Multiple linear regression (MLR) was used to spatially interpolate precipitation for simulating runoff in the Animas River basin of southwestern Colorado. MLR equations were defined for each time step using measured precipitation as dependent variables. Explanatory variables used in each MLR were derived for the dependent variable locations from a digital elevation model (DEM) using a geographic information system. The same explanatory variables were defined for a 5 ?? 5 km grid of the DEM. For each time step, the best MLR equation was chosen and used to interpolate precipitation onto the 5 ?? 5 km grid. The gridded values of precipitation provide a physically-based estimate of the spatial distribution of precipitation and result in reliable simulations of daily runoff in the Animas River basin.