Can You Get More Than 11 Right on This Difficult American Geography Quiz?


By: Tasha Moore

6 Min Quiz

Image: Stefano Salvetti/DigitalVision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Welcome! You must love a really good challenge and this difficult geography test does not disappoint! We've reserved this knowledge for the pros who know more than a thing or two about the "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave!" Many have crossed its shores, climbed its mountains and traversed its lands, but how many can truly say that they know the geography of the United States?

When was the last time you pondered the names of Georgia's majestic lakes, the various elevation zones of the contiguous U.S. states, or correctly identified each and every U.S. capital city on a map? Do Missouri and Illinois share a border? Exactly how many mountain ranges does the state of Virginia possess? 

For all of you American literature buffs out there, how many national American geological treasures are named for the great writers who penned so much about the country's volatile history? This test is hard, but that doesn't mean you can't score high. We provide hints for super tough questions like, "How many states include cities that contain the letter "z"? Does Michigan come to mind? If so, then that's one you can add to the list!

Answer challenging American geography questions like these and more in just a few scrolls!

What is the number of U.S. states that rim the Atlantic Ocean?

The state of Florida borders the Atlantic Ocean and has the longest coastline of the other thirteen states that rim the Atlantic. Florida's coastline stretches for 8,436 miles along both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico.


Do you recognize the smallest U.S. state by land area?

Rhode Island maintained a staunch manufacturing foundation that secured its economic stability throughout and after the American Civil War. By the year 1893, the state's capital city of Providence possessed the country's largest cotton processing plant, among other prosperous manufacturing ventures.


How well can you approximate the length of the United States-Mexico border?

The U.S. states that border Mexico's northern edge are Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California, from east to west. Baja, California, is a state in northwest Mexico that borders California and Arizona to the south.


Do you know the U.S. state of these choices that does not share a river with Ohio?

Pennsylvania borders Ohio's eastern edge; West Virginia lies southeast of Ohio; and Kentucky rims Ohio's southwest fringe. Illinois lies immediately west of Indiana, which shares a border with Ohio's western extremity.


The U.S. state that includes the Great Valley Road is ________?

The state of Virginia turned historical Great Valley Road into a turnpike in 1838. Native Americans used the road, once known as Philadelphia Wagon Road, for centuries before the arrival of early settlers in the region.


Do you recognize the state that does not include the Allegheny Mountains?

The "Alleghenies" cross West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, as well as other U.S. states. The Omni Homestead Resort, formerly known as "The Homestead," is a historic landmark nestled in Virginia's Alleghenies. Since 1766, the resort has hosted U.S. presidents, including Thomas Jefferson.


Can you guess the city that belongs to the U.S. state near the largest lake by surface area?

The city of Edina is located in the state of Minnesota, which borders Lake Superior to the west. With a massive surface area measuring 31,700 square miles, Lake Superior is one of the largest lakes in the world.


Canada does not share a border with ________?

Thirteen U.S. states, including Minnesota, Washington, North Dakota and Montana, border Canada to the south. Minnesota and Iowa buffer Missouri's northern proximity to the Canadian border that rims Canada's Manitoba province.


Can you recognize the New England state whose capital city is the least populated?

Phoenix, Arizona is the most populous state capital in the United States. As of July 2017, the total population in Phoenix surpassed a little more than 1.6 million.


Can you select the smallest river, by length, in the U.S. state of Georgia?

Blood Mountain Creek River in Lumpkin County, Georgia, spans three miles and merges with Dick's Creek, also in Lumpkin County, which stretches seven miles in length. The watershed for Blood Mountain Creek and Dick's Creek is the Upper Chattahoochee.


Can you identify the Appalachian state among these choices?

"Appalachia" includes the entire state of West Virginia and segments of twelve other states, such as Kentucky, South Carolina and Mississippi. The Appalachian Regional Commission defines Appalachia primarily as a conglomeration of over 400 U.S. counties, including several in upstate New York.


The following U.S. states include major cities that end in the letter "x" except ________?

Nerinx, Kentucky was one of many pioneer towns founded by religious missionaries. Reverend Father Stephen Theodore Badin founded Nerinx in the early 1900s. Badin was the first Catholic priest ordained in the U.S.


Do you recognize the U.S. state that does not touch the Gulf of Mexico?

The five states that border the Gulf of Mexico are known as "Gulf States" and include Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Texas. The Gulf of Mexico merges with the Straits of Florida, which connects to the Atlantic Ocean.


From these choices, can you choose the name of the U.S. state that does not touch the Cumberland Gap?

Cumberland Gap was a vital route for nearly 300,000 early pioneers who traveled through the region from 1780 to 1810. Beginning in the 1830s, the gap was traveled less frequently, as waterways through the Appalachian mountains were made accessible and the Mississippi River opened for navigation.


What current U.S. state comprised the Northwest Territory in 1787?

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 abolished slavery in the territory northwest of the Ohio River, which is present-day Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois. Several years prior, Britain surrendered ownership of the territory to the United States through the 1783 Treaty of Paris.


The U.S. state of ________ does not touch Lake Superior?

Lake Erie is the only Great Lake that frames Ohio's coastline, at the northern edge. Cleveland and Toledo are considered Ohio's major Great Lake cities. Marquette, Michigan, Ashland in Wisconsin, and the Minnesota city of Duluth all dot the shores of Lake Superior.


Where can the lowest elevation point be found within the 48 contiguous states?

