Grand Canyon Treks
12,000 Miles through the Grand Canyon
Harvey Butchart established his place in Grand Canyon history by walking, climbing, and floating (on an air Mattress) more than 12,000 miles of rugged Grand Canyon backcountry, a distance roughly equal to hiking halfway around the world. He is credited with finding more than 116 approaches to the Colorado River, and with summiting 83 of the 138 named Grand Canyon peaks, 35 of those being first ascents, Butchart was called “the undisputed king of extreme and obsessive Grand Canyon hiking” by Backpacker Magazine (June 1997).
Grand Canyon Treks is Butchart’s original trilogy. The Spotted Dog Press edition combines his original books. This edition was reviewed by the backcountry office of Grand Canyon National Park and its museum. Missing are antiquated references to the “Anasazi” replaced by “Ancestral Puebloan” the term agreed upon by the southwest’s Native nations. Though Butchart’s trail notes and route descriptions of his remote wilderness adventures through winding canyons and rambling plateaus of the Grand Canyon from Lee’s Ferry to Lake Mead were loosely described and more in keeping with a narrative style, the Yosemite Decimal system was applied to the routes under the review of the Grand Canyon National Park’s backcountry office to give readers an overall idea of the difficulty. Nevertheless, for anyone serious about exploring the backcountry of the Grand Canyon, this book is required reading.
Harvey Butchart floated the entire lengths of the San Juan, Green and most of the Colorado River on an air mattress. Rivers were never an obstacle to him. When he needed to cross a river while on his exploratory trips, he inflated his air mattress, and put in upstream from where he wanted to land. This practice is now prohibited by the National Park Service.
Harvey Butchart is the undisputed king of extreme and obsessive Grand Canyon hiking.
I set about tracking down the experts on foot travel in the Canyon… they totaled one… Harvey Butchart.
Colin Fletcher, Author, The Man Who Walked Through Time