Gunnison River

Tributary of the Colorado River

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Gunnison River
GunnisonRvr.JPG
Gunnison river basin map.png
Map of the Gunnison River, its tributaries and major cities
Location
CountryUnited States
StateColorado
CitiesGunnison, Grand Junction
Physical characteristics
SourceEast River confluence with the Taylor River
 • coordinates38°39′49″N 106°50′50″W / 38.66361°N 106.84722°W / 38.66361; -106.84722[1]
 • elevation8,008 ft (2,441 m)[2]
MouthColorado River
 • coordinates
39°3′42″N 108°34′42″W / 39.06167°N 108.57833°W / 39.06167; -108.57833Coordinates: 39°3′42″N 108°34′42″W / 39.06167°N 108.57833°W / 39.06167; -108.57833[1]
 • elevation
4,552.56 ft (1,387.62 m)[2]
Length180 mi (290 km)[3]
Basin size7,923 sq mi (20,520 km2)[4]
Discharge 
 • locationUSGS Station 09152500 GUNNISON RIVER NEAR GRAND JUNCTION, CO [5]
 • average2,741 cu ft/s (77.6 m3/s)[4]
 • minimum533 cu ft/s (15.1 m3/s)[4]
 • maximum16,500 cu ft/s (470 m3/s)[4]
Basin features
Tributaries 
 • leftTomichi Creek, Cebolla Creek, Lake Fork Gunnison River, Cimarron River, Uncompahgre River
 • rightSmith Fork, North Fork Gunnison River, Kannah Creek

The Gunnison River is located in western Colorado, and it is one of the largest tributaries of the Colorado river. The 180-mile (289-km) long river flows east to west, and it has a drainage area of 7,923 square miles (20,520 km2) according to the USGS.[6][3] The drainage basin of the Gunnison River collects water from different habitats, such as forests and alpine meadows, located the along Continental Divide. As the river flows westward, it carves through the San Juan Mountains. It flows into the Colorado River at Grand Junction.

The Gunnison River Basin is popular for recreational activities such as fishing, rafting, boating, camping, hiking, and rock climbing.[7]

Contamination of the Gunnison River with selenium and mercury results from irrigation of high-selenium soils derived from the Mancos Shale and from mineral mining. The region surround the Gunnison River is also part of the Colorado Mineral Belt. Contamination of the Gunnison River with selenium and mercury is a conservation concern for the bonytail chub, Colorado pikeminnow, humpback chub, and the razorback sucker, whose critical habitat includes the lower Gunnison River.[8]

  1. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Gunnison River, USGS GNIS.
  2. ^ a b Google Earth elevation for GNIS coordinates.
  3. ^ a b "Gunnison River: Thoroughly Western". American Rivers. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "Water Year Summary for Site USGS 09152500". nwis.waterdata.usgs.gov. USGS Water Resources. 8 November 2020. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  5. ^ "USGS 09152500 GUNNISON RIVER NEAR GRAND JUNCTION, CO". USGS Water Resources.
  6. ^ "Water-Year Summary for Site USGS 09152500". USGS Water Resources. 8 November 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  7. ^ "Recreation in the Gunnison Basin". Gunnison River Basin. 15 December 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  8. ^ Day, Natalie; Schmidt, Travis; Roberts, James; Osmundson, Barbara; Willacker, James; Eagles-Smith, Collin (13 January 2020). "Mercury and selenium concentrations in fishes of the Upper Colorado River Basin, southwestern United States: A retrospective assessment". PLOS ONE – via PLOS ONE.

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Where can I visit?

  • Fruitvale, Colorado

    Census Designated Place in Colorado, United States

  • Grand Junction, Colorado

    Home rule municipality in Colorado, United States

  • Redlands, Colorado

    Census Designated Place in Colorado, United States

  • Gunnison River

    Tributary of the Colorado River

  • Colorado National Monument

    National Park Service unit in Colorado, United States

  • Western Colorado Botanical Gardens
  • Grand Junction Regional Airport
  • Central High School (Grand Junction, Colorado)

    Public high school in Grand Junction, Colorado, United States

  • Colorado Mesa University

    Public university in Grand Junction, Colorado

  • Western Colorado Community College

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Gunnison River

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