Can You Reach at Least Level 20 in This US Geography Quiz?!

By: Zoe Samuel
Estimated Completion Time
5 min
Can You Reach at Least Level 20 in This US Geography Quiz?!
Image: Sumiko Scott / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

The United States of America has evolved from a few small colonies on the East Coast to a vast stripe across the continent. It contains broad mountain ranges, unending swamps, deadly deserts, rolling hills and plains as far as the eye can see. It has volcanoes, fault lines and ancient lakes. With so much land, the U.S. has an endless supply of fascinating geographic features, and not all of those geographic features are natural. The U.S. government and private industry have changed the physical face of the land in ways unimaginable at the time of its founding.

Knowing the geography one encounters daily is difficult enough! Remembering that of the whole nation is a truly epic challenge. It means thinking of the land first as a place free of state lines and names but as a place of shapes and natural forces. Our understanding of American geography has changed over the years, as science refines its point of view on things as diverse as the formations of canyons and the place of ancient seas. America cries out to be known! Can you rise to the challenge and ace this geography quiz?

Geography 11
Jared I. Lenz Photography / Moment / Getty Images
State nicknames were a great idea! Which of these states is "The Garden State"?
New Jersey
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

For a long time, New Jersey was farmland that provided much needed agricultural goods to east coast states. As a result, it earned its nickname, "The Garden State".

Geography 4
InterNetwork Media / DigitalVision / Getty Images
You'll get a blast out of this question! What volcanic explosion caused a pyroclastic flow that destroyed trees for 230 miles?
Mount Rainier
Mount Redoubt
Mount St. Helens
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While by no means the largest volcano in the U.S., Mount St. Helens remains one of the nation's most dangerous. On May 18, 1980, geologic forces caused the mountain to crack, releasing a pyroclastic flow which knocked down trees for 230 square miles and traveled at 300 mph.

Geography 21
Art Wager / E+ / Getty Images
Rivers are one-way streets. In which direction does the Mississippi River flow?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The mighty Mississippi was one of the nation's first major "highways" as it was used to transport goods from the industrial north to ports on the Gulf Coast. It starts in Lake Itaska, Minnesota and finishes up in New Orleans, Louisiana.


Geography 13
Wiki Commons by Daniel A. Leifheit, NPS photo
America has a lot of mountains. What is the tallest mountain in the U.S.?
Mount Saint Elias
Mount Bear
Mount Blackburn
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

With a towering height of 20,310 feet above sea level, Denali is the tallest mountain in the United States. Located in Alaska, Denali is among the top-ten tallest mountains in the U.S., all of which are in Alaska! The tallest in the lower 48 states is Mount Whitney.

Geography 22
Wiki Commons by Dan Craggs
In America, everything is big, even alleys! Which of the following states is not in Tornado Alley?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Though not a technical term, Tornado Alley has been popularly defined as including Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, the Dakotas, Texas, Oklahoma and, most famously, Kansas. The Great Plains are well known for having just the right composition needed to produce tornadoes.

Geography 31
Tom Kelly Photo / Moment / Getty Images
Time to get technical with us! What is the nation's largest endorheic basin?
Lake Placid
Crater Lake
Lake Huron
Great Salt Lake
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Great Salt Lake is, unlike the rest of these, an endorheic basin. An endorheic basin is essentially a lake that has no outflowing element, so it waxes and wanes based on rainfall and evaporation. The Great Salt Lake is the largest of these in the nation, and none of these other bodies are at all.


Geography 28
Anita Burke / Moment / Getty Images
Slow down for a second and answer this question. In which state is Mount Rushmore?
Washington, D.C.
New York
South Dakota
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The carvings are located in Keystone, South Dakota, in the Black Hills of the Lakota Sioux. The original plan for Mount Rushmore was to carve full-length figures out of the mountainside. Inasmuch as the monument is carved into a sacred mountain, a monument to the First Nations is in progress on a nearby mountain, the work of a single man.

