Thursday, June 30, 2016


The Colorado River begins at La Poudre Pass in the Southern Rocky Mountains of Colorado, at just under 2 miles above sea level. After a short run south, the river turns west below Grand Lake, the largest natural lake in Colorado. The 1,450-mile Colorado River drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states while providing water for upwards of 36 million people.The watershed of the Colorado River encompasses 246,000 square miles of southwestern North America, making it the seventh largest on the continent. About 238,600 square miles, or 97 percent of the watershed, is in the United States.The river and its tributaries drain most of western Colorado and New Mexico, southwestern Wyoming, eastern and southern Utah, southeastern Nevada and California, and nearly all of Arizona.