There are rivers in the desert, although some are dry most of the year. Early pioneers to Arizona used the desert waterways with their semi-dependable source of water as highways into the interior of the territory. Almost all of the early settlements were established along the more permanent river systems. Here in this photo, is typical Colorado Plateau River without the deep canyons usually associated with the Plateau. This view is similar to what the pioneers saw when the first stepped foot in Arizona Territory in the 1800s. There are a few exceptions, for example, tamarisk and tumbleweeds are foreign imports and would not have been seen by the pioneers. This happens to be the Rio Puerco, a tributary of the Little Colorado River.