Geography 20
Wiki Commons
Sadly, this question is high tar. Where are the La Brea Tar Pits?
Los Angeles
Las Vegas
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Los Angeles may be a busy metropolis, but underground, it is unique among American cities. It has oil, as anyone who has seen its nodding donkeys will attest, and it was the site of a massive tar pit in the age of dinosaurs in which various ancient creatures found themselves trapped. You can visit the pits today (shown here in 1910) and see them still bubbling away, and you can see the remains found there preserved in museums.

Geography 26
Stan Dzugan / Moment / Getty Images
Before you go to the park, check a map! In which state is Acadia National Park?
North Dakota
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Encompassing the tallest east coast mountains, Acadia National Park consists mostly of the islands off the coast of Maine, including Mount Desert Island. It is all the best natural sights and experienced in Maine, except perhaps for ski mountains.


Geography 6
Thomas Roche / Moment / Getty Images
Time to put on your thinking cap. What technical name is used for the bulk of the desert in Arizona and New Mexico?
Cold winter desert
Hot-and-dry desert
Coastal desert
Polar desert
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

For the most part, the deserts of the Southwest qualify, unsurprisingly, as hot-and-dry deserts. That said, unlike the image, many have of desert lands like those in the Middle East. Southwestern deserts are not all sand dunes and desolation. In fact, they're teeming with life!

Geography 2
John and Tina Reid / Moment / Getty Images
Here's a complicated question: What is the easternmost city in U.S. territory with more than a quarter of a million of U.S. citizens?
Boca Raton, Florida
Bangor, Maine
Cape Canaveral, Florida
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

San Juan is unique in that it is populated almost entirely by U.S. citizens, as all Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, and as a U.S. territory, it counts for the purpose of this question. San Juan is the island nation's largest city.

Geography 15
Wiki Commons by USGS
Some places are famous for being number one. Which of these is the lowest airport in the U.S.?
Furnace Creek Airport, California
JFK Airport, New York
Logan International Airport, Massachusetts
LAX Airport, California
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Furnace Creek Airport is the lowest airport or airfield in the United States, at an elevation of 210 feet below sea level. By comparison, the bottom of Lake Superior is 732 feet below sea level.


Geography 33
Wiki Commons by Jet Lowe, U.S. Library of Congress
Some parks are national, while others are state parks, or not at all! Which of the following is not a national park?
The Gateway Arch
American Samoa
Central Park
Big Bend
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

National parks come in all shapes and sizes and all over the land the USA is responsible for. Big Bend is more or less what one imagines when one thinks of a national park, and it's located in Texas. The Gateway Arch is a small national park, to take care of the monument. American Samoa was established as a national park to protect its environment. Central Park is not a national park.

Geography 3
Danilo Ruiz / Moment / Getty Images
Make a left turn at Albuquerque. In which state is Yosemite National Park?
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Yosemite National Park is located in eastern California. Containing some of the most jaw-dropping views of any national park, it sees millions of visitors every year, attracted by its mountains and iconic giant sequoia.

Geography 8
yenwen / E+ / Getty Images
Yellowstone National Park is a glorious natural wonder with a dark secret. What is that secret?
It was the scene of a bloody battle.
It is where there was a terrible airplane crash.
It is at the center of a fault line that could cause an earthquake capable of splitting the continent in half.
It is a super-volcano.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Yellowstone National Park's famous geyser "Old Faithful" is powered by chambers in the ground filled with water, heated by magma in chambers in the crust. The entire park is a giant volcano, but don't worry! It last erupted in 664,000 years ago.


Geography 12
Wiki Commons by National Atlas of the United States / Lithium6ion
Time to get in the zone! Where is the Ramapo Seismic Zone?
New York
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Ramapo Seismic Zone, which runs through New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, had its last major quake in 1884, a 5.5. With sections running from the outer boroughs through Manhattan at 125th Street, the city tried to build its infrastructure with this in mind, but given their knowledge of earthquakes at the time, these landmarked structures are designed to be destroyed.

