In 1867 the South Platte region, having obtained a predominance in population capable of overcoming a gerrymander that had favoured the North Platte (and incidentally the Democrats), secured the appointment of a legislative committee to locate the state capital S.
South Park, directly west of Pikes Peak, is one of the highest basins (nearly 10,000 ft.), and gains its name from the scattered, park-like growth of large pine trees; it is drained chiefly by the South Platte river (Missouri-Mississippi system), through a deep gorge in the dissected mass of the plateau-like Front Range.
At Denver the South Platte is joined by Cherry Creek, and here in October 1858 were established on opposite sides of the creek two bitterly rival settlements, St Charles and Auraria; the former was renamed almost immediately Denver, after General J.
The South Platte is much the most important irrigating stream.
Long, in particular, followed the Platte and South Platte across the state in 1819, and his despairing account of the semi-arid buffalo plains - whence arose the myth of the Great American Desert - finely contrasts with the later history and latter-day optimism of dry-farming and irrigation.
In height - the Granite Canyon (11 m.) of the South Platte west of Florissant, and the fine gorge of the Rio de las Animas (1500 ft.), would be considered wonderful in any state less rich in still more marvellous scenery.