Footprints on the Sands of Time: Retracing Harvey Butchart's Exploration of the Grand Canyon through His Annotated Matthes-Evans Maps


Section of Matthes-Evans topographic map, heavily annotated in pen by Harvey Butchart


Thursday, February 28, 2019


Memorial Union, Arizona Ballroom (Room 221)
301 E Orange St, Tempe, AZ 85281


Peter Runge

Presentation Abstract

John Harvey Butchart was a mathematics professor at Northern Arizona University from 1945 to 1973. From 1945 to 1987, he spent considerable time in the Grand Canyon, hiking established trails, exploring obscure routes, and discovering new routes. In all, Dr. Butchart spent over 1,000 days in the Grand Canyon and traveled over 12,000 miles in the Canyon. Dr. Butchart kept journals on his explorations and complemented those notes with a heavily annotated copy of the 1927 Francois Matthes and Richard Evans East Half, West Half topographic maps of the Grand Canyon. Embedded in Butchart’s annotated Matthes-Evans maps are compelling stories of adventure, discovery, triumph, and heartbreak. This presentation will highlight selections of those stories and the impact this map has had on subsequent hiking exploration in the Canyon.