Smoky Hill River

From Academic Kids

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Smokey-hill-river-cattle-drive.jpg
Cattle crossing the Smoky Hill River at Ellsworth, on the old Santa Fe crossing.

The Smoky Hill River is a 560-mile river in Colorado and Kansas. It starts in the high plains of eastern Colorado and flows east. The two main tributaries, called the North and South forks, join near Russell Springs, Kansas. From there, the river continues generally eastward through central Kansas. The Smoky Hill River joins the Republican River at Junction City, Kansas to form the Kansas River.

Besides Junction City, other Kansas towns along the river are Salina and Abilene.

Two dams, the Kanopolis and the Cedar Bluff, are used for irrigation and flood control.

Native names for the river include Chetolah and the Okesee-sebo. Early maps of European explorers called the river (sometimes in combination with the Kansas) the River of the Padoucas, after a name given to the Comanche.

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