Rio Grande: The River that Flows from Colorado up to Mexico

Do you love to see different rivers around the world? If yes, then probably you are a very adventurous person. To visit rivers is indeed a great adventure that can help you acquire memorable traveling experience. One of the most stunning rivers around the world that you must not miss to visit is Rio Grande. Rio Grande is a great river that plays a vital role in terms of agricultural, transportation and other purposes.

Rio Grande is a famous river that flows from South Central part of Colorado up to the Gulf of Mexico. It is also called as Rio Bravo del Norte. Many Native Americans also call this river as Rio Bravo. Based from a report submitted by International Boundary and Water Commission, the total length of Rio Grande is 1, 896 miles or almost 3.051 km. Rio Grande is either the fourth or fifth longest river located in North America.

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It naturally serves as the border between Texas and different state of Mexico such as Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Nuevo Leon and Coahuila. The river also serves as the official boundary between New Mexico and Texas. Rio Grande also has an important role on maintaining water level of nearby places in the river.

Rio Grande Valley is situated in the Rio Grande’s mouth which also serves as the main irrigation system of different agricultural regions near the river. The America’s Great Waters Coalition recognized Rio Grande as one of the Top 19 Great Body of Water. Rio Grande proves its efficiency in terms of providing enough supply of water in the different agricultural regions in North America. It is a fact that enough water is an important factor on maintaining good agricultural system in the region. Agricultural regions can acquire great benefits from the river Rio Grande.

The water system of Rio Grande can cover up to more than 182, 200 square miles. There are also many endorheic basins located in the different parts of Rio Grande. The total size of Rio Grande’s basin includes different basins located within the area of Rio Grande. The total increasing size of Rio Grande’s basin is almost 336, 000 square miles.

Geography of Rio Grande

The river is specifically located in the western part of the Rio Grande National Forest which is situated in Colorado, United Sates of America. Many streams located in the base of Canby Mountain located in San Juan Mountains caused the formation of Rio Grande. Rio Grande flows through different places such as San Luis Valley, New Mexico and pass through Espanola, Las Cruces up to El Paso, U.S State Texas up to the Gulf of Mexico.

Below the area of El Paso, Rio Grande serves as the natural border between Mexico and United Sates of America. The official measurement of Rio Grande ranges between 889 miles up to 1, 248 miles. However, its official boundary measurement may vary in accordance to the methods used for measuring its length and size. Rio Grande is not navigable by ships, big boats and cargo boats. Only small boats can navigate barely few places through Rio Grande.

The river flows from high elevation since El Paso is about more than 3, 500 feet above sea level. In the area of New Mexico, Rio Grande passes through the Rio Grande rift form one basin up to other canyons. It seems that Rio Grande is supports bosque system through its flood plain. From the east ward area of El Paso, Rio Grande flows and passes through a desert. Rio Grande ends in Sandy Delta located in the Gulf of Mexico. A season between 2001 and 2002, a sandbar was set to block the mouth of Rio Grande and during a fall in the year 2003, the sandbar was removed by high river flows.

Navigation in Rio Grande

Navigation in Rio Grande is relatively hard because of several factors. However, navigation in the river became active during the 19th century. More than 200 various steamboats operate in the Rio Grande’s mouth areas such as Brownsville and Texas. There are also several steamboats from Mississippi River and Ohio River tried to enter Rio Grande during the Mexican War in the year 1846. Under General Zachary Taylor, US Army tried to invade Monterrey.

They also suggested implementing some innovation for the navigation system of the river. They also suggested several ways on how to make navigation system in Rio Grande easier and fast. However, such recommendations were never been implemented because of several factors. As time passes by, there are now some steamboats and boats that can barely navigate in the river.

History of Rio Grande

  • During 1800’s, the river became as the official boundary of Mexico and Texas
  • The river became the official border of United States of America from the two cities of Mexico which are Chihuahua and Ciudad Juarez.
  • The river became the escape route of slaves from Texas who aimed to acquire freedom.
  • In 1828, Mexico and United States of America signed an agreement about regarding Rio Grande.
  • In the year 2001, during a summer season, a sandbar was installed in order to empty the Gulf of Mexico but in the year 2003, Rio Grande once again reached the Gulf of Mexico.

Other Names of Rio Grande

Rio Grande came from Spanish words ‘’Big River’’.   Aside from its name Rio Grande, Navajo people and Pueblo also had their names for Rio Grande. Mexican people also call Rio Grande as Hnapakwa, Met’ichi chena, Posoge and Paslapaane. Some people from Mexico also call the upper part of Rio Grande as Rio del Norte. Navajo people call Rio Grande as To Ba aadi which means Female River because for Navajo people the direction south is a female term for Navajo cosmology. In Mexico, the term Rio Bravo became the official Spanish name of the lower part of the river in the year 1602. During 19th century, United States of America set Rio Grande as the official name of the river.