Canadian River

Canadian River

The Canadian River is the largest tributary of the Arkansas River. It is about convert|760|mi|km long, starting in Colorado and traveling through New Mexico, the Texas Panhandle, and most of Oklahoma.

The Canadian is sometimes referred to as the South Canadian River to differentiate it from the North Canadian River that flows into it.


The river rises on the east side of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, at approximately convert|9600|ft|m|abbr=on, in remote southwestern Las Animas County, Colorado, approximately 1.5 mi (2.5 km) north of the New Mexico border. It flows ESE across the border, then south, passing west of Raton, New Mexico. It forms a deep canyon south of Springer, New Mexico. At its first dam at Conchas Lake, the river turns eastward. It is also dammed at Logan, New Mexico, where it forms Ute Lake. From there it crosses the Texas Panhandle, dammed at Sanford, Texas, where it forms Lake Meredith. The canyon the river carves through eastern New Mexico and the Texas Panhandle is the northern border of the Llano Estacado, separating it from the rest of the Great Plains. From Texas the Canadian continues eastward into Oklahoma, passing just south of Oklahoma City. At Eufaula, Oklahoma, it is dammed once again, forming Eufaula Lake, its largest. About convert|20|mi|km downstream it joins the Arkansas River, about convert|40|mi|km west of the Arkansas border.

Much of the time the Canadian is just a slow trickle bounded by red mud flats and quicksand. When sufficient rain has fallen, the river can carry substantial amounts of water.

Name origin

It is unclear why the river is called the Canadian. The name may have been given to the river by early French hunters and traders who came from Canada. The upper part was called Rio Colorado by the Spanish. Some researchers think early explorers believed the river flowed into Canada. It does flow northeast through part of the Texas Panhandle. In 1929 Muriel H. Wright wrote that the Canadian River was named about 1820 by French traders who noted another group of traders from Canada had camped on the river near its confluence with the Arkansas River. [Wright, Muriel H. "Some Geographic Names of French Origin in Oklahoma", "Chronicles of Oklahoma", 7(2):188-193, June 1929.]

The name could be of Spanish origin from the word "cañada" (meaning "canyon"), as the Canadian River formed a steep canyon in northern New Mexico and a somewhat broad canyon in Texas. A few historical records document this explanation. Generally, the French origin of the name is considered more probable. [Hale, Edward E. "French Place-Names in New Mexico", "French Review", 3(2):110-112, November 1929.]

By the Treaty of Doak's Stand in 1820, the Canadian River was made the northern boundary of the Choctaw Nation. Early emigrants to California followed the south bank of the Canadian to Santa Fe. In 1845 the river was explored by Lieutenants James William Abert and William G. Peck of the U.S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers. Their journey was chronicled in the "Journal of Lieutenant J.W. Abert from Bent’s Fort to St. Louis", first published in 1846. The Texas Ranger Division also was active in the area.

ee also

*List of Colorado rivers
*List of New Mexico rivers
*List of Oklahoma rivers
*List of Texas rivers


External links

* [ "Canadian River", Handbook of Texas Online]
*Sketch of the [ Canadian River] from [ "A pictorial history of Texas, from the earliest visits of European adventurers, to A.D. 1879"] , Portal to Texas History, University of Texas.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Canadian River — Einzugsgebiet/Verlauf Daten Gewässerkennzahl …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Canadian River — Canadian (rivière) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Canadian. Canadian River Caractéristiques Longu …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Canadian River —   [kə neɪdiən rɪvə], rechter Nebenfluss des Arkansas River, USA, entspringt in den südlichen Rocky Mountains, 1 458 km lang; zur Landbewässerung genutzt.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Canadian River — Canadian River, Fluß in den Vereinigten Staaten von Nordamerika, entspringt auf der Guadalupe Range im Gebiet New Mexico, fließt in östlicher Richtung durch den nördlichen Theil des Staates Texas, dann durch den südlichen Theil des… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Canadian River — (spr. kǟnĕdiän riwwer), Fluß in Nordamerika, der in den Culebra Mountains von New Mexico entspringt, zuerst durch enge Cañonschluchten, später in flachem Bette durch die wüstenhafte Prärie von Nordwest Texas und Oklahoma fließt und im… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Canadian River — (spr. kännehdĭĕnn riww r), Nebenfluß des Arkansas in Nordamerika, entspringt auf dem Felsengebirge in Neumexiko, 1400 km lg …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Canadian River — a river flowing E from the Rocky Mountains in NE New Mexico to the Arkansas River in E Oklahoma. 906 mi. (1460 km) long. * * * River, southwestern U.S. Flowing across northeastern New Mexico, it cuts a gorge nearly 1,500 ft (450 m) deep before… …   Universalium

  • Canadian River — noun a river rising in northeastern New Mexico and flowing eastward across the Texas panhandle to become a tributary of the Arkansas River in Oklahoma • Syn: ↑Canadian • Instance Hypernyms: ↑river • Part Holonyms: ↑New Mexico, ↑Land of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Canadian River — Cana′dian Riv′er n. geg a river flowing E from the Rocky Mountains in NE New Mexico to the Arkansas River in E Oklahoma. 906 mi. (1460 km) long …   From formal English to slang

  • Canadian River — /kəˌneɪdiən ˈrɪvə/ (say kuh.naydeeuhn rivuh) noun a river in the southern US, flowing from the Rocky Mountains east to the Arkansas river in eastern Oklahoma. 1458 km …   Australian-English dictionary

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