Another Grand Canyon hiking legend has passed away. In recent years canyon enthusiasts bid farewell to George Steck and Harvey Butchart, two intrepid backcountry travelers that wrote at length about their respective experiences. Joining them in that great wilderness in the sky is Colin Fletcher, author of “The Man Who Walked Through Time.” Fletcher’s account of his 1963 walk from one end of Grand Canyon National Park to the other fired the imaginations of readers at a time when camping and backpacking were gaining popularity across the country.
Perhaps ironically, Fletcher was severely injured in 2001 when he was struck by a car while crossing a rural road. These injuries plagued him until his death on June 12, 2007, at the age of 85. Since his Grand Canyon trek in 1963, the park has been expanded dramatically by absorbing Grand Canyon National Monument and Marble Canyon National Monument. End-to-end hikes are as rare now as they were in Fletcher’s time, with only a few dozen people having accomplished the feat. He will be missed.