Geography 16
Tony Barber / Moment / Getty Images
What do the Green Mountains, White Mountains and Longfellow Mountains have in common?
They are part of the Rocky Mountains.
They are not mountains.
They are part of the Adirondack Mountains.
They are part of the Appalachian Mountains.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Appalachian Mountains are a huge range, stretching from the south up through Maine. They include the Berkshires, the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Green Mountains, the Longfellow Mountains and the White Mountains,

Geography 24
Wiki Commons by USGS
A rose by any other name ... What is the name for the formation of volcanoes the volcanoes along the West Coast are a part of?
The San Andreas Fault
The Long Line
The Coast of Fire
The Ring of Fire
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Ring of Fire is the name given to the circle of volcanoes surrounding the Pacific Ocean. The Ring of Fire includes volcanoes formed in Russia, Japan, Alaska, Canada, the lower 48 states, South America and various South Pacific atolls and islands.


Geography 5
Michael Crowley / Moment / Getty Images
We like to think of this question as "extreme"! Which of the following is the northernmost state?
South Dakota
North Carolina
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While Oregon and South Dakota's northern borders are at more or less the same latitude, Wisconsin comes out ahead as the northernmost of these states. North Carolina, of course, is much further south.

Geography 19
Wiki Commons by NASA
This feature is showcased on maps. What is the name of the geographic feature surrounding the Colorado River?
Bryce Canyon
Mesa Grande
The Rio Grande
The Grand Canyon
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

There are dueling theories about the origins of the Grand Canyon, though such was not always the case. Some believe it was carved over millions of years by the Colorado river slowly wearing away at the land. A more recent theory gaining traction is that it was created in a single massive event when an ice wall holding in an ancient Great Lake gave way, and the force of the water released carved the canyon.

Geography 30
Julie Thurston / Moment / Getty Images
It's hard to remember that the world is a sphere when you see it on a map. What is the southernmost point in the U.S.?
Ka Lae, Hawaii
Brownsville, Texas
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, Florida
Border Field State Park, California
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While Brownsville is the southernmost city in Texas, Border Field State Park, California is the southernmost point in California and Key West has a marker pointing out the southernmost place in the contiguous 48 states. Ka Lae, Hawaii is the southernmost point in all 50 states.


Geography 35
halbergman / E+ / Getty Images
Trade is the nation's lifeblood! What port is the busiest?
Port of Los Angeles
Port of Houston
Port of Virginia
Port of New York & New Jersey
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While all of these ports are very busy, it is the Port of Los Angeles that takes the cake. The Port of Los Angeles sits on 7,500 acres and covers 43 miles of waterfront. Approximately $1.2 Billion of cargo passes through this port every day.

Geography 10
Wiki Commons by NASA
Which fault line could cause a massive tsunami to wipe out the coast of the Pacific Northwest?
The New Madrid Seismic Zone
The Ramapo Seismic Zone
The Denali Fault System
The Cascadia Subduction Zone
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Cascadia Subduction Zone is a fault line that runs along the West Coast, in the ocean. When it "snaps" back from its subduction action, it causes huge underwater earthquakes, which in turn cause massive tsunamis. The last one was in 1700 A.D.

Geography 17
Christian Moore / Moment / Getty Images
Wagons south! What is The Florida Everglades?
A desert
A forest
A swamp
A wetland
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Florida Everglades, which includes The Everglades National Park, is a massive wetland region and the biggest subtropical wilderness left in the United States. Threatened by climate change, the Everglades we know today may someday exist only in memory.


Geography 34
Carlos Rojas / Moment / Getty Images
America still has plenty of untamed wilderness. What is the largest national forest in the U.S.?
Tongass National Forest
Salmon-Challis National Forest
Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
Chugach National Forest
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While all of these forests are huge expanses of natural beauty available for Americans to see, Tongass National Forest is the largest. It should come as no surprise that Tongass National Forest and the runner up, Chugach National Forest, are both located in Alaska.

Geography 27
bgblue / DigitalVision Vectors / Getty Images
One could cook with nine U.S. states! Which of the following states does not have a panhandle?
Rhode Island
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

While there are nine states with panhandles, Rhode Island isn't one. Those states are, in alphabetical order, Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia.

Geography 1
Wiki Commons by Jeffrey Joseph
Do you recognize this old face? In which state is The Old Man of The Mountain?
New Hampshire
New York
None of the above
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Old Man of The Mountain was a proud geographic feature of New Hampshire which was, as the name suggests, a rock formation that appeared to be the profile of an old man. Long considered an icon of the state, it collapsed in 2003.


