The Colorado River runs from central Colorado, through the Southeastern sector of Utah, down through the Grand Canyon, and then continues south along the Arizona-California border, down past Yuma into Mexico, and out to the Gulf of California.
For over 12,000 years the river has been an important means of transportation, water supply and life in general for indigenous populations and modern sports enthusiasts.
The scenic beauty is unlike anything else found in the world, especially as it winds its way throughout the Grand Canyon, telling the story of how over the centuries it has etched the formation of the canyon. The deep gorges and towering cliffs speak of the power of the endless flow of the water over the years.
The Native Americans who have live in the areas of the river have depended upon the river for their very livelihood as they planted and harvested their crops, using the river as a source of water. The current tribes of the Navajo, Hopi, Apache, Paiute, Zuni, Hualapai and Yavapai are instrumental to this day in the decision making in the uses of the river and how it impacts the area.
There are two major dams located on the river that have a great influence on the surrounding plant and animal life, and how the river flows. In 1936, Hoover Dam was completed and Lake Mead was formed above the dam near Las Vegas, Nevada. The Glen Canyon Dam was built in 1963 near Lee’s Ferry at the upper end of the Grand Canyon, and Lake Powell is the result.
There is more water that is taken from the Colorado River than any other river in the country for agriculture and municipal water. There are currently over 2 million acres of land that is irrigated by the river and numerous communities that draw the river’s water for drinking and commercial purposes.