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Colorado River, Riverside County, Arizona, United States (33.48571 -114.59938)
The drainage basin or watershed of the Colorado River encompasses 246,000 square miles (640,000 km2) of southwestern North America, making it the seventh largest on the continent. About 238,600 square miles (618,000 km2), or 97 percent of the watershed, is in the United States. The river and its tributaries drain most of western Colorado and New Mexico, southwestern Wyoming, eastern and southern Utah, southeastern Nevada and California, and nearly all of Arizona. The areas drained within Baja California and Sonora are very small and do not contribute measurable runoff. Most of the basin is arid, defined by the Sonoran and Mojave deserts and the expanse of the Colorado Plateau, although significant expanses of forest are found in the Rocky Mountains; the Kaibab, Aquarius, and Markagunt plateaus in southern Utah and northern Arizona; the Mogollon Rim through central Arizona; and other smaller mountain ranges and sky islands. Elevations range from sea level at the Gulf of California to 14,321 feet (4,365 m) at the summit of Uncompahgre Peak in Colorado, with an average of 5,500 feet (1,700 m) across the entire basin.