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Much to our good fortune, we arrived at the Colorado River just as a large group of river rafters were about to set off on their run of Hermit Rapids. I quickly dropped my pack and ran downstream to try and get abreast of the rapids and set up for good shots of the boats negotiating the whitewater. I managed to get set up with my zoom lens just in time, as the first of the rafts came swiftly by.
courtesy CPickering
Ready for Launch
Mike observes the fun
Running the Hermit Rapids I
Running the Hermit Rapids II
Running the Hermit Rapids III
Running the Hermit Rapids IV
Running the Hermit Rapids V
Running the Hermit Rapids VI
All of the rafts came through in quick succession, expertly negotiating the rapids. We were pleased to have been able to watch them close up!

Video of the rafters running Hermit Rapids (click to play)

Video of the rafters running Hermit Rapids (click to play)
With the excitement of watching the rafters out of the way, we turned our attention to finding a prime site to set up our tents. We wandered around, considering our choices, which were considerable (at this point there seemed to be no other campers around). We ended up choosing a strip of soft sand fairly close to the river, but still elevated from it. Riverfront property (for a day)!
Riverside Campsite
Contemplating the Canyon
Upstream from Hermit Rapids
It was a little too early for dinner, it being only 4pm and all. So, after setting up our tents, we wandered around a little, lazed on the sand in the afternoon sun, cooled our feet off in the river, reviewed our pictures thus far, and in general chilled out. Oh, and I pointed out to everyone that, according to park rules, at this campsite we were to do 'number one' directly into the river, and 'number two' up on the high benches above the beach.
courtesy PChen
courtesy JInnes
Lounging at camp
Reviewing the day's photos
Late-day reflections
By six o-clock we were ready for some grub. I located some big, square looking blocks of stone to serve as a platform for our camp stoves (using the stoves directly on the sand seemed like a recipe for clogged jets), and started to work at heating up water. Jenn, Cathy and Mike went off to filter some fresh water out of Hermit Creek. It was an all Mountain House dehydrated dinner night, with each of us having a different flavour of the tasty meal-in-a-bag backpacking food. Tonight, lasagna with meat Sauce for me.
courtesy PChen
Prepping for dinner
Dinner at Hermit Rapids
courtesy PChen
Last Splash of Sun
After dinner, with our campsite firmly in shade and the tops of the towers around us glowing fiery red, we decided to set up for another good bout of star-watching. This time, with so much soft sand around, we set up comfy spots where we could stretch out on our backs and look straight up. A very relaxing and enjoyable end to another great variety-filled day in the Grand Canyon.
Click to view full-size with photo points
Boucher Creek to Hermit Rapids
Start Time: 7:40a.m.
End Time: 3:43p.m.
Duration: 8h2m
Distance: 10.66 km (6.63 mi)
Average Speed: 1.3 km/hr (0.8 mph)
Start Elevation: 2575ft (785m) *
Max Elevation: 3224ft (983m) *
Min Elevation: 2374ft (724m) *
End Elevation: 2374ft (724m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 813ft (248m) *
Total Elevation Loss: 1078ft (329m) *
* : +/- 75 feet
Elevation Graph
Backpack Day 3, Elevation over Distance
Backpack Day 3, Elevation over Time
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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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