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courtesy PChen
Andrew on Trail
Tiny Hikers
Completing the Traverse
As we made our way around the head of Hermit Gorge, we had a more side-on view to the Esplanade terrace that we would be walking on as we headed out to Yuma Point (point of land that sticks out into the main canyon). What looked like an impossible scrabble above a terrifying drop looked much more doable. It was a lesson in the scale of the Grand Canyon.
courtesy PChen
Comparing Styles
Jenn and Cathy
Dripping Springs Trail
courtesy PChen
Andrew Captures the Gorge
Boucher Trail Bench
Dripping Springs-Boucher Junction
Eventually we reached the Dripping Springs / Boucher Trail junction. From here there is a side trail that leads up to Dripping Springs, and to the right is the Boucher Trail (to be precisely accurate, the Boucher Trail comes down from above Dripping Springs, goes past it down to this point, then continues northeast - but most people approach the Boucher from the Hermit Trail, so this trail junction is their first encounter with the Boucher. Hardly anyone hikes down from the 'real' Boucher Trailhead anymore).

As part of a contingency that I had planned was a stop at Dripping Springs to fill up all of our water reserves. We would only do this if we were running way behind schedule and an early dry camp was needed at Yuma Point (Yuma Point was our first possible campsite along the way). However, the day was still relatively young and we were doing ok, so after a bit of consensus gathering we agreed to skip Dripping Springs and head off directly on the Boucher towards Yuma Point.
The Boucher Trail
Easy hiking
Lunch stop
Our first little while along the Boucher Trail was most pleasant. The Esplanade bench here is nice and wide and flat - a respite from the narrow spaces and steep dropoffs at the head of Hermit Gorge. The strong, gusty winds returned along this section, requiring careful attention to one's hat.

After a good, long, sun-drenched lunch break, we continued northeast along undulating but otherwise level terrain. We were walking with the Hermit Gorge to our right, and towering tan cliffs to our left. Ahead of us, an ever-widening view of the central Grand Canyon unfolded.
Rugged Beauty on Boucher
Boucher Trail
Hermit Canyon
courtesy PChen
Bob Rounds a tree
Bob takes in the Canyon
Hermit Canyon
As the trail made its way along, the flatness of the Esplanade bench we were one degraded into a rough slope. It's was never massively exposed, but you could tell there was big vertical terrain not too far below where you were. Although the trail itself was somewhat rough in spots, there was always decent footing (nothing particularly loose or precarious). As a reference point, nothing along this section was as exposed as the trail around the head of Hermit Gorge. The extremely gusty winds did require one to pay a little extra attention, however, and this, combined with the somewhat rough nature of the trail, made this section a little tiring.
courtesy PChen
Steeper traversing
Andrew on Boucher Trail
Mike on Boucher Trail
What we've done so far
Pu on a crag
Pu on a crag, zoomed
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[ Grand Canyon 2010 home page | Introduction | Death Valley | Backpack Prep | Backpack Day 1 - Boucher Trail | Backpack Day 2 - Boucher Creek & Rapids | Backpack Day 3 - Boucher Creek to Hermit Rapids | Backpack Day 4 - Hermit Rapids to Salt Creek | Backpack Day 5 - Salt Creek to Bright Angel Trailhead | Epilogue | Video Clip Index | Supplemental - Flowers | Supplemental - People | Route Description- The Waldron Trail | Route Description- The Boucher Trail | GPS Data ]

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