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Friday, October 16, 2015

Hermits Rest

Last weekend, Jacob and I took off from Hermit's Rest into the Grand Canyon.  We got off to a later start than I hoped because I had to finish a paper for school and we had to take the bus to Hermit's Rest.  We hopped off the bus and the Canyon lay before us so we headed down the Hermit trail for a couple miles then turned off toward Dripping Springs.  It didn't take us too long to get the spring where we ate some nuts and dried fruit and filled up our water.
Sitting by Dripping Springs
Hiking up to the spring we saw a trial taking off on the other side of the valley so we found are way to it and started to follow it.  Initially we though that we had caught up with Boucher Trail but we had actually found the Waldron Trail.  We followed it for a while but soon found it leading us out of the Canyon and back up toward the rim.  We opted to turn back, realizing we were not on the Boucher, and decided to fill up at Dripping Springs and then turn off on the Boucher.

Climbing above Dripping Springs

The Boucher trail rolled along the side of a canyon for a few miles before it slowly started to descend.  At this point the sun was low enough we were mostly in the shade which was cool in the late afternoon.  The Boucher crested a small ridge, then started to descent steeply down toward Boucher Creek which we could see below.
Looking back toward Hermit's Rest

Jacob where the Boucher trail starts to get rough

Looking back at a wall near the Boucher Trail

Heading down the Boucher Trail

We filled up at Boucher Creek and then set up camp for the night.  Last time we were in the Canyon it was too hot to sleep but this time the bivy sacks were just right.  The stars slowly came out as we settled down in our bags and the bugs buzzed around our heads.  Having a mosquito net for our bivy sacks was key.
Looking west

Looking east
The next morning the sun came up bright and early.  We packed up our stuff, had some oatmeal for breakfast, and headed down the trail.  The trail was winding in and out of small draws and we came around a corner and we looking at a bighorn sheep.  Usually these guys are so flighty, you don't even see them except from a distance.  Anyhow, this one looked up, saw us, and continued down the trail.  He probably got 40 feet from us before he turned off and skirted around us but I was starting to get a little worried and he had some big horns.
Bighorn Sheep

Some tracks in the trail

The River
After the sheep, we continued on to Hermit Creek were we drank some water and filled up our bottle for the push to the top.  After leaving Hermit Creek the day started to heat up so Jacob and I tried to move quickly through the sun as a good chunk of the climb would be shaded if we were there early enough.  The trail contoured along for a while, skirting above one cliff and staying below another, before it popped out on a plateau shorly before the Boucher and Dripping Springs turn off.  At this point we started to run into more people so we headed up the last couple miles fairly quickly as the solitude of the canyon was gone.
Looking down on Hermit Creek

Climbing up the Hermit Trail

The Canyon looming large

Almost out
All in all a great trip to the Grand Canyon.  The Boucher trail was awesome and I was super stoked about finding the Waldron trail.  Looking on a map afterwords, I found that the Waldron trail can be accessed by car instead of the bus which would be a great alternative.  The bus is really slow so driving would save at least a half hour.
A little rainy in Flag right now so I'm not sure what we have planned for this weekend but I'll put up our next adventure when I get a chance.

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