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Arkansas River - Royal Gorge

The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. The Arkansas generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the US states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's source basin lies in the western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas River Valley, where the headwaters derive from the snowpack in the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges. Then it flows east into the Midwest via Kansas, and finally into the South through Oklahoma and Arkansas. At 1,469 miles (2,364 km), it is the sixth-longest river in the United States, the second-longest tributary in the Mississippi–Missouri system, and the 45th longest river in the world.

Its origin is in the Rocky Mountains in Lake County, Colorado, near Leadville. In 1859, placer gold discovered in the Leadville area brought thousands seeking to strike it rich, but the easily recovered placer gold was quickly exhausted. The Arkansas River's mouth is at Napoleon, Arkansas, and its drainage basin covers nearly 170,000 sq mi (440,300 km²). The Arkansas from its headwaters to the 100th meridian west formed part of the US-Mexico border from the Adams–Onís Treaty (in force 1821) until the Texas Annexation or Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo.  The river's source basin lies in the western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas River Valley, where the headwaters derive from the snowpack in the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges. Since 1902, Kansas has claimed Colorado takes too much of the river's water, resulting in a number of lawsuits before the US Supreme Court that continue to this day, generally under the name of Kansas v. Colorado. The problems over the possession and use of Arkansas River water by Colorado and Kansas led to the creation of an interstate compact or agreement between the two states. While Congress approved the Arkansas River Compact in 1949, the compact did not stop further disputes by the two states over water rights to the river.

The Kansas-Oklahoma Arkansas River Basin Compact was created in 1965 to promote mutual consideration and equity over water use in the basin shared by those states. It led to the Kansas-Oklahoma Arkansas River Commission, which was charged with administering the compact and reducing pollution. The compact was approved and implemented by both states in 1970, and has been in force since then. Many nations of Native Americans lived near, or along, the 1,450-mile (2334-km) stretch of the Arkansas River for thousands of years. The first Europeans to see the river were members of the Spanish Coronado expedition on June 29, 1541. Also in the 1540s, Hernando de Soto discovered the junction of the Arkansas with the Mississippi. The Spanish originally called the river Napeste.[10] "The name "Arkansas" was first applied by Father Jacques Marquette, who called the river Akansa in his journal of 1673.

(Royal Gorge Train)

Ref: DP658

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Arkansas River

Royal Gorge

Canon City

Colorado.

United States.

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