The Colorado River, ‘Aha Kwahwat in Mojave, Río Colorado (Red River) in Spanish, is a river in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico, approximately 1450 miles, 2333 kilometers long, draining a part of the western slope of the Rocky Mountains. The river course take you from the source in the impressive snow-covered mountain landscapes, over dams and lakes, through deep eroded canyons and dry desert areas to the estuary in the Gulf of California.
The existence of the Colorado River was first discovered and noted in the records of written history in September 1539, when Francisco de Ulloa sailed to the head of the Gulf of California and rowed a short distance upstream.
The Colorado River spring is La Poudre Pass Lake, located high in Rocky Mountain National Park, just west of the Continental Divide. “Grand River” is the name once applied to the Colorado River from its headwaters in Rocky Mountain National Park to its confluence with the Green River. This gave rise to several names including Grand Lake, Grand Valley and Grand Junction. The earliest appearance of this name on a map could be on the map by Henry Schenck Tanner from 1836. The name there replaces the name of Rio Rafael, which appears on many earlier maps. In 1921 Grand River was officially renamed to Colorado River.
The Colorado River continues from the Rocky Mountains down into the upper canyon areas of Colorado and Utah, along with several tributaries and reservoirs. Then the river enters Arizona and the Glen Canyon area with countless canyons, mountains and bays. Downstream of the Glen Canyon Dam the river passes the Navajo Bridge and enters the Grand Canyon area, with some of deepest canyons and most impressive rock formations. At the Grand Canyon end, it exit out into Lake Mead, in Nevada, with its numerous bassins and coves. Below the mighty Hoover Dam the Colorado River run into the Desert area which is shared with Arizona and California and includes several dams. Finally the Colorado River cross the border from USA into Mexico and ends up at the river estuary at the Gulf of Mexico.
About the “Colorado River tour”: Take a tour along the entire North American Colorado River from the spring in the Rocky Mountain lake 3101 meters, 10174 feets above sealevel, through hundreds of canyons including Grand Canyon, crossing dams and lakes like the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead and finally flowing into the Gulf of California. More than 1000 placemarks, in average one every 1.5 mile, 2,5 kilometers, guide you along the river. At the end of the placemark collection of folders the ‘overlays’ folder offer various displays like national parks, the watershed, the river states and the river basin. Check out detailed track/path of the river source area from the spring at La Poudre Pass Lake, including the Grand Ditch, down to Shadow Mountain Lake. Also the entire Grand Canyon River from the start at Lee’s Ferry in Glen Canyon to Pearce Ferry at Grand Canyon end, all 279 Miles is mapped detailed as track/path. Location of all named rapids in the Grand Canyon are placemarked. Also various notable whitewater rapids in canyons like Gore Canyon and Westwater Canyon are pinpointed. In lower Colorado River area detailed track/path outline All-American Canal and the Mexican Morelos Canal. Tour creator: Tom Kjeldsen, created may 2008. Recommended to be viewed as a ‘Play tour’ in Google Earth with terrain feature enabled.