I AM definitely going backpacking in the Grand Canyon this October. I finally got my backcountry permit from the Backcountry Office at GC. It actually came about two weeks ago, just haven't gotten around to talking about it yet. ^^
Sat. 10/20: Fly into Vegas, drive to South Rim, spend night at Bright Angel
Sun. 10/21: Into the canyon via the Hermit and Boucher trails. Camp at Boucher Rapids.
Mon. 10/22: Hike to Hermit Rapids, camp.
Tue. 10/23: Hike to Monument Creek, camp.
Wed. 10/24: Out of the canyon via the Tonto and Bright Angel trails. Night at El Tovar.
Thu. 10/25: Drive back to Vegas and fly home.
Except for possibly the first day into the canyon, this is not a tough hike. Of the non-maintained trails, the Hermit is the easiest, and the Tonto between Hermit Rapids and the Bright Angel Trail is heavily traveled. The Bright Angel is maintained by the Park Service, and is the most heavily traveled of the mule-and-tourist trails into the canyon. By mid-October they will have turned off water at the One-and-a-Half-Mile and Three-Mile Resthouses on the Bright Angel, which is an annoyance, but no more than that. I'm doing this hike not because it's especially challenging, but because I'd like to get pictures of this section of the canyon, which I don't have. I've also done the Hermit's Rest to Bright Angel loop, but never been down to either Hermit Rapids or Boucher Rapids, or down the Boucher at all.
The Boucher is the most problematic part of the hike. It's about 10 miles from rim to river on this trail, and one prominent Internet canyon guide has in its description of this trail such phrases as "at times your are literally walking on the edge of the gorge and one wrong step could be fatal", or "Most other guide books that I have read actually recommend this trail for the descent [...] I think that the people who wrote these must be out of their collective minds." Hm. Well, we'll see. I've walked along the edge of many gorges in the Canyon, and it's not that bad, you just have to be careful. I've done some pretty bad non-technical descents, too.
Just to tickle my memory, a shot from my last trip to the Canyon, too many months ago: