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Gila River

The Gila River is a tributary of the Colorado River, 650 miles long, in the southwestern states of New Mexico and Arizona.

What do you know about the Gila River? Explore the Quick US Geography Rivers and Streams Quiz.  "Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

Trivia powered by Prof. Walter1. The Gila River has its source in western New Mexico on the western slopes of Continental Divide in the Black Range. What national forest does the river pass through?

  • Billy the Kid National Forest
  • Sky King National Forest
  • Gila National Forest

2. The river flows westward into Arizona, past the town of Safford, Arizona, and along the southern slope of the Gila Mountains in Graham County.

  • True or False?

3. What is the only major dam on the Gila River is 31 miles southeast of Globe, Arizona, which forms the San Carlos Lake.

  • Hoover Dam
  • Roosevelt Dam
  • Coolidge Dam

4. The river bends sharply southward, temporarily, along the mountains and then it sharply bends westward again near the town. What is the name of the town and mountains.

  • Gila Turn
  • Ajo
  • Gila Bend

5. It flows southwestward through the Gila Mountains in Yuma County, and finally it flows into the Colorado at Yuma, Arizona.

  • True or False?

6. After the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo in 1848, the Gila River served as a part of the border between the United States and Mexico until 1853 which extended American territory well south of the Gila. The confluence of the Gila with the Colorado river was also used as a reference point for the southern border of California. What changed the boundary?

  • Calvera War
  • Chochise Fight
  • Gadsden Purchase

7. What was the name of the dam constructed during a 3 year period from 1957-1960 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to help control seasonal floods on the lower reaches of the Gila River.

  • Saguaro Dam
  • Painted Rock Dam
  • White Tank Dam

8. A number of minor diversion dams have been built on the river between the Painted Rock Dam and the Coolidge Dam, including the Gillespie Dam which was breeched during a flood in 1993.

  • True or False?

9. What is NOT a name the Gila River has been known as?

  • Hah-quah-sa eel
  • Rio Gila
  • Rio Tombstone

10. The mouth of the Gila River is a the Colorado River at Yuma, Arizona. What is the elevation?

  • 118 feet
  • 128 feet
  • 138 feet


Gila River Answers

  1. Gila National Forest
  2. True
  3. Coolidge Dam
  4. Gila Bend
  5. True
  6. Gadsden Purchase
  7. Painted Rock Dam
  8. True
  9. Rio Tombstone
  10. 118 feet

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