|Mouth||Confluence with Gunnison River
|Mouth elevation||4,915 ft (1,498 m)|
The Uncompahgre River is a tributary of the Gunnison River, approximately 75 mi (121 km) long, in southwestern Colorado in the United States. Lake Como at 12,215 ft (3723m) in northern San Juan County, in the Uncompahgre National Forest in the northwestern San Juan Mountains is the headwaters of the river. It flows northwest past Ouray, Ridgway, Montrose, and Olathe and joins the Gunnison at Confluence Park in Delta.
The river forms Poughkeepsie Gulch and the Uncompahgre Gorge. The major tributaries are all creeks draining the northwest San Juan Mountains.
The river is used for irrigation in the Uncompahgre Valley. Additionally, water from the Gunnison is diverted to the valley via the Gunnison Tunnel. The Uncompahgre is unnavigable except at high water.
The name given to the river comes from the Ute word Uncompaghre, which loosely translates to "dirty water" or "red water spring" and is likely a reference to the many hot springs in the vicinity of Ouray.
- "Uncompahgre River". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
- In the journal of Francisco Silvestre Vélez de Escalante's 1776 expedition, the author states that the Native American name for the river was Ancapagari, which translated to Spanish as Laguna Colorado and referred to a hot, bad tasting, red lake from which its waters came. The Spanish name for the river at that time was Rio de San Francisco, apparently so named by explorer Juan Maria de Rivera on one of his two earlier expeditions (1761 and 1765).
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