Arkansas River

Arkansas River
AR Arkansas River.jpg
The lower part of the Arkansas River near Little Rock, Arkansas
Arkansas river basin map.png
The Arkansas River flows through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and its watershed also drains parts of Texas, New Mexico and Missouri.
CountryUnited States
StateColorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas
RegionGreat Plains
CitiesPueblo, CO, Wichita, KS, Tulsa, OK, Muskogee, OK, Fort Smith, AR, Little Rock, AR, Pine Bluff, AR
Physical characteristics
SourceConfluence of East Fork Arkansas River and Tennessee Creek
 ⁃ locationNear Leadville, Rocky Mountains, Colorado
 ⁃ coordinates39°15′30″N 106°20′38″W / 39°15′30″N 106°20′38″W / 39.25833; -106.34389[1]
 ⁃ elevation9,728 ft (2,965 m)
MouthMississippi River
 ⁃ location
Franklin Township, Desha County, near Napoleon, Arkansas
 ⁃ coordinates
33°46′30″N 91°6′30″W / 33°46′30″N 91°6′30″W / 33.77500; -91.10833536,000 cu ft/s (15,200 m3/s)
Basin features
River systemMississippi River watershed
 ⁃ leftFountain Creek, Pawnee River, Little Arkansas River, Walnut River, Verdigris River, Neosho River
 ⁃ rightCimarron River, Salt Fork Arkansas River, La Flecha, Canadian River, Poteau River

The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river's source basin lies in the western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas River Valley, where the headwaters derive from the snowpack in the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges. It then flows east into the Midwest via Kansas, and finally into the South through Oklahoma and Arkansas.

At 1,469 miles (2,364 km), it is the sixth-longest river in the United States,[7] the second-longest tributary in the Mississippi–Missouri system, and the 45th longest river in the world. Its origin is in the Rocky Mountains in Lake County, Colorado, near Leadville. In 1859, placer gold discovered in the Leadville area brought thousands seeking to strike it rich, but the easily recovered placer gold was quickly exhausted.[8] The Arkansas River's mouth is at Napoleon, Arkansas, and its drainage basin covers nearly 170,000 square miles (440,000 km2).[6] Its volume is much smaller than the Missouri and Ohio Rivers, with a mean discharge of about 40,000 cubic feet per second (1,100 m3/s).

The Arkansas from its headwaters to the 100th meridian west formed part of the U.S.–Mexico border from the Adams–Onís Treaty (in force 1821) until the Texas Annexation or Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.


Name pronunciation varies by region. Some people in the upper reaches of the river, particularly in Kansas, and parts of Colorado, pronounce it s/ KAN-zəs,[9] People in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and some parts of Colorado, typically pronounce it ɔː/ AR-kən-saw, which is how the Arkansas state is always pronounced according to a state law passed in 1881.[10]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Arkansasrivier
العربية: نهر أركنساس
Bân-lâm-gú: Arkansas Hô
беларуская: Арканзас (рака)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Арканзас (рака)
български: Арканзас (река)
català: Riu Arkansas
čeština: Arkansas (řeka)
Cymraeg: Afon Arkansas
español: Río Arkansas
한국어: 아칸소강
Kiswahili: Mto Arkansas
Kreyòl ayisyen: Akennsas (rivyè)
Кыргызча: Арканзас
Nederlands: Arkansas (rivier)
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Arkanzas (daryo)
português: Rio Arkansas
română: Râul Arkansas
Simple English: Arkansas River
slovenščina: Arkansas (reka)
српски / srpski: Арканзас (ријека)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Arkansas (rijeka)
Tsetsêhestâhese: Mó'soonêó'he'e
Türkçe: Arkansas Nehri
українська: Арканзас (річка)
Tiếng Việt: Sông Arkansas
中文: 阿肯色河