Now You Can Paddle Down The Colorado River On Google Street View

“While you admire its grandeur, remember that the river is also at risk.”

Millions of years ago, the surging waters of the Colorado River carved out the Grand Canyon. Though majestic and powerful, the river is also considered America’s most endangered, thanks to human influences.

Google Street View has partnered with American Rivers so online users can virtually paddle down the Colorado River with 360-degree panoramic views that include bighorn sheep, remains of a volcanic dam, and ancient rock formations.

“While you admire its grandeur, remember that the river is also at risk,” Chris Williams, senior vice president of conservation at American Rivers, wrote in a blog post announcing the Colorado River Street View project.

Though it supplies drinking water to 36 million people and supports a $26 billion recreation industry, the Colorado River is “also one of the most endangered, dammed, diverted, and plumbed rivers in the world,” he said. “By the time it reaches the Gulf of California in Mexico, the river is barely a trickle–a ghost of its once magnificent self.”

Pointing to the Colorado River’s decline over the years, he said viewers can look at its former high water mark and sedimentation along the river’s edge.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.