Kevin Blackston
PO Box 217
Floresville TX 78114-0217
United States of America

Cimarron River

Oklahoma, USA

From its source in northeastern New Mexico, the Cimarron River briefly runs through parts of Colorado and Kansas. Most of the nearly 700 mile long channel lies inside Oklahoma, however, and it is with that state that the river is normally associated.1 2

Although the Cimarron River merges with the Arkansas River just west of Tulsa, the Cimarron is generally not navigable, and few communities of significant size sit on its banks.3 In addition, the river’s water, which is usually murky and tinged red, is not potable because it contains high levels of salt.

Despite its shortcomings, the Cimarron holds a special place in Western lore. During parts of the 19th century, several major cattle trails crossed the river, and an early visitor wrote that the area around the river was a “country remarkably rugged and broken, affording the most romantic and picturesque views imaginable.”4 When one considers that the Cimarron’s name comes from a Spanish word meaning “wild,” such a description seems entirely appropriate.

39-cent U.S. postage stamp picturing the Cimarron River in Oklahoma, USA
Cimarron River



  1. Cimarron River. Encyclopædia Britannica. Accessed 29 Jan. 2013.
  2. O’Dell, Larry. Cimarron River. Oklahoma State University Library. Accessed 29 Jan. 2013.
  3. Lockwood, Lyle, and Marc McCord. Cimarron River. Southwest Paddler. 31 Oct. 2009. Accessed 29 Jan. 2013.
  4. Blackmar, Frank, ed. Cimarron River. Blue Skyways. Accessed 29 Jan. 2013.

Published 2018-06-18