Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “River: One Man's Journey Down the Colorado, Source to Sea” as Want to Read:
River: One Man's Journey Down the Colorado, Source to Sea
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

River: One Man's Journey Down the Colorado, Source to Sea

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  142 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
At age sixty-seven, Colin Fletcher, the guru of backpacking in America, undertook a rigorous six-month raft expedition down the full length of the Colorado River--alone. He needed "something to pare the fat off my make me grateful, again, for being alive." The 1,700 miles between the Colorado's source in Wyoming and its conclusion at Mexico's Gulf of California c ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published May 5th 1998 by Vintage (first published 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about River, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about River

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Anthony Whitt
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A great tale of exploration and adventure.
Eugene Miya
Jun 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I purchased this book decades after reading Thousand-Mile Summer and The Complete Walker: The Joys and Techniques of Hiking and Backpacking (two excellent books) and Fletcher's The Man Who Walked Thru Time (assigned class reading), and other writings by Colin Fletcher. But this time I'd met mutual friends and once in high school attempt to write fan mail w/o hearing back. My friend Steve notes that Colin did not respond nor care for fan mail.

This is Colin's Conrad? Heart of Darkness? Heart of Re
Years ago I used Colin Fletcher’s The Complete Walker as my guide for learning solo backpacking techniques. At the time, I was shocked to see another reviewer describe him as “quirky as hell.” Looking at this statement nearly 40 years later, I see that at the time I shared many of Fletcher’s quirks, such as extreme wilderness advocacy, distrust of much of civilization and most humans, tendency to poke cynical fun at bureaucracy, insistence upon daily caffeine even while in the wilderness, and ov ...more
Hoyt Acre
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Colin Fletcher described walking as “…a quite delectable madness, very good for sanity”. I am in complete agreement. Years ago I was introduced to the “long grassy ridge”, ten minutes drive from where Fletcher then lived, which shows up in various of Fletchers writings, unidentified by him, but which I have always liked to believe to have been Mt. Tamalpais State Park in Marin County, north of San Francisco. Or Muir Woods. Or maybe it was Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Or maybe not.

It very
May 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. Obviously the concept of floating the entire river is something that really intrigues me. Compound that intrigue with the fact that Fletcher floated the river alone and in a manner that showed the river respect and awe, and I was hooked. The travel narrative was very detailed, providing me with a great mental image of the sights, sounds, and feelings of the trip. But then again, I have seen some stretches of the river first-hand, so it wasnt that difficult.

Joe White
A long story, now dated. The fabric weave of the story consists of personal reminiscence, geological observations, some rafting details, and conservation observations regarding attitudes and effects. This is not strictly a travelogue. There are many details, each isolated within an encapsulated incident. The rafting insights are only useful if you are very familiar with the river, or if you are following the story and plotting progress on topo maps. Since the 1987 trip is now 25 years in the pas ...more
Jul 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science, naturalist
From the head water natural springs of the Green River in Montana -- the longer of the 2 tributaries wich rightly ought to be called the Colorado -- to the marshy swamps of a dead delta in the Sea of Cortez; this book retraces the might Colorado River through the remaining wilds, over the sevarally dam-impounded waters from source to sea solo. It's great.
David Kessler
Mar 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Not many humans could pull this trip off. He floated by every kind of boat imaginable to float from the headwaters of the Green R in CO and all the way to the Sea of Cortez. The Colorado R runs into the Sea of Cortez
Oct 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, travel
I read this in preparation for our own rafting trip in the Grand Canyon. It was good and I enjoyed it, but I expected more. It didn't make me feel anything. I wanted to feel his passion for places, and it just wasn't resonating for me.
Ian Coats
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
C. Fletcher is quickly becoming my favorite author. His descriptions of his hikes are inspiring.
Oct 19, 2007 rated it liked it
I found this book that day that Colin died and I saw it as a sign. It took me a while to get started but I enjoyed the reading, for the most part.
Jan 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
What an adventure and what a boring book.
rated it really liked it
Aug 05, 2011
rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2011
rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2008
walking oregon
rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jul 03, 2013
rated it did not like it
Mar 04, 2016
rated it really liked it
Apr 27, 2012
Eugene Kiedrowski
rated it it was amazing
Mar 22, 2014
rated it really liked it
Mar 05, 2014
Natalie Mcsparran
rated it really liked it
Jul 15, 2011
rated it really liked it
Jul 14, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Feb 17, 2015
Greg Stoto
rated it really liked it
Nov 10, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Jun 15, 2015
Chris Townsend
rated it really liked it
Jan 17, 2011
rated it it was amazing
May 01, 2010
Cindy Dyson Eitelman
rated it really liked it
May 20, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Aug 20, 2007
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Eternal Darkness: A Personal History of Deep-Sea Exploration
  • The Last Englishman
  • Woodswoman II: Beyond Black Bear Lake
  • The Lost Grizzlies: A Search for Survivors in the Colorado Wilderness
  • Confessions of a Radical Industrialist: How My Company and I Transformed Our Purpose, Sparked Innovation, and Grew Profits - By Respecting the Earth
  • Anatomy of Greed: The Unshredded Truth from an Enron Insider
  • Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak
  • Tales From The Underground: A Natural History Of Subterranean Life
  • Raven's Exile: A Season on the Green River
  • Orphan Trains: The Story of Charles Loring Brace and the Children He Saved and Failed
  • Grizzly Years: In Search of the American Wilderness
  • Beyond Backpacking: Ray Jardine's Guide to Lightweight Hiking
  • River Notes: A Natural and Human History of the Colorado
  • Wildest Dream: The Biography of George Mallory
  • The Death and Life of Monterey Bay: A Story of Revival
  • Gringos in Paradise: An American Couple Builds Their Retirement Dream House in a Seaside Village in Mexico
  • Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil
  • The Prophet's Way: A Guide to Living in the Now
Colin Fletcher was a pioneering backpacker and writer.

In 1963, Fletcher became the first to walk the length of Grand Canyon entirely within the rim of the canyon "in one go" — only second to complete the entire journey — as chronicled in his bestselling 1968 memoir The Man Who Walked Through Time. Through his influential hiker's guide, The Complete Walker, published the same year, he became a kind
More about Colin Fletcher...