We'll Give You a Town, Mountain Range and a River, You Guess the State!



By: Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: Deb Snelson / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

No matter where you travel in the United States, you’re likely to encounter some pretty amazing sights. Head west and you’ll encounter the magnificent Rocky Mountains, the Missouri River (which starts in Montana before snaking east) and remarkable towns from the quirky Portland, Oregon, to the wide-open landscapes of Arizona and Utah. Travel east and you’ll enjoy the lush greenery of cities in places like Vermont, the mountain getaway towns in the Catskills and the Berkshires and a rolling expanse of Appalachian Mountains that pepper the coast from New York to Georgia.

The geography of this country is part of what makes it such a melting pot. From the highest mountain peak, Denali, in Alaska, to the Mississippi, where one drop of water endures a 90-day journey to travel its entire length, there is an adventure to be had in every corner — north, south, east and west. 

How well do you know the rivers, ranges and random locations that make up our 50 states? Could you identify where you’d need to fly to climb the perfect peak, to laze down rolling rivers or to become a tourist in your own country? See if you can match these geographical features and city names to the states where they can be found, and stamp your virtual passport along the way!

You don't want to mess with the Chinati Mountains, the Rio Grande River or any part of Austin. What state can you find these in?

That's right; don't mess with Texas! It is home to the Chinati Mountains in the high desert and the Rio Grande River, which makes up part of the border between Texas and Mexico. Austin is well-known as Texas' state capital.


Grab some BBQ in Memphis, go whitewater rafting on the Pigeon River or book a cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains. What state are these sites in?

Both Memphis and the Great Smoky Mountains in the "Volunteer State" draw thousands of visitors annually for food, fun and relaxation. While you're there, grab a whitewater rafting adventure on the Pigeon River, which is — in fact — named after the bird.


Also known as the Golden State, which of these locales boasts the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Klamath River and the city of Fresno?

California is an expansive state, encompassing roughly 800 miles from the northern to the southern borders. Along the journey, you'll find images of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Klamath River. Fresno, home to roughly a half-million people, is situated pretty much squarely in the center.


Get your Tobacco (Root Mountains), Milk (River) and Whitefish in Big Sky Country. What state bears that nickname?

Perhaps better known as Big Sky Country, Montana is home to a laundry (or is it grocery?) list of interesting places, including Tobacco Root Mountain, Milk River and the resort community of Whitefish.


The skyline of this state is dotted with the Cascades or you can visit Olympia or gaze upon the Columbia River here. What state are we referencing?

Part of the Pacific Northwest, the state of Washington sits in the midst of the Cascade Mountains, which run from California to Canada. Washington's capital city, Olympia, is due north of the winding Columbia River.


This state "is for lovers," but it's also for the Allegheny Mountains, the Potomac River and the city of Roanoke. What state are we talking about?

"Virginia is for lovers" has long been a slogan attached to the United States' 10th state. Virginia, situated in the Allegheny Mountains, is home to Roanoke and the Potomac River.


This mitten-shaped state is home to Ann Arbor and the St. Clair River (at the base of the "thumb") and the Huron Mountains (near the top of the "middle finger.") What state is it?

Well-known for its mitten-like shape, Michigan is home to Ann Arbor and the St. Clair River, shown here, and the Huron Mountains in the state's upper peninsula, where they overlook another body of water – Lake Superior.


The Logan River is near Logan, but Logan Peak of the Bear River Mountains? Well, that's near Logan, too. What state are all of these in?

Logan, Logan, Logan! You can find all of these — the city of Logan, the Logan River and the Logan Peak — in Utah's northeast corner. One-time fur trapper Ephraim Logan is the namesake for all of these sites.


A little bit country (the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Pee Dee River), a little bit rock 'n' roll (Charlotte). Where are these three located?

North Carolina is as diverse as the three hints we gave you in the question. There are great expanses of mountains (Blue Ridge) and rivers (Pee Dee), but also sprawling cities (Charlotte). The "Tar Heel State" is nothing if not varied.


The "Gem State" is home to the Bitterroot Mountains and Kootenay River, but don't forget Boise! What state has them all?

