Can You Pass This North American Geography Test?



By: Bambi Turner

6 Min Quiz

Image: Matteo Colombo / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Do you know which countries make up North America? Can you name the continent's most iconic mountain ranges, rivers and canyons? Know what landmark serves as a natural border between the U.S. and Mexico? If you consider yourself a geography expert, take our quiz to test your knowledge of the countries and landmarks of North America!

A 2002 National Geographic study revealed that around 11 percent of young people couldn't find the U.S. on a world map. While that's not great news, it does mean that around 9 out of 10 Americans are able to locate their homeland. Yet even those who can find their native country on a map can forget that the U.S. is just one small part of the North American continent. In fact, the continent is made up of more than 20 countries, and extends all the way from Panama to the Arctic Circle. 

Beyond its borders and people, North America is home to geographic wonders found nowhere else on Earth. From wondrous waterfalls to mighty mountains, roaring rivers and canyons that cut through the landscape, the continent is rich in incredible sites and locales. 

Think you can ace this quiz on the geography of North America? Take our quiz to find out!

Which natural landmark divides the United States and Mexico?

The Rio Grande flows from Colorado to the Gulf of Mexico, serving as a natural border between the U.S. and Mexico. Despite its name, which means big river in Spanish, the Rio Grande is only around 60 feet at its deepest point and is really only used by smaller vessels.


What is the highest mountain in North America?

At 20,000 feet above sea level, Alaska's Mount McKinley -- also known as Denali -- is the tallest peak in North America. Mount Logan in the Yukon ranks second, while Mexico's Pico de Orizaba comes in third.


More than half of all the lakes in the world are located in this North American nation.

Canada is home to around 30,000 lakes -- about 60 percent of all lakes on Earth. About 10 percent of the entire area of the nation is covered with freshwater.


What percentage of all the land in North America is made up of just the United States and Canada?

North America is home to more than two dozen countries and territories, yet a staggering 80 percent of all the land on the entire continent is made up of the United States and Canada. The United States is the largest nation in North America by population, while St. Kitts and Nevin in the Caribbean is the smallest.


Which U.S. state is home to the lowest point in North America by elevation?

Located in eastern California, Death Valley's Badwater Basin is the lowest spot in all of North America at 282 feet below sea level. It's also one of the hottest spots on the planet, with temperatures in excess of 130 degrees Fahrenheit reported over the years.


What body of water separates Florida and Mexico?

The Gulf of Mexico lies between Mexico and Florida. Five U.S. states, including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas border the Gulf, which also touches the island nation of Cuba.


This largest island in the world is typically considered part of North America.

Though culturally part of Europe, Greenland is generally considered a geographical part of North America. Measuring more than 836,000 square miles, it is home to around 56,000 people.


What is the longest river in North America?

While the mighty Mississippi gets all the attention, the Missouri is actually the longest river in North America at 2,341 miles. In terms of length, it's followed by the Mississippi, the Yukon, the Rio Grande and the Colorado.


Mount Elbert is the highest peak in this mountain range.

The Rocky Mountains run 3,000 miles from British Columbia all the way to New Mexico, serving as the continental divide for the continent. Colorado's Mount Elbert, at 14,440 feet, is the Rockies' highest peak.


A canal cut through this nation lets sailors avoid the scary Cape Horn.

The Panama Canal serves as a divide between North and South America. Before the canal opened in 1914, sailors were forced to sail around the dangerous Cape Horn at the tip of South America, adding major risks and plenty of time to their journeys.


What is the largest North American country by land area?

In terms of total area, Canada is the largest country in North America. It's also the second largest country in the entire world after Russia.


The Bering Strait connects Alaska to this country.

The first humans in North America entered the continent more than 16,000 years ago. They crossed a land bridge from Russia to Alaska across the Bering Strait, which is now under water.


The deepest lake in North America in terms of average depth, Crater Lake is located in this U.S. state.

While the Great Slavic Lake in the Northwest Territories has deeper points than Crater Lake, Crater Lake in Oregon has is the deepest lake in North America in terms of average depth. It is 1,500 feet deep on average, compared to Great Slavic Lakes' average depth of 135 feet.


Which U.S. has the longest coastline?

