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29 Facts About Colorado River
The name Colorado River derives from the Spanish language for "colored reddish" due to its heavy silt load.
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From Grand Junction, the Colorado River turns northwest before cutting southwest across the eponymous Colorado River Plateau, a vast area of high desert centered at the Four Corners of the southwestern United States.
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The Gila Colorado River is the second longest and drains a greater area than the Green, but has a significantly lower flow because of a more arid climate and larger diversions for irrigation and cities.
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Since 1960, the Colorado River has typically dried up before reaching the sea, with the exception of a few wet years.
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For hydrological management purposes, the Colorado River Basin is divided into the Upper Basin, and the Lower Basin.
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The western boundary of the Colorado River Basin is formed by various ranges and plateaus that border the Great Basin, including the Uinta Mountains and Wasatch Range.
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Runoff patterns across the Colorado River Basin reflect this; most of the perennial tributaries originate in the Upper Basin, while tributaries in the Lower Basin are either ephemeral or highly seasonal .
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Colorado River ascended the river in twenty one days as far as the first rapids in Pyramid Canyon, over 300 miles above Fort Yuma and 8 miles above the modern site of Davis Dam.
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Colorado River then took a small boat up beyond the canyon to Fortification Rock and Las Vegas Wash.
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In 1859, a group of adventurers from Georgia discovered gold along the Blue River in Colorado and established the mining boomtown of Breckenridge.
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Colorado River largely escaped the turmoil of the Mexican Revolution, but in the postrevolutionary period, the Mexican government expropriated the company's land to satisfy the demand for land reform.
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Taylor saw the fact that the Colorado River started outside the border of his state as an "abomination".
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Hydroelectricity from the Colorado River is a key supplier of peaking power on the Southwest electric grid.
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The construction of Hoover Dam stabilized the lower channel of the Colorado River, stored water for irrigation in times of drought, captured sediment and controlled floods.
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Human development of the Colorado River has helped to create new riparian zones by smoothing the river's seasonal flow, notably through the Grand Canyon.
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Rivers and streams in the Colorado basin were once home to 49 species of native fish, of which 42 were endemic.
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Currently, the majority of sediments carried by the Colorado River are deposited at the upper end of Lake Powell, and most of the remainder ends up in Lake Mead.
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Since 1963, the only times when the Colorado River has reached the ocean have been during El Nino events in the 1980s and 1990s.
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The upper Colorado includes many of the river's most challenging rapids, including those in Gore Canyon, which is considered so dangerous that "boating is not recommended".
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