Death Valley Desert Basin in California is the lowest elevation point of North America. It sits 282 feet below sea level and the region is approximately 140 miles long. Death Valley experienced a brief silver-mining boom in the 1870s.


The Alabama River converges with what other river in the central-east region of Alabama near the city of Wetumpka?

The Alabama River lies at the confluence of Tallapoosa and Coosa Rivers in Alabama. Incorporated in 1834, Wetkumpa, Alabama is a destination spot for kayakers and rafters who flock to the city to take on the wild rapids of Coosa River.


The Saint Lawrence River spans the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, then partially contours the U.S. state of ________?

The Saint Lawrence River flows along the central-east region of North America in a northeast direction from the rim of Canada's provincial borders with the United States to the Atlantic Ocean. The river, with its seaway, connects the Great Lakes to the ocean.


Can you spot the state that includes the Missouri Plateau?

North Dakota and South Dakota include the Missouri Plateau, a vast stretch of land east of the Missouri River. The region extends into Canada's Alberta and Saskatchewan provinces, where it is referred to as "Missouri Coteau" or "Coteau du Missouri."


Of these choices, which U.S. region has the highest elevation levels?

The Black Hills of northeast Wyoming and western South Dakota are rock formations east of the Rocky Mountains that hold granites and pegmatites aged between 1.75 and 2.5 billion years. The Black Hills are an isolated geographical island that stretch approximately 50 to 70 miles.


Do you recognize the state that does not share its name with a U.S. river?

An 1851 treaty between the U.S. and the native Santee Dakota people confined the tribe to land along the Minnesota River in exchange for annual U.S. payments. As was typical, the U.S. didn't uphold their end of the bargain, and a rebellion followed. Four tribes continue to survive and thrive in spite of attempted extermination attempts, demands for assimilation and lack of access to resources.


Which of these states does not have a river along its border?

The Mississippi River sculpts the borders of Arkansas to the east, and Mississippi and Tennessee to the west. The North Canadian River lies inland of Oklahoma about 75 miles west of the Arkansas-Oklahoma border. The Arkansas River intersects Oklahoma's northeast region.


The Continental Divide cuts through which U.S. state?

The Continental Divide separates bodies of water that flow toward the continent's opposite ends. Waters to the west of the Continental Divide flow toward the Pacific Ocean, and waters to the east flow toward the Atlantic Ocean.


Of these choices, which current state was part of the Oregon Trail?

Oregon Trail, also called the Oregon-California Trail, is a historical trail that runs from Independence, Missouri to its official end at Oregon City, Oregon. The trail, which spans approximately 2,000 miles, was used as a land outlet for early settlers traveling the U.S. northwest-bound.


Which two U.S. state capitals share the least spatial distance?

The distance between Cheyenne, Wyoming and Denver, Colorado is approximately 95 miles. Wyoming's capital lies closest to the Wyoming-Colorado border. Denver is located in the north-central region of its state.


The Mississippi River flows through or touches how many U.S. states?

The expansive crevice that is now the Mississippi River was flooded 18,000 years ago. At the end of the last Ice Age, warmed glaciers melted and sea levels rose to present-day levels.


Which U.S. state has the longest mile span from north to south and nearly the same distance from east to west?

The Texas coastline on the Gulf of Mexico was important to the state's early development, the inception of Mexico, and U.S. progress in general. European interest in the Texas coastline peaked in the latter part of the eighteenth century, first among the Spaniards, then among French and British explorers.


There is a rapidly growing artificial geographical mass haunting a United States coastal region. What is the name of the burgeoning load?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, or Pacific Trash Vortex, is twice the size of Texas. Greenpeace described the infamous mix of mostly plastic heat-inducing waste as a flotsam that can potentially cause tremendous harm to already oxygen-deprived environments.


What is the second-longest river in North America?

The Missouri River comes second to the Mississippi River, the longest river in North American, by length. The Missouri River spans approximately 2,310 miles and lies nearly 4,000 feet above sea level.


Can you identify the river that does not converge with the Mississippi River?

The Klamath River flows southwest for a stretch of 250 miles through California's Klamath Mountains toward the towns of Klamath and Requa in California, then out to the Pacific Ocean. The river, town and mountain range were named for the Klamath Indians of northern California and southern Oregon.


Which of these choices does not have a Pacific Ocean shoreline?

According to recorded history, Juan Rodriques Cabrillo was the first Spanish explorer to touch California's Pacific coast in 1542. Cabrillo was responsible for mapping the Pacific coast's attributes as far north as the Rogue River in south Oregon.


Can you identify the major city that lies along the Illinois-Missouri border?

The St. Louis Archdiocese was known as "Rome of of the West" in its early days. Forty-five other dioceses, including Denver, Oklahoma City and Chicago were formed from the St. Louis "mother diocese." The Roman Catholic Church officially recognized the St. Louis Archdiocese in 1827.


The Mark Twain National Forest is located in the state of ________?

Every 10 years, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration calculates the American Centroid, which is a point of balance with weight distributed equally in all directions. The point, which levels all weights as well as planes, is located in the middle of Mark Twain Forest as of 2013.


Of these choices, which of these city names is not shared by more than five U.S. states?

Polson, Montana sits at the southernmost tip of Flathead Lake within Flathead National Forest. Polson occupies the northwest region of the state and is approximately 150 miles northwest of the state's capital city of Helena.


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