United States Of America GeographyIn general terms, the continental United States is dissected by a vast central plain (the Great Plains), while the massive Rocky Mountain system and many other mountains ranges and hills cover much of the west.
The lower Appalachian Mountains and its assorted ranges front a broad coastal plain that stretches from the far-northeast to the southern Texas coastline on the Gulf of Mexico.
For specific landform details on Alaska and Hawaii, or other U.S. States, follow these links.
Major rivers of the United States include the Colorado, Columbia, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio and the Rio Grande.
Largest lakes (outside of the Great Lakes) include the Great Salt Lake, Utah, and Lake Okeechobee, Florida.
The Appalachians, about 1,500 miles in length, extend from central Alabama in the U.S. up through the New England states and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Quebec.
Significant Appalachian ranges include:
- The Cumberland Mts. in Tennessee
- The Blue Ridge Mts. in Virginia
- The Alleghenies in Pennsylvania
- The Catskills Mts. in New York
- The Green Mts. in Vermont
- The White Mts. of New Hampshire
A mountain range stretching from northeastern California across Oregon and Washington. Major peaks included Mt. Hood, Mt. Ranier, and Mt. St. Helens.
Mountains running along the Pacific Ocean coastlines of California, Oregon, Washington. They also extend along the western border of British Columbia, Canada, and the southern edge of Alaska, all the way to Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island.
This area of the southern and southeastern U.S extends to the continental shelf and is generally characterized by level (flat) land with assorted mixed forests. The coastal areas include bayous, deltas, marshes, mud flats and swamps.
In North America the Western Continental Divide is an imaginary line that sits atop a continuous ridge of mountain summits that divide the continent into two main drainage areas. Details and map.
The Great Plains of North America slope east from the Rockies and extend to the edge of the Canadian Shield and the western edges of the Appalachians. The land is generally smooth with large treeless areas and shallow river valleys. Minor hills and mountains are found in the Ozark Plateau of Missouri, and in the Boston Mountains and Ouachita Mountains of northwestern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. Sandhills and buttes cover parts of the north central U.S. in Nebraska.
Major rivers of North America
Major rivers of the United States
The Rocky Mountains, about 3,000 miles in length, extend from the U.S State of New Mexico up through the western United States and on into the northernmost reaches of Canada's British Columbia.
Major Rocky Mountain ranges include:
- Bear River
- Big Belt
- Big Horn
- Lost River
- Medicine Bow
- Salmon River
- San Andres
- Sangre de Cristo
- Wind River
The highest point in the Rockies is Mt. Elbert, located 10 miles southwest of Leadville, Colorado. It stands at 14,433 ft (4,399 meters).
This mountain range of eastern California is about 400 miles in length. The highest point is Mt. Whitney at 14,494 ft. (4,418 meters).