With thousands of miles of land, some rivers in the USA and also some of the longest in the world! But which are the longest rivers in the USA? Read on as I take a look at which ones they are and just how long each one is…
The Top 10 Longest Rivers in the USA
10 – Ohio River (Estimated Length: 979 Miles)
Wiki Info: The Ohio River is a climatic transition area, as its water runs along the periphery of the humid subtropical and humid continental climate areas. It is inhabited by fauna and flora of both climates. In winter, it regularly freezes over at Pittsburgh but rarely further south toward Cincinnati and Louisville. At Paducah, Kentucky, in the south, near the Ohio’s confluence with the Mississippi, it is ice-free year-round. Paducah was founded there because it is the northernmost ice-free reach of the Ohio.
9 – Snake River (Estimated Length: 1,040 Miles)
Wiki Info: Rugged mountains divided by rolling plains characterise the physiographically diverse watershed of the Snake River. The Snake River Plain was created by a volcanic hotspot which now lies underneath Yellowstone National Park, where the headwaters of the Snake River arise. Gigantic glacial-retreat flooding episodes that occurred during the previous Ice Age carved out many topographical features, including various canyons and ridges along the middle and lower Snake River. Two of these catastrophic flooding events significantly affected the river and its surrounds.
8 – Red River (Estimated Length: 1,225 Miles)
Wiki Info: The Red River, or sometimes the Red River of the South, is a major tributary of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers in the southern United States of America. The river was named for the red-bed country of its watershed. It is one of the several rivers with that name. “The Mexicans and Indians on the borders of Mexico are in the habit of calling any river, the waters of which have a red appearance, ‘Rio Colorado’, or Red river”, observed R.B. Marcy in 1853
7 – Columbia River (Estimated Length: 1,243 Miles)
Wiki Info: The Columbia and its tributaries have been central to the region’s culture and economy for thousands of years. They have been used for transportation since ancient times, linking the many cultural groups of the region. The river system hosts many species of anadromous fish, which migrate between freshwater habitats and the saline waters of the Pacific Ocean.
6 – Arkansas River (Estimated Length: 1,443 Miles)
Wiki Info: The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi River. It generally flows to the east and south-east as it traverses the US states of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. The river’s source basin lies in the western United States in Colorado, specifically the Arkansas River Valley, where the headwaters derive from the snowpack in the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges. It then flows east into the Midwest via Kansas, and finally into the South through Oklahoma and Arkansas.
5 – Colorado River (Estimated Length: 1,450 Miles)
Wiki Info: Known for its dramatic canyons, whitewater rapids, and eleven U.S. National Parks, the Colorado River system is a vital source of water for 40 million people in southwestern North America. The river and its tributaries are controlled by an extensive system of dams, reservoirs, and aqueducts, which in most years divert its entire flow for agricultural irrigation and domestic water supply.
4 – Rio Grande (Estimated Length: 1,759 Miles)
Wiki Info: The river serves as part of the natural border between the U.S. state of Texas and the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León, and Tamaulipas. A very short stretch of the river serves as part of the boundary between the U.S. states of Texas and New Mexico. Since the mid–20th century, heavy water consumption of farms and cities along with many large diversion dams on the river has left only 20% of its natural discharge to flow to the Gulf.
3 – Yukon River (Estimated Length: 1,979 Miles)
Wiki Info: The Yukon River is a major watercourse of northwestern North America. The source of the river is located in British Columbia, Canada, from which it proceeds to flow through the Canadian Yukon territory (itself named after the river). The lower half of the river lies in the U.S. state of Alaska.
2 – Mississippi River (Estimated Length: 2,202 Miles)
Wiki Info: Native Americans long lived along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies. The arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers, then settlers ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.
1 – Missouri River (Estimated Length: 2,341 Miles)
Wiki Info: For over 12,000 years, people have depended on the Missouri River and its tributaries as a source of sustenance and transportation. More than ten major groups of Native Americans populated the watershed, most leading a nomadic lifestyle and dependent on enormous bison herds that once roamed through the Great Plains.