The Arkansas River flows through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and its watershed also drains parts of Texas, New Mexico and Missouri.
Location Country United States State , Colorado , Kansas , Oklahoma Arkansas Region Great Plains Cities , Pueblo, CO , Wichita, KS , Tulsa, OK , Muskogee, OK , Fort Smith, AR , Little Rock, AR Pine Bluff, AR Physical characteristics Source Confluence of and East Fork Arkansas River Tennessee Creek ⁃ location Near , Leadville , Rocky Mountains Colorado ⁃ coordinates 39°15′30″N 106°20′38″W / 39°15′30″N 106°20′38″W / 39.25833; -106.34389  ⁃ elevation 9,728 ft (2,965 m) Mouth Mississippi River
Franklin Township, , near Desha County , Napoleon Arkansas
33°46′30″N 91°6′30″W / 33°46′30″N 91°6′30″W / 33.77500; -91.10833 536,000 cu ft/s (15,200 m 3/s) Basin features River system watershed Mississippi River Tributaries ⁃ left , Fountain Creek , Pawnee River , Little Arkansas River , Walnut River , Verdigris River Neosho River ⁃ right , Cimarron River , Salt Fork Arkansas River , La Flecha , Canadian River Poteau River
Arkansas River is a major of the tributary . It generally flows to the east and southeast as it traverses the U.S. states of Mississippi River , Colorado , Kansas , and Oklahoma . The river's source basin lies in the Arkansas in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas River Valley, where the headwaters derive from the western United States in the snowpack and Sawatch mountain ranges. It then flows east into the Mosquito via Kansas, and finally into the Midwest through Oklahoma and Arkansas. South
At 1,469 miles (2,364 km), it is the sixth-longest river in the
, United States the second-longest tributary in the Mississippi–  system, and the Missouri . Its origin is in the 45th longest river in the world in Rocky Mountains , near Lake County, Colorado . In 1859, Leadville gold discovered in the Leadville area brought thousands seeking to strike it rich, but the easily recovered placer gold was quickly exhausted. placer The Arkansas River's mouth is at  , and its drainage basin covers nearly 170,000 square miles (440,000 km Napoleon, Arkansas 2). Its volume is much smaller than the Missouri and  Rivers, with a mean discharge of about 40,000 cubic feet per second (1,100 m Ohio 3/s).
The Arkansas from its headwaters to the
formed part of the 100th meridian west from the U.S.–Mexico border (in force 1821) until the Adams–Onís Treaty or Texas Annexation . Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Name pronunciation varies by region. Some people in the upper reaches of the river, particularly in
, and parts of Kansas , pronounce it Colorado / , KAN-zəs People in  , Oklahoma , and some parts of Arkansas , typically pronounce it Colorado / , which is how the AR-kən-saw state is always pronounced according to a state law passed in 1881. Arkansas