The ten Longest Rivers in North America

The rivers of North America are the first supply of freshwater for the continent, making them important pure assets. What do the rivers in North America appear to be? How giant are these rivers? What kinds of wildlife reside in and round them? Let’s check out the ten longest rivers in North America. As we discover these rivers, we will probably be measuring their dimension based mostly on size quite than depth or discharge quantities.

How Do You Measure Rivers?

Earlier than we start, first we have to present a brief observe on measuring rivers. It’s not as precise because it sounds. For one, the gap of rivers modifications as they carve new paths. One other complication is that rivers generally circulation by lakes, so some sources will deal with measuring by lakes in another way.

Most significantly, the gap of rivers techniques depends upon which headwater – or tributary – you’re measuring from. For instance, it’s nonetheless debated the place the Nile begins and a brand new supply for the Amazon River was simply found in 2014.

For the sake of this text, we’re measuring simply river stems quite than techniques. For instance, when measuring the headwaters of the Missouri River to the tip of the Mississippi River, the whole river system is 3,902 miles. Nonetheless, the Missouri River itself is 2,341 miles whereas the Mississippi measures 2,320 miles.

As you may see, measuring rivers is sophisticated! Many sources will listing the Mackenzie River because the second-longest in North America at 2,635 miles. Nonetheless, that’s a complete system measurement, and for sake of this text, we’d measure its important river stem at 1,080 miles. That implies that whereas completely different lists of the longest rivers can have various lists, it doesn’t imply they’re mistaken, however as a substitute, they might merely be measuring completely different definitions of river size! With all that rationalization out of the way in which, let’s get to the listing!

10.      Crimson River – 1,125 miles

The Crimson River is known as for the pink colour of its water and is a saltwater river in Texas.

Bob Pool/Shutterstock.com

Crimson River
Size 1,125 miles
Ending Level Atchafalaya River

The Crimson River’s important stem is 1,125 miles lengthy, spanning throughout the U.S. states of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana. This river is known as for the pink colour of its water. Because it flows, it passes by “pink beds” (pink sedimentary rocks as a result of presence of ferric oxides). This provides a reddish colour to the water. The river finally flows into the Atchafalaya River, making a river system that spans 1,360 miles in whole.

The Crimson River of the South can be distinctive as a result of it’s notably salty, although this extra saltiness doesn’t come from the ocean. About 250 million years in the past, an inland sea lined this space, abandoning salt deposits. Because the river flows throughout the area, the water turns into more and more salty.

9. Peace River – 1,195 miles

The Peace River combines to type the biggest river system in Canada.

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Peace River
Size 1,195 miles
Ending Level Slave River

The Peace River is the twelfth largest river in North America, stretching for 1,195 miles throughout Canada. It begins within the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia. The river flows by Alberta till it joins the Athabasca River. The 2 rivers mix to type the Slave River, which is a tributary of the Mackenzie River.

8. Saskatchewan River – 1,205 miles

Saskatchewan River
The Saskatchewan River is house to over 200 species of birds.

Libor Fousek/Shutterstock.com

Saskatchewan River
Size 1,205 miles
Ending Level Lake Winnipeg

The Saskatchewan River is the eleventh largest river in North America. It flows by Canada for 1,205 miles, working from the Rocky Mountains to Cedar Lake in central Manitoba. The Saskatchewan River is house to a wealth of wildlife, with over 200 species of birds, 48 species of fish, and an abundance of mammals.

Frequent birds discovered on this space embrace the ring-necked duck, mallard, canvasback, blue-winged teal, and Canadian goose. Fishes like northern pike, walleye, and the endangered lake sturgeon swim throughout the river’s present. Animals like elk, white-tailed deer, black bear, muskrat, beaver, mink, otter, lynx, and wolf run alongside the banks of the river and drink from its waters.

7. Columbia River – 1,243 miles

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The Columbia River produces half the area’s electrical energy provide by hydroelectric dams.

iStock.com/JPLDesigns

Columbia River
Size 1,243 miles
Ending Level Pacific Ocean

The Columbia River flows for 1,243 miles by the US of America and Canada. It begins within the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia in Canada and flows northwest. The river then flows south into the U.S. state of Washington. The river turns west to type the border between Washington and Oregon after which empties into the Pacific Ocean. Alongside its journey, the river supplies consuming water, irrigates farmland, and produces half the area’s electrical energy provide by hydroelectric dams.

The Columbia River supplies houses and breeding grounds to many anadromous fish like coho, steelhead, sockeye, and Chinook salmon, in addition to white sturgeon. The river as soon as hosted the biggest salmon runs on earth, with greater than 30 million fish per 12 months. Nonetheless, engineering developments, dams, and nuclear energy websites have polluted the river’s water and created boundaries to many of those fish migrations.

