The Sierra Madre Occidental
range runs north to south, from the Sonora-Arizona border southeast through Sonora, Chihuahua, Sinaloa, Durango, Zacatecas, Nayarit, Jalisco, Augascalientes to Guanajuato, where it joins the Sierra Madre del Sur and the Transverse Volcanic Axis of central Mexico.
These steep mountains are cut through with canyons, including Copper Canyon, the deepest in North America.
The highest point is Cerro Mohinora at 10,662 ft (3,250 m)
Sierra Madre del Sur
is a mountain range in southern Mexico, extending 1,000 m from southern Michoacan east through Guerrero to eastern Oaxaca.
The Gulf Coastal Plain
lies to the east of the Sierra Madre Occidental range fronting the Gulf of Mexico.
The very narrow Coastal Plain
along the Pacific Ocean coastline rises quickly into the foothills of the mountains, while the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean
coastlines are wider and rise gently into the interior.
The Central Mexican Plateau
consumes much of northern and central Mexico. It extends from the border with the USA
on the north to the Cordillera Neovolcanica in the south, with the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range on the west and the Sierra Madre Oriental on the east. It averages 5,988 ft (1,825 m) above sea level and is covered mostly by deserts and xeric shrublands.
A long line of ancient volcanoes (many still active
) extends from the Pacific Ocean
(north of Guadalajara
) on eastward to the Gulf of Mexico
, just to the south of Veracruz. Pico de Orizaba Volcano, the third highest mountain in North America, is located here.
The mountainous Baja Peninsula
extends about 750 miles (1,200 km
) south from the U.S.
border. Mexico's limestone Yucatan Peninsula is tree-covered, with thick tropical jungles along its borders with Central America
The Yucatan Peninsula
separates the Caribbean Sea
from the Gulf of Mexico
. It is east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which is a geographic partition separating Central America
from the rest of North America.
Landforms of North America (details)
Mexico has nearly 150 rivers; most are small, unnavigable, and 70% drain into the Pacific Ocean. Some of the large rivers include the Balsas, Conchos, Grijalva, Panuco, Papaloapan and Usumacinta. (Not all are shown on the map for space reasons
The Rio Grande, rising in the San Juan Mountains of the U.S. State of Colorado
, flows generally south to the Gulf of Mexico for 1,885 miles (3,000 km) and forms much of Mexico's northern border with the United States.
The two largest lakes in the country of Mexico are Lake Chapala and Lake Cuitzeo.
Major rivers of North America
Copper Canyon, Mexico
Mexico from Space