5 Amazing Facts About the Rivers in Colorado You Didn’t Know
While Colorado may be known for its great mountains, the state has a great number of streams and rivers critical to the well-being of the entire state.
We tend to take our rivers for granted, however, the great drought of 2018 may have given all of us a greater appreciation for this highly treasured natural resource.
In the spirit of greater water appreciation, here are five facts about Colorado's rivers and streams you probably didn't know.
For starters, you might be shocked to learn that Colorado has 158 named rivers and more than 5,000 streams. A total of 17 rivers have a drainage basin of more than 3,900 square miles, which is more than three times the size of Rhode Island.
There are only two rivers that flow into Colorado, the Cimarron River originates in New Mexico, while the Green River starts in Utah. All of the other rivers in Colorado originate from within the state's borders.
Coming up with unique stream names must be extremely difficult. We have 72 streams named Willow Creek, 71 streams names Spring Creek, 53 are named Cottonwood Creek, and 49 are named Bear Creek. We have 49 Beaver Creeks, 48 Dry Creeks, 33 Rock Creeks, 33 Sand Creeks, and 32 Mill Creeks.
When it comes to Colorado rivers, many of them have forks which can be a bit confusing. No less than 29 rivers in the state have a North Fork, 22 have a South Fork, 9 have an East Fork, and 8 have a West Fork.
At 1,450 miles, the main stem of the Colorado River is the 5th longest river in the nation behind the Missouri, Mississippi, Yukon, and Rio Grand Rivers. By comparison, the Missouri River travels more than 2,300 miles.
Colorado's water is an extremely precious commodity. It seems like there is a lot of it, but, it may not always be there for us.