Little Colorado River

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Geographic Location and Tributaries

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 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 near Holbrook, the County Seat of Navajo County, the River is further augmented by the Silver Creek and Puerco River.

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.

Early Exploration

Development Along the River

Dams and Power Generation

Colorado Water Litigation

Impact on Settlement of the Western United States

Impact on Settlement of Arizona

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