CONFLUENCE - Missouri River - Kansas River
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 39° 06.939 W 094° 36.579
15S E 360840 N 4330843
Quick Description: The confluence of the Kansas (Kaw) River and the Missouri River is now a park and was a campsite during the Lewis and Clark Expedition on the upstream portion - 26-29 June 1804.
Location: Kansas, United States
Date Posted: 9/3/2014 11:05:21 AM
Waymark Code: WMMD69
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member silverquill
Views: 2

Long Description:
Kaw Point is the location of the Confluence of the Kansas (Kaw) River and the Missouri. A park dedicated to Lewis and Clark has been established by the Combined Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. From the website:
(visit link)

"The Lewis and Clark expedition arrived at Kaw Point, at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers in Kansas City, Kansas on June 26, 1806.

This six-acre park features an education pavilion with interpretive signs about the expedition and trails through the woods along the river. A boat ramp and docking area allow for river access.

Hours: Park closes at midnight. Admission Free."

Information on the Kansas (Kaw) River:
(visit link)

"The Kansas River (also known as the Kaw) (Lenape: Kansiai Sipu) is a river in northeastern Kansas in the United States. It is the southwestern-most part of the Missouri River drainage, which is in turn the northwestern-most portion of the extensive Mississippi River drainage. Its name (and nickname) come from the Kanza (Kaw) people who once inhabited the area. The state of Kansas in turn drew its name from the river.

The river valley averages 2.6 miles (4.2 km) in width, with the widest points being between Wamego and Rossville, where it is up to 4 miles (6.4 km) wide, then narrowing to 1 mile (1.6 km) or less in places below Eudora. Much of the river's watershed is dammed for flood control, but the Kansas River is generally free-flowing and has only minor obstructions, including diversion weirs and one low impact hydroelectric dam.

Beginning at the confluence of the Republican and Smoky Hill rivers, just east of aptly named Junction City (1,030 feet or 310 metres), the Kansas River flows some 148 miles (238 km)[2] generally eastward to join the Missouri River at Kaw Point (730 feet or 220 metres) in Kansas City. Dropping only 320 feet (98 m) on its journey seaward, the water in the Kansas River falls less than 2 feet per mile (38 cm/km). The Kansas River valley is only 115 miles (185 km) long; the surplus length of the river is due to meandering across the floodplain. The river's course roughly follows the maximum extent of a Pre-Illinoian glaciation, and the river likely began as a path of glacial meltwater drainage."

Information on the Missouri River:
(visit link)

"The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles (3,767 km) before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. The river takes drainage from a sparsely populated, semi-arid watershed of more than half a million square miles (1,300,000 km2), which includes parts of ten U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world's fourth longest river system.

For over 12,000 years, people have depended on the Missouri and its tributaries as a source of sustenance and transportation. More than ten major groups of Native Americans populated the watershed, most leading a nomadic lifestyle and dependent on enormous buffalo herds that once roamed through the Great Plains. The first Europeans encountered the river in the late seventeenth century, and the region passed through Spanish and French hands before finally becoming part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase. The Missouri was long believed to be part of the Northwest Passage – a water route from the Atlantic to the Pacific – but when Lewis and Clark became the first to travel the river's entire length, they confirmed the mythical pathway to be no more than a legend.

The Missouri was one of the main routes for the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century. The growth of the fur trade in the early 1800s laid much of the groundwork as trappers explored the region and blazed trails. Pioneers headed west en masse beginning in the 1830s, first by covered wagon, then by the growing numbers of steamboats entering service on the river. Former Native American lands in the watershed were taken over by settlers, leading to some of the most longstanding and violent wars against indigenous peoples in American history.

During the 20th century, the Missouri River basin was extensively developed for irrigation, flood control and the generation of hydroelectric power. Fifteen dams impound the main stem of the river, with hundreds more on tributaries. Meanders have been cut and the river channelized to improve navigation, reducing its length by almost 200 miles (320 km) from pre-development times. Although the lower Missouri valley is now a populous and highly productive agricultural and industrial region, heavy development has taken its toll on wildlife and fish populations as well as water quality.

Parking Coordinates: N 39 6.984 W 94 35.696

Trailhead Coordinates: N 39 6.955 W 94 35.600

Relevant Web Site: [Web Link]

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