Canyon Country, 1961

How high is that wall?

Cathedral Canyon at Colorado River


from a Navajo sheep trail. Click on the canyon and...

One hundred and sixty miles of gentle river flowing through the most spectacularly beautiful canyon country anywhere.  Here you could be...

"...drifting down a calm river, through a spectacular and beautiful canyon, with side canyons unrivaled by any other in the world,a thousand years of Anasazi, Spanish, Mormon, and mining history...these things all combined in a single place, a place that provides one of the most beautiful experiences in the world."
The final words of a slide show and 
a Sierra Club film by Phil Pennington, 1962

...and then keep clicking.  Explore!

Cathedral Canyon at Colorado River, 1964.

Water flow is a statistical thing.  Many variables interact in intricate ways.  Little shifts can, and will, produce big changes.  Unpredictable changes.  The engineers predicted at most two or three feet of evaporation losses per year from the reservoir: they got closer to ten.  A government hydrologist had pointed out a serious oversimplification the engineers were making, but the hydrologist was ignored.  A geologist pointed out that the rock at the dam has a lot of water-soluble mineral (calcite) in it.  The engineers felt the effects could be nullified.  The Chief of Dam Builders toured the country touting the wonders of his new reservoir, giving anyone who would listen a picture that didn't always conform to the pictures that some of his listeners had seen for themselves.  And so it happened that the dam builders convinced themselves that a natural menace became a national resource.

National resource

A reservoir for energy -- a reservoir for water
Human understanding of energy became scientific in the 19th century.
The math-level of human thinking transformed human knowledge into something of great power.
The understanding of this math-level knowledge has yet to become widespread sufficiently
to allow engineering practice to avoid mistakes
as well as it well as it should.
Click on the picture

Catfish Canyon
looking upstream from an Anasazi home

June 1962
April 1963
June 1964
This is the goal of GCI.
Click here to go there.
June 1963
The Glen Canyon Institute
was co-founded by a professor of physics and internal medicine and a scientist from the Bur of Reclamation.  It's membership includes a former Commissioner of Reclamation, a dean of engineering, the actress/singer who gave most of those side canyons their names, many lawyers, scientists, engineers, river runners, and other ordinary and extraordinary people who understand the importance to the human spirit of beauty, adventure, autonomy, exploration, and protection of especially the most superb of Earth's natural wonders.