The panhandle of Idaho is home to both the Bitterroot Mountains and the Kootenay River. It's a bit of a journey to the state's capital of Boise, though, home to the "potato drop." What's that, you ask? It's how Idaho rings in the New Year instead of using a disco ball.


Can you (Little) Rock this question? What state is home to the Ozarks and the Ouachita River?

Little Rock is Arkansas' state capital and one of the "Natural State's" most-visited tourist destinations. Arkansas is also home to the Ozarks ("ark" is right there in the name) and the Ouachita River.


It's another state in the Appalachian Mountains, home to Dayton and the Maumee River. Where are we?

Believe it or not, parts of Ohio are at home in the Appalachian Mountains, while other parts are notoriously flat. The Maumee River flows through the northwest part of the state, while the city of Dayton, along the Great Miami River, is in the state's southwest corner.


The Longfellow Mountains, Saint John River and Bangor all call which of these states home?

Travel to one of the northernmost spots in the United States and you'll find both the Longfellow Mountains and the Saint John River near the tip-top of the state. Bangor, on the other hand, is located in the central part of the "Pine Tree State."


Tulsa sits on the Arkansas River, but neither is as old as the Arbuckle Mountains, which scientists have dated back to more than 1.4 billion years ago. Which state can you find them in?

The state of Oklahoma has been a member of the Union since 1907, but scientists have dated parts of it — specifically, the Arbuckle Mountains — back to the earliest parts of history. Tulsa, one of the state's most populous cities, sits alongside the Arkansas River.


This state is full of wildlife in the form of the Delamar Mountains and the Colorado River, and it's full of nightlife in Reno. Where would you find these places?

Reno, Nevada, is known for its nightlife as the "The Biggest Little City in the World," but the state is also full of wide-open spaces, including the Delamar Mountains and the Colorado River.


Travel by plane to this U.S. state, where you'll be treated to the Ko'olau Mountains and Waihee River ... if you can ever leave Honolulu, that is. What state is it?

The United States' 50th state is also one of its most beautiful, thanks to sights like the Ko'olau Mountains and Waihee River. Honolulu is Hawaii's capital and the island's largest city.


This place has beaches (with nearby Waccamaw River) and the Blue Ridge Mountains. What state's capital is Columbia?

South Carolina appears to have something for everyone, from beaches along the East Coast, nearby where you'll find the Waccamaw River, to mountainous regions like the Blue Ridge range. Its capital city, Columbia, is home to more than 130,000 residents.


Travel down the Salt River near Mesa or go a bit further and hike the Pinaleño Mountains. What state has them all?

The state best known for its Grand Canyon scenery is no one-trick pony. Locals and visitors to Mesa enjoying floating down the Salt River. The Pinaleño Mountains dominate the skyline in southeast Arizona.


Many people escape to the Berkshires in this western part of this state, while both Cambridge and the Merrimack River are in its eastern part. What state is it?

Home to Boston, the Red Sox and an infamous "tea party," Massachusetts is also the site of what the locals call "the Berkshires," part of the Green Mountain range, and the Merrimack River, which flows from New Hampshire through the "Bay State" before emptying in Maine. Cambridge is home to Harvard University.


The Green Mountains gave this state (its most populous city, Burlington) its nickname. It is lesser known for the Passumpsic River, shown here. Where are we?

Vermont is known as the "Green Mountain State," for — you guessed it — the Green Mountains that are a part of its landscape. The Passumpsic River flows east of the state's most populated city, Burlington, with just over 42,000 residents recorded in 2017.


The Appalachian Mountains cross many state borders, including this one that is also home to the Cumberland River and the city of Lexington. What state is it?

It's not called the "Bluegrass State" because the U.K. Wildcats are in Lexington, but it might as well be! Officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, it is home to the Cumberland River and is one of many states that lies in the path of the Appalachian Mountains.


The James River flows alongside the east side of this state, while the Black Hills dominate the west. Onida splits the difference. What state are we referencing?

Shaped like a rectangle, our "big three" here each dominate a different part of the state. The Black Hills dot the western part of the state, while the James River flows along the east side. The town of Onida, population less than 700, sits in the middle of the state.


You'll probably want to check out Area 51 in Roswell, but don't forget to take in some of this state's geography: the Capitan Mountains and the Pecos River. Where are we?

