The 1,450-mile Colorado River drains an expansive, arid watershed that encompasses parts of seven U.S. and two Mexican states. It provides water for over 36 million people. This critical and majestic river begins high in the central Rocky Mountains in the Rocky Mountain National Park. The river is repeatedly diverted and dammed through out its course as it flows to the Gulf of Mexico. The river flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada border, where it turns south toward the international border. After entering Mexico, the Colorado approaches the large Colorado River Delta at the tip of the Gulf of California between Baja California and Sonora. *** currently, due to water claims on the river, the Colorado River does not reach the Colorado River Delta or the Gulf .