World History

United States Rivers – US Rivers Geography

Mississippi River

The Mississippi River is one of the most important rivers in the United States. It flows north-south 3,340 miles from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana. Together with the Missouri River, it forms her fourth largest river system in the world. The source of the Mississippi River is Lake Itasca in Minnesota.

In the early history of the United States, the Mississippi River served as the westernmost border of the United States until the Louisiana Territory was purchased by France in 1803. The river has since become a symbol of the beginning of the American frontier. Today, the river is a major shipping waterway, carrying goods from the heart of the country to the Port of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico.

The Mississippi River flows through several states, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. It serves as a border between some of these states. It also passes through several major cities, including Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans.

Missouri River

At 4,540 miles long, the Missouri River is the longest river in the United States. Together with the Mississippi River forms her fourth largest river system in the world. It begins in western Montana and empties into the Mississippi River north of St. Louis. It goes through several states such as Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.

The first explorers to travel the entire Missouri River were Lewis and Clark. They took advantage of the Missouri River to head west to explore the Louisiana Purchase. The Missouri River played an important role in the early history of the American Frontier, as major western trails such as the Oregon Trail and Santa Fe Trail originated from it.

Rio Grande River

The Rio Grande River flows 1,900 miles from Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico. It passes through New Mexico on the way and serves as the border between the United States and Mexico’s southern state of Texas. Major tributaries of the Rio Grande include the Rio Concho, Rio Chama, and San Juan rivers.

Hudson River

The Hudson River flows north-south through eastern New York for 515 miles. It is a relatively short river when compared to many other rivers on this site. However, the Hudson River played an important role in the early history of the United States. The opening of the Erie Canal in 1825 connected the Hudson River to the Great Lakes. This created a trade route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes region. It had a great impact on the development of New York City.

Colorado River

The Colorado River flows 2,450 miles from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Gulf of California. Along the way, you’ll pass through Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, and Mexico. This river is known to have formed the Grand Canyon over millions of years. Today, Colorado is an important source of water and energy for the American Southwest. The Hoover Dam was built on the Colorado River in 1936. It forms Lake Mead and provides power to the city of Las Vegas.

Columbia River

The largest river in the northwestern United States is the Columbia River. 1,940 miles from the Canadian Rockies through Washington to the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon-Washington border. The river is an excellent source of energy and is home to the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest power-generating dam in the United States.

Yukon River

At 1,980 miles long, the Yukon River is her third longest river in the United States. It begins at the Llewellyn Glacier in Canada, flows north into Alaska, and continues west across the state to the Bering Sea.

Top 10 United States Rivers by Length:

Rivers Name length by Miles
Missouri 2,540
Mississippi 2,340
Yukon 1,980
Rio Grande 1,900
St. Lawrence 1,900
Arkansas 1,460
Colorado 1,450
Atchafalaya 1,420
Ohio 1,310
Red 1,290