What Is the Longest River in the United States?

Elmira | 06 - 05 - 2024
longest river in the us

Our planet is filled with many great rivers. The United States is home to more than 250,000 rivers, covering about 3,500,000 miles of rivers. The Missouri River holds the record of the longest river in the US. It is known as a tributary of the Mississippi River, extending 2,540 miles long. 

What Is the Longest River in the US?

The Missouri River is nicknamed ‘Big Muddy’ and recognized as the longest river in the United States. Its length is a whopping 2,341 miles and contains more than 95 tributaries. Some of them are Platte River, Kansas River, Yellowstone River, Milk River, and James River. This river became home to Native American people, including Hidatsa, Blackfeet, and Crow. It is known as the “Center of Life” for the Greater Plains. For many decades, the Missouri River has served as a significant region for travel, food, transportation, and trade for millions of people. Missouri river’s water is the primary source of wheat, barley, and oats.

Where Does the Missouri River Flow Through?

Did you know it flows through seven US states? Missouri River headwaters run through one of the highest points on the continent in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. Then it runs through North Dakota, South Dakota, and the border of Iowa and Nebraska and reaches the river’s mouth in St. Charles. The Missouri River is a vital source for irrigation, and all residents use the river water. 

What Is the Longest River in the US Map?
  • A. Missouri River
  • B. Yukon River
  • C. Colorado River
  • D. None of the Above

Missouri’s River Length

The Missouri river’s length is 3,767 km, making it the largest river in the US. It is called the Mississippi-Missouri river system, as it can extend to 7,725 kilometers. Hence, it is the world’s fourth longest river, following Amazon, Nile, and Yangtze rivers. The drainage basin extends 1,371,100 square kilometers. It is the sixth-largest in the world, including 16 840 square Kilometres in Southern Canada.

History of the Missouri river

For thousands of years, Native Americans have depended on this river. Explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the first Europeans to land in this region in 1673. Then explorers Lewis and Clark (1804-1805) were the first to explore its mouth water. 

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