The United States is a large country with a wide range of physical features, from tall mountains to deep valleys, rivers, lakes, and plains.
The first map of the United States that you'll need to become familiar with is the one below, which shows the country's important geographic features, such as lakes, rivers, and mountain ranges.
Because two states, Alaska and Hawaii, are located so far away from the continental United States (the other 48 states), they will be shown in separate boxes on the bottom left in most of the maps in this interactive. Sierra Nevada - Located in California and Nevada, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are named for their snowy peaks, which run 400 miles from north to south along the border between these two states.
Appalachian Mountains - Along the eastern United States, the Appalachian Range runs northeast from Alabama up through coastal states like North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.

Coastal Plains - Two major groups of coastal plains are found in the south and southeastern United States, known as the Gulf and Atlantic Coastal Plains for their proximity to these bodies of water. Columbia Plateau - Located in the northwestern United States, the Columbia Plateau is a high, raised stretch of land between the Cascades and the Rocky Mountains. Colorado Plateau - Covering the Four Corners region of the Untied States, where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona meet at a single point, the Colorado Plateau is a high desert covering 337,000 square kilometers.
Mississippi - Part of the longest river system in the United States, the Mississippi runs from Minnesota down to New Orleans, Louisiana, where it drains into the Gulf of Mexico. Great Lakes - The Great Lakes are located in northeastern United States, along the border between the US and Canada.

In order to understand the geography of the United States and how it has influenced the history of the country, it's important to know how to read and interpret a map. Symbols such as lines, colors, or pictures are often used in maps to represent geographical features, such as lakes, rivers, or mountains.

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