- In 1960 Santa Fe poet Spud Johnson invited Porter on a rafting trip
down the Colorado River through Glen Canyon in southeastern Utah.
The canyon fascinated the artist. He traveled down Glen Canyon eleven
times between 1960 and 1971.
- Porter created a colorful close-up portrait of the canyon through
the colors and shapes found on canyon walls, plants, and in water
- Glen Canyon was about to be flooded behind a new dam. After seeing
Porter's first photographs of the canyon, Sierra Club Executive Director
David Brower asked the photographer to quickly make a book that would
show the beauty about to be lost in this spectacular landscape. Brower
sent the book, The Place No One Knew: Glen Canyon on the Colorado
(1963), to President Johnson, the secretary of the interior, and
every member of Congress; he enclosed a plea to halt completion of
- The book did not stop the closure. However, it triggered important
public and government support for limiting further dam construction
on western rivers.
- Porter continued to visit Glen Canyon even after it was flooded.