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LOUIS BOUCHER

Louis Boucher
and his mule Calamity Jane

 He built the Boucher Trail to the river, ran a tourist business, and worked mining claims in his part of the Canyon.

In 1912, when the Hermit Trail was completed,  he left the Canyon and relocated to Moreland, Utah.

     A prospector in search of ore, Louis Boucher came to the Grand Canyon between 1889 and 1891, although the dates of his birth and even his death are unknown.  His quest brought him to Dripping Springs, a perennial water source in Hermit Canyon about nine miles west of Grand Canyon Village.  Within short order, he built the Silver Bell Trail (today known as the Dripping Springs Trail) from the rim to his outpost; erected some tents and a small corral for horses, mules, and sheep; planted a garden and an orchard; built another trail, this one to the river (today's Boucher Trail); and constructed a second home near a copper vein about a mile from the Colorado River.

     Boucher never made a lot of money mining, but the reclusive eccentric tended to his claims in the Canyon for many years, perhaps believing the mother lode was just around the next butte, perhaps feeling more comfortable in his side canyon than on the bustling rim.  But it is also known that the "Hermit of Grand Canyon" was a gracious host when tourists stopped by his canyon homes.  Although the name of "Hermit Canyon" was likely in use before he arrived at the Grand Canyon, Hermits Rest, Hermit Road, Hermit Trail, and Hermit Camp are all named for Boucher.

Scenes from Louis Boucher's Camp
at Dripping Spring  (Circa 1908)

Photos courtesy of the Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collection 
P.O. Box 129, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023

Source material for this story: 2006 Grand Canyon National Park Calendar printed by the Grand Canyon Association.

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