Little Colorado River
Geographic Location and Tributaries[edit | edit source]
The Little Colorado River originates in the White Mountains of Arizona in two main tributories, the West Fork arising on the north flank of Mount Baldy and the East Fork, which join near the town of Greer, Arizona. The Little Colorado then flows into River Reservoir and passes just to the north of Springerville/Eager. Continuing northward, the Little Colorado is further impounded in the Lyman Lake Reservoir. Below the Lyman Dam, the river water is diverted into an irrigation system. The small amount of remaining water flows down the natural channel, past the former town of Salado, then north past and through St. Johns, the County Seat of Apache County, and on towards the northwest. In the Hunt Valley the River is joined by the Zuni River and then on west to where the Little Colorado River is joined by the Silver Creek at Woodruff, the on to near Holbrook, the County Seat of Navajo County.
The River is further augmented by the Puerco River. The Puerco River in northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona flows through arid terrain including the Painted Desert. The main tributary of the Little Colorado River, it drains an area of about 2,654 square miles (6,870 km2) and is 167 miles (269 km) long. Together with the Little Colorado River, the Puerco River drains an area of about 26,500 square miles (69,000 km2) in eastern Arizona and western New Mexico. As a tributary of the major Colorado River, the Little Colorado/Puerco River is over 315 miles (507 km) long, but being a transient desert river, its average discharge is typically less than 400 cubic feet per second (11 m3/s), and can vary greatly throughout the year. 
The Little Colorado River continues northwest across a portion of the Navajo Nation and then finally enters a deep canyon near Cameron, Arizona. The River eventually empties into the Colorado River at the eastern end of the Grand Canyon, north of Cameron, Arizona on the Navajo Indian Reservation.
Development Along the River[edit | edit source]
Dams and Power Generation[edit | edit source]
Lyman Dam was constructed 17 miles north of Springerville, Arizona. There were additional dams built at Joseph City formerly Saint Joseph, originally in Yavapai County, then Apache County, now in Navajo County.
Colorado Water Litigation[edit | edit source]
Impact on Settlement of the Western United States[edit | edit source]
Impact on Settlement of Arizona[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]