Travel Attractions

Colorado River Rafting

The Colorado River, one of the major rivers in the U.S.A., is 1,450 miles (2,334 kilometers) long. It flows across 1,360 miles (2,189 kilometers) of the United States and 90 miles (145 kilometers) of Mexico. It rises in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and flows southwest into Utah. It is joined by the Green River in eastern Utah and by the San Juan River in southern Utah. The Colorado then continues southwest into Arizona. After merging with the Little Colorado River in northern Arizona, the river swings west through the Grand Canyon. The Virgin River of Nevada joins its course beyond the Grand Canyon. The Colorado then turns south and forms the Arizona-California border. It then flows across the Mexican border to the Gulf of California. Arizona's Bill Williams and Gila rivers merge with the river north of the Mexican border. The Colorado drains an area of about 250,000 square miles (650,000 square kilometers).

The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River presents an outstanding example of the effects of wind, water, and weather on the earth's surface. For millions of years, the river worked its way into layer after layer of rock, gradually deepening and broadening its channel. Sand, pebbles, and boulders carried by the river produced a constant grinding action. The action of wind and temperature and the gradual elevation of the Colorado plateau added to the effect of the grinding. The Grand Canyon now consists of a great gash in the earth 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) deep. It ranges from less than 1 mile to 18 miles (29 kilometers) wide.

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