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

WORLD

Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: Matteo Colombo/DigitalVision/Getty Images

About This Quiz

North America is a wondrous place filled with beautiful scenery, incredible cities and a large amount of land. Not only does it offer some of the most memorable and breathtaking places on earth, but it also can boast of some amazing records. For starters, it features some of the highest points, the most lakes and some of the longest rivers in the world.

Pretty much everyone knows that North America is one of the continents that make up this planet and that the United States is part of it. But there is so much more to know about this vast piece of land. Can you name all the countries that make up the continent? Or the names of all the capital cities in North America? What about where some of the most famous landmarks in the world stand?

If you said yes to any of these questions, you just may have a shot at acing this quiz! So if you think you're a geography expert, what are you waiting for? It's time for you to dive into this quiz and prove to the world just how much of a smarty pants you are when it comes to your knowledge base about North America!

Where is Death Valley?

Located in California, Death Valley got its name from a group of pioneers traveling through the area as they headed west during the Gold Rush of 1849. As its name implies, it can get deathly hot there, with summer temperatures soaring past 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade.

Advertisement

Which North American country is home to the most lakes?

Canada is believed to have over two million lakes if one were to include certain small bodies of water. It is disputed whether Canada or Finland holds the record for the most number of lakes in a country, based on how one defines a "lake."

Advertisement

What's the capital city of the United States?

Washington, D.C., is the capital of the United States. Sandwiched between Maryland and Virginia, the District of Columbia was established in 1790 as the home of the federal government.

Advertisement

Which of these states do the Rocky Mountains NOT pass through?

The Rocky Mountains run through the following six states: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. The approximately 3,000-mile mountain range, also known as the Rockies, also runs through the western Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia.

Advertisement

Great Salt Lake is located in which state?

Great Salt Lake is located in northern Utah. It's the largest saltwater lake in the western hemisphere. The lake is salty because rivers that feed into it carry salt into the basin.

Advertisement

What is the capital of Virginia?

Richmond became the capital of Virginia in 1779, wresting the title from the city of Williamsburg in the midst of the American Revolution. Richmond also served as the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War.

Advertisement

Where is the Temple of Kukulcan?

The Temple of Kukulcan, also known as El Castillo, is in Mexico. The step pyramid sits at the center of Chichen Itza, an archaeological spot in Yucatan that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Advertisement

Which is the northernmost state?

Alaska is the northernmost state. It's so far north, in fact, that part of the state lies within the Arctic Circle. The northernmost town in the United States is Utqiagvik, formerly called Barrow, Alaska.

Advertisement

What's the highest point in North America?

Denali, which rises to 20,310 feet, is the highest peak in North America. It was once named Mount McKinley in honor of President William McKinley, but President Barack Obama's administration announced in 2015 that the federal government would restore the mountain's original Native American name.

Advertisement

In what state is the Grand Canyon located?

The Grand Canyon is located in Arizona and features the Colorado River running through it. The Grand Canyon celebrated its 100th anniversary as a national park on Feb. 26, 2019. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.

Advertisement

What is Mount Mackenzie?

Mount Mackenzie, a volcanic peak, is part of the Rainbow Range in British Columbia, Canada. The mountain was named after Alexander Mackenzie, who served as Canada's second prime minister from 1873 to 1878.

Advertisement

Which ocean is to the north of North America?

The Arctic Ocean borders North America on the north. At about 6.1 million square feet, the Arctic Ocean — which is home to polar bears — is the smallest of the five oceans on Earth.

Advertisement

What is the smallest state?

Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation, measuring 1,214 square miles. Delaware, at 1,982 square miles, and Connecticut, at 5,018 square miles, are the second and third smallest states, respectively.

Advertisement

Which landmark is found along the United States-Mexico border?

The Rio Grande partially runs along the United States-Mexico border. It starts in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, runs through New Mexico and Texas and empties into the Gulf of Mexico.

Advertisement

Which is the largest of the Great Lakes?

Lake Superior is not only the largest of the Great Lakes by volume, but it is also the coldest and deepest. The five lakes that make up the Great Lakes collectively make up 21% of the world's surface fresh water supply.

Advertisement

Where is the CN Tower?

Toronto is home to the iconic CN Tower. The 1,815-foot tower, one of the tallest on Earth, was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World in 1995 by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Advertisement

What's unique about Mount Rushmore?

