? Trip Planning 19
Scott Chandler Highlights From a Week in Big Bend NP Hiking & Camping 11
T Questions about next week in White Cloud Wilderness Trip Planning 2
Scott Chandler A Week in Cedar Mesa's Canyons, Part 2 Backpacking 8
Scott Chandler A Week in Cedar Mesa's Canyons, Part 1 Hiking & Camping 1
andyjaggy Sawtooths first week of July Trip Planning 19
powderglut 2 Week Trip Paria/Vermilion, GSENM and Maybe Hanksville Trip Planning 4
hikerboy maine-100 miles wilderness- a week in the woods Backpacking 6
JoshuaDyal West Fork Blacks Fork, week of June 29th Backpacking 13
Elf Owl Southern UT: week after next Trip Planning 0
mike54704 Backpacking in Coyote Gulch the first week of March Trip Planning 26
mike54704 Anyone know how the trail to Conundrum Hot Springs in CO would be the first week of March? Trip Planning 5
Matt Price A remote week-long trip, Late-may/Early June, Utah or the Southwest Trip Planning 34
Tye Dye Twins An Epic Week and an Epic Start to 2015! Winter Sports 10
I Misery Canyon - next week (wetsuits?) Trip Planning 5
Reid First Week of June Trip - Wind River? Tetons? Trip Planning 9
M Coyote Gulch next week and footwear recommendations? Trip Planning 1
J Question? Temp in GC next week? Trip Planning 1
Nick How to spend a week in the Winds Trip Planning 6
IntrepidXJ Mid-Week Moab Hiking & Camping 3
Ravialdo Trip suggestions for 1-2nd week April Trip Planning 2

Similar threads