Exploring the Rivers in the United States

The United States is a land of diverse landscapes and natural wonders, and its extensive network of rivers is a testament to this geographic diversity. These rivers flow through mountains, plains, deserts, and forests, shaping the land and providing vital resources to countless communities. In this article, we embark on a journey to explore some of the notable rivers that crisscross the nation, each with its unique characteristics and contributions to the American landscape.

Rivers in the United States

Here is a list of some major rivers in the United States organized by state in tabular format. Please note that this list is not exhaustive, as the United States has many rivers, and there are numerous smaller rivers and tributaries across the country.

River NameLength (miles)OriginStates CrossedEmpties Into
Alabama River318GeorgiaAlabama, MississippiMobile Bay, Gulf of Mexico
Yukon River1,979Atlin Lake, British ColumbiaAlaskaBering Sea
Colorado River1,450Rocky Mountains, ColoradoColorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, CaliforniaGulf of California (Pacific Ocean)
Mississippi River2,340Lake Itasca, MinnesotaMinnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, LouisianaGulf of Mexico
Columbia River1,243Columbia Lake, British ColumbiaWashington, OregonPacific Ocean
Rio Grande1,885San Juan Mountains, ColoradoColorado, New Mexico, TexasGulf of Mexico
Hudson River315Lake Tear of the Clouds, New YorkNew YorkAtlantic Ocean
Missouri River2,341Jefferson River, MontanaMontana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, MissouriMississippi River
Snake River1,078Yellowstone National Park, WyomingWyoming, Idaho, Oregon, WashingtonColumbia River
Potomac River405Fairfax Stone, West VirginiaWest Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, PennsylvaniaChesapeake Bay
Androscoggin River178Umbagog Lake, New HampshireNew Hampshire, MaineGulf of Maine
Connecticut River410Connecticut Lakes, New HampshireNew Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, ConnecticutLong Island Sound
St. Johns River310Indian River County, FloridaFloridaAtlantic Ocean
Green River730Wind River Range, WyomingWyoming, Utah, ColoradoColorado River
Blackstone River48Worcester, MassachusettsMassachusetts, Rhode IslandNarragansett Bay
Yellowstone River692Yellowstone Lake, WyomingWyoming, Montana, North DakotaMissouri River
Delaware River301Catskill Mountains, New YorkNew York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, DelawareDelaware Bay
Ohio River981Pittsburgh, PennsylvaniaPennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, MissouriMississippi River
Willamette River187Eugene, OregonOregonColumbia River
Savannah River301Hartwell, GeorgiaGeorgia, South CarolinaAtlantic Ocean
Red River1,360Le Flore County, New MexicoNew Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, LouisianaAtchafalaya Bay (Gulf of Mexico)
San Joaquin River366Ansel Adams Wilderness, CaliforniaCaliforniaSan Francisco Bay
Merrimack River117Franklin, New HampshireNew Hampshire, MassachusettsGulf of Maine
Cuyahoga River100Burton, OhioOhioLake Erie
James River348Appalachian Mountains, VirginiaVirginiaChesapeake Bay
Susquehanna River444Cooperstown, New YorkNew York, Pennsylvania, MarylandChesapeake Bay
Allegheny River325Allegany Township, PennsylvaniaPennsylvania, New YorkOhio River
Illinois River273Lake County, IllinoisIllinoisMississippi River
Rivers in the USA and States they cross.

