Classic Grand Canyon Loop Hike
Fabulous introduction to Grand Canyon
Cascading natural springs
Wide, Well maintained trail
thunderous hermit rapids
set Away from bustle of corridor trails
GEOLOGIC TIME TRAVEL MODE
26.5 mi/42 km
POINT OF ORIGIN
GEOLOGIC ADVENTURER SKILL
The Undergraduate geologist adventurer is capable of hiking 2-6 miles daily. Trails are generally maintained and have 1500 feet or less of change in elevation. Your backpack will weigh between 20-35 lbs. Undergraduate time traveling hikers must be healthy and relatively fit. Previous backpacking experience is a good idea, but not required.
Hike a classic route in Grand Canyon with all the scenery, adventure, geology, and none of the crowds
The Hermit Loop Backpacking tour, consisting of a lariat around The Hermit Trail to the Boucher Trail, is an epic trip for beginning canyoneers. The Grand Canyon will greet you in all its glory throughout this trip, with unique geologic features such as natural springs, outcrops of travertine, dramatic views of the Inner Gorge, and tremendous solitude with the feeling that you have the whole canyon to yourself. Lewis Boucher, “the Hermit of the Grand Canyon”, famously carved these two trails as part of his homestead and mining claims. The Santa Fe Railroad came through and made improvements to the Hermit Trail portion as a way to shuttle tourists into the Canyon, however, not much has changed on the Boucher Trail side, as it is as rugged and remote a trail as one will find on the South Rim. Adventurous canyoneers will absolutely love this trail, and beginning canyoneers will utterly appreciate the scenery, solitude, and epic granduer that is offered on this adventure.
Hikers should have the ability to hike on and off marked trails, to scramble over obstacles and/or barriers with frequent changes in elevation for up to 14 miles per day, carrying medium sized packs of gear. All hikes are one-way, except in case of emergency, and are traveled at a steady walking pace with breaks.
A real back-packing trip, comfort is what you carry with you. There are no showers or electricity on the trail and restrooms are primitive. Backpackers can expect to sleep on a sleeping pad outdoors or in a small tent. Food consists of single-entrée meals, some food are freeze-dried or dehydrated with a few fresh food selections. Meals are prepared by your guide and served “group-style” out of pots and usually eaten out of personal meal-kits while sitting on the ground.
The trail less traveled, with some side trips to more popular overlooks and areas. Hikers can look forward to ease of access and simplicity of entry at parking, destinations, meals and morel. If there are crowds, then they’re easily avoided. Overnighting locations combine the convenience of access with the feeling of true solitude in the mother nature.
GEOLOgic time travel primer
The Hermit Loop Backpacking tour begins at the Hermit Trailhead, past Hermit’s Rest on the South Rim of Grand Canyon. After final preperations, we will begin our fantastic descent through the Kaibab Limestone, where we can observe movement along the Hermit Fault, tremendous fossils and ancient fossilized reptile tracks, and sweeping views into Hermit Canyon. We make our Supai traverse down into the canyon, as we observe the soaring and cavernous Redwall Limestone that bounds it. After a few switchbacks, we find ourselves at the mighty Colorado River, where you kick back and take it all in while your geologist/guide sets up camp and makes a delicious dinner.
Time in the car: 2.5 hours
Elevation & Distance: 8.7 miles, 5000 foot descent
Light Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Today’s adventure entails a frolick in the Colorado River, followed by epic side canyon exploration along the inner gorge. Bring your camera, and a thirst for adventure, this is a great day, made all that much better with the absence of your backpack!
Elevation & Distance: 4 miles, 160 foot descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 will see us depart the river, and begin our journey to the rim via the Boucher Trail. This rugged challenge will drop your jaw so often with outrageous canyon scenery that you will nearly forget that you are hiking at times. Along the way we will run into old Louis Boucher’s abandoned cabin, which makes for an excellent lunch spot. After a few more miles, we will make camp in the Travertine Canyon area.
Elevation & Distance: 10 miles, 3000 foot ascent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Our final day will cap off our epic adventure, as we traverse past Yuma point, Dripping Springs, across the Supai Group, and up toward Hermit’s Rest and the South Rim. Keep your eyes open for petroglyphs, fossils, old mining claims, and even some Puebloan ruins, remnants of a bygone era here at the Grand Canyon. After we come up topside, we will celebrate our Grand Adventure in the geologist’s tradition: with libations at a local watering hole before we head back to Flagstaff.
Elevation & Distance: 5 miles, 2500 foot ascent
Give me some details!
What is included in the Trip Rate?:
Your geologist/guide with all professional, medical, and backcountry certifications
Gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trek poles
Kitchen: bowls, cups, utensils, backcountry kitchen
Food: Full meals and trail snacks
Transportation: Roundtrip from the host hotel to all activities/attractions
Fees: Permits, Entrance Fees, Camping Fees, all necessary trip fees
What is the Food Situation?:
Blue Marble takes care of all meals on your tour. Starting with breakfast on your first day through lunch the final day, your geologist/guide will prepare a variety of chef-inspired meals on the trail and in camp. All dietary needs are accommodated, so please get in touch with us to give us details of your requirements. There may be times where special needs necessitate a small rate increase.
Meals with include one main dish, which is prepared by your geologist/guide. Fresh options may be limited, as backpacking typically requires lightweight, non-perishable foods. Trail snacks will include meats, cheeses, nuts, chocolate, and other filling, delicious, and varying backcountry food.
Is there anything that i need to provide myself?:
Transportation to and from the host city/hotel
Lodging prior to and following your trip
Gear such as clothes, rainwear, and boots/shoes
Personal items such as toiletries and sunscreen
BMAG does not provide water bottles or Camelback-Style bladders
Personal lighting such as headlamps or flashlights
We suggest gratuities for your guide, typically 10-15% of the total trip cost
*Booked guests will receive a detailed information packet
What kind of group size can i expect?
Standard backpacking tours will accommodate 6 people plus one geologist/guide. The maximum group size is 10 guests and 2 guides.
Can I bring small children?
Children under 12 are generally not permitted on any of Blue Marble’s scheduled trips due to insurance liabilities. This can be negotiable on private tours, please contact us to discuss this policy
I want to book a trip, how can i do that?
Tour bookings can be completed through our online booking platform or through our office. A 50% deposit is required, and the full trip rate will be due 90 days prior to trip departure. Bookings within the 90-day window require payment in full. Trip rates are payable through our online booking platform or over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee).
Tell me more!
Where do tours start and finish?
This trip will begin/end in Kanab, Utah and you will need to spend the night prior to your trip’s scheduled departure in Kanab. You will want to fly into St. George or Las Vegas.
Can I meet the guide before the trip?
A pre-trip briefing is held at the host hotel the evening before trip departure. Any questions will be answered, and you will have the opportunity to discuss anything you wish with your geologist/guide. Most trips will depart between 6am and 9am the following morning.
ummm, what should i do with all my luggage and whatnot?
BMAG provides all transport throughout the trip. Our guests staying at the host hotel may choose to leave their car at the hotel. Our designated host hotels will typically store your luggage if necessary. In the event that this cannot be arranged, BMAG is more than happy to store luggage and personal belongings in a private and secure location during your tour.
how should i plan my travel after the trip?
In general, most trips can expect to be back to the host hotel by 6pm on the final day of the trip. Some trips may return earlier. BMAG typically recommends that you do not plan to fly home on the same day your trip finishes. Each trip has its own particular set of circumstances and logistics, so please contact us with any specific questions you may have.
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