This article is on the Loup River in Nebraska, USA; for information on the Loup River in southeast France, see Loup River (France).
The Loup River (pronounced /lup/) is a tributary of the Platte River, approximately long, in central Nebraska in the United States. The river drains a sparsely populated rural agricultural area on the eastern edge of the Great Plains southeast of the Sandhills. The name of the river means "wolf" in French, named by early French trappers after the Skiri or Skidi band of the Pawnee, who called themselves the "Wolf People," and lived along its banks. The river and its tributaries, including the North Loup, Middle Loup, and South Loup, are known colloquially as "the Loups", comprising over 1800 mi (2900 km) of streams and draining approximately one-fifth of Nebraska.
The river is formed in eastern Howard County
, approximately 5 mi (8 km) northeast of St. Paul
and 20 mi (32 km) north of Grand Island
, by the confluence of the North Loup
and Middle Loup
rivers. It flows ENE, past Fullerton
, where it is joined from the north by the Cedar River
. It continues ENE roughly parallel to the Platte, past Genoa
, separated from the Platte by approximately 15 mi (24 km). It joins the Platte from the northwest approximately 4 mi (6.4 km) southeast of Columbus
A diversion dam southwest of Genoa diverts water to the Loup canal to nearby hydroelectric facilities in Columbus.