RThe United States of America has over 250,000 rivers, with a total of about 3,500,000 miles of rivers.

River Map

The longest river in the USA is the Missouri River (it is a tributary of the Mississippi River and is 2,540 miles long), but the biggest in terms of water volume is the deeper Mississippi River.

Missouri River. The upper Missouri River at Gates of the Mountains, western Montana, north of Helena. Credit: Travel Montana

Missouri River. The upper Missouri River at Gates of the Mountains, western Montana, north of Helena. Credit: Travel Montana

Sunset on the Mississippi River

Sunset on the Mississippi River

The longest undammed river in the contiguous USA is the Yellowstone River (it is 692 miles long).

Rivers provide drinking water, irrigation water, transportation, electrical power, drainage, food, and recreation.  Rivers also erode land and carry it downstream to the sea.  This kind of erosion can even form canyons, like the Grand Canyon, and waterfalls, like Niagara Falls.

grand-canyon-river

Grand Canyon River

American Falls, Niagara Falls

American Falls, Niagara Falls

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4 responses

  1. Birgit says:

    Love to take trips down the rivers (not over the falls though:)). It is so calming and can be fun too if one takes on the rapids. Amazing what water can do

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  2. Marci says:

    I love rivers – they are so relaxing! Rivers in the arid west are my favorite though – such striking landscapes, carved by water. Beautiful! 😀

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