American River Trails
The Platte River originates in the state of Nebraska and is about 310 miles – 500 km – long. Measured to its farthest source via its tributary the North Platte, it flows for over 1,050 miles – 1,690 km. The Platte is a tributary of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.
River Valley Trails played an important role in the westward expansion of the United States, providing the route for several major emigrant trails, including the Oregon, California, Mormon and Bozeman Trails. The French were the first Europeans to reach the Platte. At Casper, Wyoming the trails left the North Platte valley and followed the Sweetwater River valley and other river valleys going further west.
The North Platte River is approximately 716 miles – 1,152 km – long, across Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska. It is navigable over most of its length at high water by canoes, kayaks and rafts. In Colorado and Wyoming, the river is narrower and much swifter flowing than it is in Nebraska, where it becomes a slow, shallow stream. The upper reaches of the river in the Rockies in Colorado and Wyoming are popular for recreation rafting and fishing.