Major Rivers in the United States

1. Alabama River

  • Length: 318 miles
  • Origin: Georgia
  • States Crossed: Alabama, Mississippi
  • Empties Into: Mobile Bay, Gulf of Mexico

2. Yukon River

  • Length: 1,979 miles
  • Origin: Atlin Lake, British Columbia
  • States Crossed: Alaska
  • Empties Into: Bering Sea

3. Colorado River

  • Length: 1,450 miles
  • Origin: Rocky Mountains, Colorado
  • States Crossed: Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California
  • Empties Into: Gulf of California (Pacific Ocean)

4. Mississippi River

  • Length: 2,340 miles
  • Origin: Lake Itasca, Minnesota
  • States Crossed: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana
  • Empties Into: Gulf of Mexico

5. Columbia River

  • Length: 1,243 miles
  • Origin: Columbia Lake, British Columbia
  • States Crossed: Washington, Oregon
  • Empties Into: Pacific Ocean

6. Rio Grande

  • Length: 1,885 miles
  • Origin: San Juan Mountains, Colorado
  • States Crossed: Colorado, New Mexico, Texas
  • Empties Into: Gulf of Mexico

7. Hudson River

  • Length: 315 miles
  • Origin: Lake Tear of the Clouds, New York
  • States Crossed: New York
  • Empties Into: Atlantic Ocean

8. Missouri River

  • Length: 2,341 miles
  • Origin: Jefferson River, Montana
  • States Crossed: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri
  • Empties Into: Mississippi River

9. Snake River

  • Length: 1,078 miles
  • Origin: Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
  • States Crossed: Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington
  • Empties Into: Columbia River

10. Potomac River

  • Length: 405 miles
  • Origin: Fairfax Stone, West Virginia
  • States Crossed: West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania
  • Empties Into: Chesapeake Bay

State-wise List of Rivers in the US

StateMajor Rivers
AlabamaAlabama River, Tombigbee River
AlaskaYukon River, Kuskokwim River
ArizonaColorado River, Gila River
ArkansasMississippi River, Arkansas River
CaliforniaSacramento River, San Joaquin River
ColoradoColorado River, Arkansas River
ConnecticutConnecticut River
DelawareDelaware River
FloridaSt. Johns River, Suwannee River
GeorgiaChattahoochee River, Savannah River
HawaiiWailuku River, Hanalei River
IdahoSnake River, Salmon River
IllinoisMississippi River, Illinois River
IndianaWabash River, Ohio River
IowaMississippi River, Des Moines River
KansasKansas River, Arkansas River
KentuckyOhio River, Cumberland River
LouisianaMississippi River, Red River
MaineAndroscoggin River, Penobscot River
MarylandPotomac River, Patapsco River
MassachusettsConnecticut River, Merrimack River
MichiganGrand River, Detroit River
MinnesotaMississippi River, Minnesota River
MississippiMississippi River, Yazoo River
MissouriMissouri River, Mississippi River
MontanaMissouri River, Yellowstone River
NebraskaPlatte River, Missouri River
NevadaColorado River, Truckee River
New HampshireConnecticut River, Merrimack River
New JerseyDelaware River, Passaic River
New MexicoRio Grande, Pecos River
New YorkHudson River, Mohawk River
North CarolinaYadkin River, Roanoke River
North DakotaMissouri River, Red River
OhioOhio River, Maumee River
OklahomaArkansas River, Red River
OregonColumbia River, Willamette River
PennsylvaniaSusquehanna River, Delaware River
Rhode IslandBlackstone River
South CarolinaSantee River, Pee Dee River
South DakotaMissouri River, James River
TennesseeTennessee River, Cumberland River
TexasRio Grande, Brazos River
UtahColorado River, Green River
VermontConnecticut River, Winooski River
VirginiaJames River, Potomac River
WashingtonColumbia River, Snake River
West VirginiaOhio River, Kanawha River
WisconsinWisconsin River, Mississippi River
WyomingYellowstone River, North Platte River
States and Rivers in US


These are just a few of the remarkable rivers that flow through the United States. Each of them has a unique story to tell, from their origins in distant mountains to the vast bodies of water where they finally meet. Rivers not only shape the landscape but also play a crucial role in the lives of the people and ecosystems they touch.

As we continue our exploration of American rivers, we’ll discover more about their cultural significance, ecological importance, and the ways in which they have shaped the nation’s history. Stay tuned for more fascinating insights into the rivers that run through the heart of America.

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