Alaska has more than 6,600 miles of coastline, more than any other U.S. state or even the entire country of Mexico. Canada stomps these stats with more than 150,000 miles of coastline.


Which country is home to the tallest waterfall in North America?

The United States is home to the tallest waterfall in North America, but it's not Niagara. While Niagara Falls tops out at 170 feet, Hawaii's Olo'opena Falls is around 3,000 feet tall.


How many landlocked countries are in North America?

Believe it or not, North America and Australia are the only continents in the world with no land-locked countries. South America has two -- Bolivia and Paraguay.


The Hoover Dam controls the flow of which mighty river?

Dedicated in 1935, the Hoover Dam controls the flow of the Colorado River and sits on the border of Nevada and Arizona. Originally known as the Boulder Dam, it is the largest concrete dam in the U.S.


What is the largest lake in North America in terms of surface area?

With more than 31,000 miles of surface area, Lake Superior is the largest lake in North America. It's also the third largest lake in the world by volume and straddles the border between Canada and the U.S.


What is the largest city in North America in terms of population?

With just shy of 9 million people, Mexico City is the largest city in North America by population. It's followed by New York City, Los Angeles and Toronto.


How many of the world's five oceans border North America?

North America is bordered by the Atlantic to the east, Pacific to the west and Arctic to the north. The only oceans that don't border the continent are the Indian and the Southern, or Antarctic.


Which river carved out the Grand Canyon over the past million years or so?

The Colorado River carved out the majesty of the Grand Canyon as it rushed over rocks for more than a million years. At 277 feet and more than a mile deep it places, it's the longest canyon in North America.


What is the Bay of Fundy's claim to fame?

The Bay of Fundy in Canada's Nova Scotia and New Brunswick provinces is famous for its tides. Its tidal range of 56 feet is one of the widest tidal ranges on the planet,.


Which state is not part of the Four Corners Monument?

The Four Corners Monument, located where Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah all meet, is a popular tourist attraction on western U.S. road trips. It's the only spot in the U.S. where four state borders meets.


Which U.S. state is home to the Sierra Madre Mountains?

The Sierra Madre Mountains run through California. This range continues down through Mexico and even into Central America.


What kind of terrain would you expect to find in the Great Plains?

The Great Plains run from central Canada through the central U.S. as far south as Texas. The terrain here is described as steppes or prairies.


You'll find the tallest tree species on Earth in California. What's the species name?

The tallest trees in the world can be found in California's Redwood National Park. At 380 feet, the sky-scraping Redwoods dwarf the world's second tallest trees -- the Mountain Ash of Australia.


What separates Baja California from Mexico?

The Mexican state of Baja California is separated from mainland Mexico by the Gulf of California. This Pacific state is home to cities like Tijuana and Cabo San Lucas.


The hottest desert in North America is....

Located in southern California and home to Death Valley, the Mojave Desert is the hottest desert in North America. At 22,000 square miles, it is dwarfed in size by the much larger Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts in Mexico.


How many islands make up the Caribbean?

The Caribbean, which is part of North America, is home to 70,000 islands — though most are uninhabited. The Caribbean includes around 26 nations and territories, which are geographically part of North America.


What is the largest Caribbean nation by population?

With a population of 11.2 million, Cuba is the largest Caribbean nation in terms of population. It's closely followed by Haiti, with just shy of 11 million residents.


What is the name of the line in the United States that marks the border between the North and South?

Since the 18th century, the Mason Dixon Line has marked the border between Maryland and Pennsylvania. It also serves as an unofficial border between north and south.


What percentage of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S./Canada border?

Believe it or not, more than 90 percent of all Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border. This despite the fact that Canada is the largest country by land area on the entire continent.


Copper Canyon can be found along this mountain range.

The gorgeous Copper Canyon, named for the greenish copper color of its walls, is part of the Sierra Madre range. Located in Chihuahua, Mexico it is deeper than the Grand Canyon, but not as long.


How many Great Lakes are there?

From west to east, the Great Lakes are Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie and Ohio. These straddle the U.S./Canada borders and hold 84 percent of the freshwater in North America.


Mount Mitchell is the highest peak in this mountain range.

The Appalachian Mountains run 1,500 miles along the eastern U.S. from Canada to Alabama. At 6,683 feet, Mount Mitchell in North Carolina is the tallest peak in the range,.


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