New Mexico is home to the mysterious Area 51, located in Roswell in the southeastern part of the state. The Pecos River is nearby, but you'll have to head west to check out the Capitan Mountains.


Author Nathaniel Hawthorne used the White Mountains as a setting in a short story. In the same state, the city of Manchester sits on the Merrimack River. What state do they share?

What do the White Mountains, the Merrimack River and Manchester have in common? Why, New Hampshire, of course! Hawthorne's tale, "The Great Carbuncle" is set in the White Mountains. Further south, you can find the picturesque Manchester sitting alongside the Merrimack River.


This state’s nickname is an homage to the Appalachian Mountains, but it also has the Ohio River, which you can view in Huntington. Where are we?

Take us home, country roads! West Virginia is the only state to be situated entirely in the Appalachian Mountains. One of its larger cities, Huntington, sits alongside the 981-mile long Ohio River.


It’s a long trip, but Wasilla, the Brooks Range and the Yukon River await you in which of these locations?

Explore America's "Last Frontier," the 49th state to become a part of the United States in 1959. It may take you a bit to get to the United States' six-largest city, but once you're there, you might as well head north to check out the Brooks Range, an extension of the Rocky Mountains. You'll likely have to cross the Yukon River to get there.


You can hike the Adirondacks, visit Albany or check out the Hudson River in which of these states?

New York has a rich and varied landscape that includes the lush Adirondack Mountains, getaway for many from the state's busier cities. Complete your New York road trip with a visit to the Hudson River, which originates in the Adirondacks, or a trip to New York's capital, Albany.


The Chattahoochee River forms part of this state's border, but you'll also find the Talladega Mountains and historic Montgomery here. Where are we?

You might not think of Alabama as being mountainous, but the Talladega Mountains are part of the Appalachian Mountain range. Alabama is also home to the Chattahoochee River, which borders Georgia, and historic Montgomery, where civil rights protests made headlines.


Vacation in the popular Jackson Hole near the Snake River or head further north to the Bighorn Mountains. What state are you in?

Jackson Hole, on the banks of the Snake River, is a popular tourist destination for people visiting Wyoming. Further north, extending into southern Montana, you can find the Bighorn Mountains, a sister range for the nearby Rockies.


The Grande Ronde River is surrounded by this state's Blue Mountains near Pendleton. What state are we referencing?

The "Beaver State," Oregon finds its home in the Pacific Northwest, among the Blue Mountains, from which the Grande Ronde River rises. These geographic landmarks are situated near the town of Pendleton, where the desert (yes, they have desert in Oregon!) town's "Round-Up" pays homage to its cowboy culture.


It’s no television show, but you can check out the Ozarks, Springfield and the Platte River in this state. What is it?

Missouri's Ozark Mountains are, indeed, the namesake for the popular web-based television show, "Ozark." The Platte River is a tributary of the appropriately named Missouri River, while Springfield is known as the "Queen City of the Ozarks."


You can’t escape views of the Rockies in Denver, but the Green River will be trickier to spot. What state are we referencing?

You won't travel far in Denver, Colorado, before getting a breathtaking view of the imposing Rocky Mountains. (Its highest point is Mount Elbert.) The Green River is a bit more hidden, however, snaking through just the state's northwest corner.


You'll find ESPN in Bristol, but also the Berkshires and Ten Mile River. What state is their home?

It's true; ESPN's headquarters are in Bristol, Connecticut. But, that's not all the state is known for. The "Constitution State" boasts a home among the Berkshires and the Ten Mile River, which is actually 15 miles long.


Blue Ridge is both the name of a town and a mountain range in this state, with the clear Toccoa River nearby. What state has them all?

It may be the "Peach State," but Georgia knows a thing or two about the blues — the Blue Ridge Mountains and Blue Ridge, Georgia, to be exact. Nearby, the clear waters of the Toccoa River beckon trout fishermen or those just looking to relax.


James River is roughly 10 miles from Fessenden in this state, which also boasts the Turtle Mountains. Where are we?

North Dakota is the producer of nearly half of the wheat used throughout the United States and is home to the James River (and nearby Fessenden), as well as the Turtle Mountains. Native Americans referred to the Turtle Mountains in the singular — Turtle Mountain.


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