Mount Rushmore, in South Dakota, has the faces of four former U.S. presidents carved into its side. The presidents memorialized in this landmark are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.

Advertisement

In which of these states can you find the Ozark Mountains?

While mostly concentrated in Missouri, the Ozark Mountains also run through Arkansas, as well as Illinois, Oklahoma and Kansas. The Ozarks span an area of about 47,000 to 50,000 square miles.

Advertisement

The Hoover Dam is located in which of these states?

The Hoover Dam lies on the border between Nevada and Arizona. It was constructed in the 1930s to control the flow of the Colorado River. The dam was named for President Herbert Hoover.

Advertisement

The largest island in the world is part of North America. What's its name?

Greenland is the largest island in North America and in the world. While it is geographically part of North America, this largely autonomous island is politically and culturally associated with Denmark, which is in Europe.

Advertisement

Which of the following countries are NOT part of North America?

While North America is made up of 23 countries and dozens of territories, including islands in the Caribbean, Poland is not located in North America. Rather, Poland is a country in Europe.

Advertisement

What's the largest country in North America?

Canada is the largest country in North America, spanning about 3.85 million square miles. The United States is not far behind, at about 3.8 million square miles. However, Canada has fewer than 38 million residents while the U.S. population is estimated at 330 million people.

Advertisement

What does the Isthmus of Panama connect?

Formed some 60 million years ago, the Isthmus of Panama connected North and South America, allowing migration to take by land between the two continents. Its presence also blocked the flow of currents between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, thus changing Earth's weather patterns.

Advertisement

In which of these states can a portion of the Appalachian Mountains be found?

The Appalachian Mountains run through Maryland and more than a dozen other states on the eastern half of the country. It stretches for nearly 2,000 miles, from Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada down to Alabama.

Advertisement

What's the largest state?

At more than 665,000 square miles, Alaska is the largest state in the union and more than twice the size of Texas, which, at nearly 268,600 square miles, is the second largest state. Despite its massive land size, Alaska is the least densely populated state, with about 737,500 residents.

Advertisement

What's the capital of Canada?

Ottawa is the capital of Canada. Located in southeastern Ontario, the selection of Ottawa by Queen Victoria as Canada's capital was a surprise since larger cities like Montreal and Toronto sought the title as well. Some viewed Ottawa's central location between these two cities as a compromise.

Advertisement

Where does North America rank in terms of largest continents?

North America is ranked third, with a total land size of approximately 9.5 million square miles. Asia measures about 17.2 million square miles while Africa is roughly 11.7 million square miles.

Advertisement

Which country has the longest coastline in North America?

Canada's coastline is about 151,019 miles long, according to the World Atlas. However, researchers have cited different figures based on the various methods for measuring coastlines. Canada's coastline is not only the longest in North America, but it's also the longest in the world.

Advertisement

Which of these mountain ranges most recently had a major eruption in the United States?

Mount St. Helens, which is part of the Cascade Range in Washington, erupted in May 1980. The incident took the lives of 57 people and is considered the most disastrous volcanic eruption in U.S. history.

Advertisement

The Great Plains run through which of these states?

In addition to New Mexico, the Great Plains run through nine other states: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas. The Great Plains also run through Canada and encompasses an area covering 1.1 million square miles.

Advertisement

What's the smallest country in North America?

Saint Kitts and Nevis, a 261-square-kilometer island in the Caribbeans, is the smallest — and least populated — country in North America. The country is made up of a series of volcanoes that are in a dormant state.

Advertisement

What famous mountain is located on Baffin Island?

Mount Thor is located on Baffin Island in northern Canada. Its claim to fame stems from having the largest vertical drop (at over 4,100 feet) of any mountain in the world. Its cliff overhang is angled at 105 degrees.

Advertisement

What's the most populated city in North America?

The most populated city in North America is Mexico City, which is home to over 8.8 million people, according to some estimates. New York City comes in second with about 8.4 million residents.

Advertisement

Where is the San Joaquin River located?

The San Joaquin River is in central California. One of the state's longest rivers, it flows southwest from the Sierra Nevada mountain range, through the San Joaquin Valley, then in a northwest direction until it meets up with the Sacramento River.

Advertisement

What's the longest river in North America?

The Missouri River is the longest river in North America, measuring somewhere between 2,450 and 2,550 miles in length. Not far behind is the Mississippi River, at roughly 2,350 miles. The two rivers connect at a point and ultimately flow out to the Gulf of Mexico.

Advertisement

Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!