Duchesne River

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Duchesne River
Country United States
State Utah
 - left Strawberry River
 - right Uinta River, Lake Fork
Cities Duchesne, Utah, Tabiona, Utah, Myton, Utah, Randlett, Utah, Hanna, Utah
Source Uinta Mountains
 - coordinates 40°42′16.51″N 110°53′17.47″W / 40.7045861°N 110.8881861°W / 40.7045861; -110.8881861
Mouth Green River
Length 80 mi (129 km)
Basin 3,790 sq mi (9,816 km2)
Discharge for Randlett
 - average 522 cu ft/s (15 m3/s)
 - max 11,500 cu ft/s (326 m3/s)
 - min 0.78 cu ft/s (0 m3/s)

The Duchesne River, located in Uintah Basin region of Utah in the western United States, is a tributary of the Green River. The watershed of the river covers the Northeastern corner of Utah. The Duchesne River is 80 miles (130 km) long, beginning in the Uinta Mountains of Utah.

The Lake Fork of the Duchesne is impounded by the Moon Lake Dam, built in 1938 by the United States Bureau of Reclamation. Starvation Dam and Soldier Creek Dam, also built by the Bureau of Reclamation, are located on the Strawberry River, the largest tributary of the Duchesne.


Named Santa Caterina de Sena by Dominguez-Escalante in September 1776, the river received its permanent name from early French American trappers who where from St. Louis, Missouri but work out of Taos, New Mexico and followed the Old Spanish Trail north until they entered the Uintah Basin by way of the book cliffs in the south. From 1824 to 1840 the river and its tributaries provided tons of beaver pelts used to make hats. William H. Ashley upon entering the Uintah basin from the north in 1825 and exploring the branches of the Green river called the Duchesne branch the "Euwinty" river. The first reference to the "Duchesne Fork" is from a map created by Warren A Ferris in 1835. In 1842 a map created by John C Fremont labeled the main course of the river the Uintah river and starting at the fork where the current town of Duchesne is located, the northern fork is labeled "Duchesne Fork". The main course of the river continued to be called the Uintah river through the 1860s until the first Indian agency was created. US Army engineer Captain Simpson 10th infantry listed it as Des Chesney's fork of the Uinta river. [1] The exact source of the name Duchesne is not known. It is an accepted fact that the river was named by one of the French trappers who came into the area as early as 1808 with the Manuel Lisa trapping company but is more likely around 1824 with the Provost/Robidoux/Leclerc parties. Possible inspiration for the name "Duchesne":


  1. ^ The Mountaineer (Great Salt Lake City) February 04, 1864
  2. ^ Barton, John D. (1994), "Duchesne", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917 

Coordinates: 40°05′10″N 109°41′02″W / 40.08611°N 109.68389°W / 40.08611; -109.68389