6.      Colorado River – 1,450 miles

12 Prettiest Rivers In the United States - May 29, 2022
The Colorado River helped carve the Grand Canyon

Markue/Shutterstock.com

Colorado River
Size 1,450 miles
Ending Level Gulf of California

The Colorado River is the seventh longest river in North America. Starting within the central Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the river’s watershed flows by seven U.S. states: Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California. The Colorado River additionally runs by the Grand Canyon and eleven completely different U.S. Nationwide Parks.

The Colorado River is house to 40 species of fish, lots of that are distinctive to this river, just like the razorback sucker, bonytail chub, Colorado pikeminnow, and the humpback chub. These fishes are at the moment in danger attributable to habitat loss, water diversion by dams, thermoelectric energy stations, and evaporation.

5.      Arkansas River – 1,460 miles

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The Arkansas River flows east and southeast throughout your complete width of the state of Arkansas.

iStock.com/Michael Dean Shelton


Arkansas River
Size 1,460 miles
Ending Level Mississippi River

The Arkansas River flows for 1,460 miles by the US of America. The river begins within the Rocky Mountains close to Leadville, Colorado. It flows by three U.S. states: Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. In Arkansas, it joins the Mississippi River. The course of the Arkansas River carved Arkansas Valley in Arkansas. The Arkansas Valley is 30-40 miles extensive and separates the Ozark Mountains from the Ouachita Mountains. Among the highest factors within the state of Arkansas are discovered on this valley.

4.      Rio Grande River – 1,896 miles

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The Rio Grande is a well-known crossing between the U.S. and Mexico

iStock.com/Greg Meland

Rio Grande River
Size 1,896 miles
Ending Level Gulf of Mexico

The Rio Grande is the fourth largest river in North America and the biggest river within the U.S. state of Texas. The river begins in south-central Colorado then flows southeast by New Mexico and Texas till it empties into the Gulf of Mexico. The Rio Grande varieties the nationwide border between the US and Mexico inside Texas.

The Rio Grande provides water to agricultural areas. In truth, solely 20% of the river’s water makes it to the Gulf of Mexico. The Rio Grande is designated as an American Heritage River, and two parts of its size are preserved as a “Nationwide Wild and Scenic Rivers System.”

3.      Yukon River – 1,980 miles

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The Yukon River flows throughout your complete width of Alaska

iStock.com/HeatherECampbell

Yukon River
Size 1,980 miles
Ending Level Bering Sea

The Yukon River is the third largest river in North America. Additionally it is the longest river in Yukon and Alaska. The river begins in British Columbia in Canada and flows by the Canadian territory of Yukon. It empties into the Bering Sea within the state of Alaska on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The higher basin of the Yukon River has alpine tundra, with sections of boreal forests. The river’s important stem is surrounded by forests of lodgepole pine, spruce, balsam, white birch, and trembling aspen timber.

The Yukon River is without doubt one of the most vital rivers for salmon breeding. It has one of many longest salmon runs globally, internet hosting coho, chum, and Chinook salmon. Many different fish species reside within the Yukon River as properly, like pike, whitefish, Dolly Varden trout, Arctic grayling, burbots, cisco, and inconnu. Muskrats, moose, and beavers construct houses alongside the Yukon River. Predators like Grizzly, brown, and black bears eat the fish dwelling within the river. Birds like ptarmigan, geese, grouse, swan, and geese make their house alongside the river’s edge.

2.      Mississippi River – 2,320 miles

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The Mississippi River is analogous in dimension to the Missouri River.

iStock.com/Willard


Mississippi River
Size 2,320 miles
Ending Level Gulf of Mexico

The Mississippi is the second largest river in North America and is 2,320 miles lengthy. Nonetheless, the size of this river is commonly reported in another way relying on the 12 months or the measurement technique used on the time. The Mississippi River flows by 10 U.S. states: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The Mississippi River was a necessary a part of the expansion of the US of America. At this time it continues to be one of many world’s most vital business waterways.

The Mississippi River supplies a habitat for an abundance of wildlife. Listed below are only a few examples:

The Mississippi River and Mississippi River basin additionally supplies one in every of North America’s biggest migration routes for fish and birds. About 326 species of birds use the basin as a migratory flyway. 40% of waterfowls within the U.S. additionally use the river hall throughout their spring and fall migrations.

1.      Missouri River – 2,341 miles

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The Missouri River is taken into account the “Middle of Life” for the Nice Plains in North America.

iStock.com/Matthew Howieson

Missouri River
Size 2,341 miles
Ending Level Mississippi River

The Missouri River is the biggest in the US and North America. This river flows by 7 states in the US: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. It begins on the japanese slope of the Rocky Mountains close to Three Forks, Montana. It flows for two,341 miles till it joins the Mississippi River at St. Louis, Missouri. When the 2 rivers come collectively, they seem like completely different colours. It’s because the silt within the Missouri River makes it seem a lot lighter.

There are 300 species of fowl and 150 species of fish within the Missouri River basin. Two of those fish species are native to the Missouri River, though uncommon: the paddlefish and the pallid sturgeon. The pallid sturgeon is an endangered species that may weigh round 85 kilos and reside as much as 100 years!

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