Cycling in the Grand Canyon to Hermit’s Rest & Beyond


Solitude.  Adventure.  Copper ore.  Whatever Louis Boucher hoped to find in the unexplored depths of Arizona’s Grand Canyon, it is now nearly as historic – unavailable – as the hermit himself.  With over 5 million people visiting this National Park a year, individuals struggle to abandon the crowds for a bit of Boucher’s peace and isolation.

Biking Grand Canyon, Arizona

Boucher, an mysterious figure from Quebec, came to the canyon in 1891 and staked out an existence as prospector and trail guide.  Boucher is noted as the only ‘white’ man to live permanently in the canyon, alone in Hermit Creek Basin.

We are one of a few hundred tourists today; but I – with my boyfriend, Hadyn, and companions James and Amanda – find our own humbling, awe-inspiring scenes by renting bikes and riding to an outlook named after the exploratory Canadian.

Bright Angel Bicycles rents the two-wheeled transport by the hour, half-day and day.  Following the yellow-coded lines snaking across the map, Hermit’s Rest Trail extends 10.5 miles along the South Rim and takes a suggested 2-6 hours.  We peddle along the roadside at times, stopping for the park’s busses.   For a few miles, our route winds uphill through low scrub trees and pine; then, we break out of the brush to views repeatedly calling for camera breaks.

Biking Grand Canyon, Arizona

Biking Grand Canyon, Arizona

Biking Grand Canyon, Arizona

“I climb up the granite to its summit, and go away over rust colored sandstones and greenish yellow shales…I climb so high that the men and boats are lost in the black depths below, and the dashing river is a rippling book; and still there is more canyon above than below.  All about me are interesting geological records.  The book is open, and I can read as I run.”  -Louis Boucher, Aug. 18, 1869

Biking Grand Canyon, Arizona

Biking Grand Canyon, Arizona

For rental rates, optional routes and further information on Bright Angel Bicycles, visit www.bikegrandcanyon. com

Next stop on our Southwest American road trip: Lake Powell, Arizona, the Navajo Reservation and Bryce Canyon, Utah. 

Kelli Mutchler
Kelli Mutchler left a small, Midwest American town to prove that Yanks can, and do, chose alternative lifestyles. On the road for five years now, Kelli has tried news reporting and waitressing, bungy jumping and English teaching. Currently working with Burmese women refugees in Thailand, she hopes to pursue a MA in Global Development. Opportunities and scenes for international travel are encouraged on her blog,
Read More Share

Recent Author Posts

Join Our Community

Connect On Social Media

Most Popular Posts

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!