Geography 9
Harald Nachtmann / Moment / Getty Images
We'll bet you don't know this one! In which state does the Statue of Liberty stand?
New Jersey
New York
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

This answer is complicated. Legally, as provided by lawsuits between New York and New Jersey, Liberty Island is in New Jersey, but only below water. All land above water, which is federally owned, is part of New York. Thus, the Statue of Liberty is in New York.

Geography 25
Lidija Kamansky / Moment / Getty Images
Even our floods are big, in the USA! Which formation was created by a flood as powerful as all the rivers in the world multiplied by ten?
The Channeled Scablands
The Sierra Mountains
The Mississsippi River
The Gulf of Mexico
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

In 1923, J Harlen Bretz theorized that the Channeled Scablands of Washington State were created by a massive dam breaking around an ancient ice lake, releasing a torrent that created cavitation so strong it carved a huge area of Washington's landscape. At the time, Bretz was considered a fantasist, but as of the early 1970s, his theory is the accepted one.

Geography 14
Wiki Commons by formulanone
Dig deep for the answer to this question. What is the longest tunnel in the U.S.?
The Ted Williams Tunnel and Interstate 90 Extension
The Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel
The Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel
The Brooklyn–Battery Tunnel
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Ted Williams Tunnel and Interstate 90 Extension, nicknamed "The Big Dig," was a famously long-lived municipal infrastructure project that killed a driver on the day it opened, when a piece of concrete fell off the roof onto her car. It is over a mile and a half long.


Geography 32
Walter Bibikow / DigitalVision / Getty Images
Americans love to conquer nature! What range's 46 high peaks are the source of the term "46er"?
Rocky Mountains
Blue Mountains
Green Mountains
Adirondack Mountains
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Once the site of the Olympic Winter Games, the Adirondacks are a beautiful range running through parts of upstate New York and Vermont. They inspired hikers to attempt to summit all 46 high peaks, starting in 1918 and continuing to this day. Hikers who achieve this feat become "46ers."

Geography 18
Wiki Commons by Nick Nolte
Life is a highway, and we're gonna ride it all night long! What is the longest highway in the U.S.?
U.S. Route 30
U.S. Route 10
U.S. Route 40
U.S. Route 20
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

U.S. Route 20 is the longest in the country, measuring 3,365 miles. The U.S. route-numbering system designates routes ending in a zero as coast to coast routes (in theory, anyway), and this one fulfills that promise, going from Oregon to Massachusetts.

Geography 29
Jordan McAlister / Moment Open / Getty Images
Even small-town America is notable. What is notable about Lebanon, Kansas?
It is near the geographic center of the lower 48 states.
It is the geographic center of the lower 48 states.
It is the geographic center of all 50 states.
It is the birthplace of Mary Todd Lincoln.
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Just over two and a half miles from Lebanon, Kansas is the geographic center of the 48 contiguous states of the U.S. This strange fact, a reason to visit Lebanon, was established by a survey of the country in 1918.


Geography 7
David Bailey / DigitalVision / Getty Images
Go big or go home! What is the biggest desert in the U.S.?
Great Basin Desert
Chihuahuan Desert
Mojave Desert
Sonoran Desert
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

The Great Basin Desert is absolutely massive, at over 190,000 square miles. It is followed closely by the Chihuahuan Desert at 139,769 square miles, the Sonoran Desert at 100,000 square miles and the Mojave Desert at 47,877 square miles.

Geography 23
Wiki Commons by Chris Waythomas, the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the U.S. Geological Survey
Some natural phenomena are truly terrifying. Which did Mount Redoubt create in 2009
Bass Tremor
Double Mushroom Plume
Magma Lake
Harmonic Tremor
Correct Answer
Wrong Answer

Scientists have been giving special attention to Mount Redoubt since its 2009 eruption, which was preceded by what can best be described as a scream coming from the volcano before silence and its eruption. This was actually a series of overlapping tremors signaling the coming eruption and may lead to better ways of predicting eruptions.

You Got:
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