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Colorado River

Updated 2021-01-29
  • Colorado River Drainage Basin

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    The Colorado River drainage basin is shown in gray shading, with the river and major tributaries labeled. The portion of the drainage basin within the state boundaries of Colorado is shown with gray shading.
    Colorado River Drainage Basin
  • Colorado River Headwaters

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    Looking downstream at the headwaters of the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park. Here the Colorado meanders across a broad glacial valley bottom lined with wet meadows and beaver ponds. The orange conifers are infested by mountain pine beetles. The straight tan line on the hillslope at upper right is the Grand Ditch, which diverts water from the Colorado River across the continental divide and into Long Draw Reservoir and La Poudre Pass Creek, one of the headwaters of the South Platte River.
    Colorado River Headwaters
  • Colorado River Below Glenwood Springs

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    Below Glenwood Springs, the Colorado River enters the high desert of the Colorado Plateau. Flowing alternately across open plains and through canyons formed in orange-red sandstone, the river is turbid with suspended sediment. Cottonwoods line the river.
    Colorado River Below Glenwood Springs
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