There are about 100 historic sites along the trail. MISSOURI RIVER. It spends 783 miles in Montana before crossing into North Dakota.. More Amazon River facts. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. For over 12,000 years, people have depended on the Missouri River and its tributaries as a source of sustenance and transportation. The Mississippi River is the second longest river in North America, flowing 2,350 miles from its source at Lake Itasca through the center of the continental United States to the Gulf of Mexico. By the time an even more ambitious plan—the Missouri River basin program called the Pick-Sloan plan—was adopted in the 1950s, channel maintenance had enabled commercial barge lines to begin operating on the Missouri in 1953. More than ten major groups of Native Americans populated the watershed, most leading a nomadic lifestyle and dependent on enormous buffalo herds that once roamed through the Great Plains. Other tributaries are the Bad, Blackwater, Cannonball, Gasconade, Grand, Heart, Judith, Knife, Little Missouri, Moreau, Musselshell, and White rivers, which enter from the south and west. Agricultural runoff, irresponsible development, and industrial waste are all … The length of the Mississippi River is approximately 2,320 miles (3,730 km), slightly shorter than the Missouri River. The Missouri was long believed to be part of the Northwest Passage – a water route from the Atlantic to the Pacific – but when Lewis and Clark became the first to travel the river’s entire length, they confirmed the mythical pathway to be no more than a legend. In 1944 the U.S. Congress authorized a comprehensive program for flood control and water resource development in the Missouri River basin. In addition, much of the river along the South Dakota–Nebraska border is within Missouri National Recreational River, a facility under the jurisdiction of the U.S. National Park Service. Many of these interesting facts were borrowed from the Brita water filter site (www.brita.com). Omissions? The Missouri drainage area is 1,371,000 square kilometers (529,350 square miles), one-sixth of the entire United States. The “ Mighty Mo ” is the longest river in America.. There are approximately 150 fish species in the Missouri River, and about 300 species of birds live in the Missouri River’s region. The carps then escaped,and made the Missouri their home. The Mississippi flows through the states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin in United States of America. This Missouri river, is sometimes called “Big Mo,” and also the “Big Muddy.” The lower part of the Missouri is about 750 miles long. Headwaters of the Missouri River, detail from Lewis and Clark Expedition map by William Clark and Meriwether Lewis, 1804–06. Just west of Bozeman, Montana—where the Gallatin, Jefferson, and Madison rivers converge at Three Forks—America’s longest river is born. However, the present course was formed about 115,000 years ago when streams from the Rocky Mountains were diverted by glaciers. Continuing through central and southern South Dakota, the river then forms a section of the South Dakota–Nebraska boundary, the Nebraska–Iowa boundary, the Nebraska–Missouri boundary, and the northern section of the Kansas–Missouri boundary. Let’s take a look at some fun fact about the mighty Missouri River. Some of the historical landmarks along the Missouri River include Fort Benton-Montana [pic. The river covers a drainage area of 529,350 square miles while its catchment area covers about one-sixth of the US. The first exploration of the river from its mouth to its headwaters was made in 1804–05 during the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Missouri is one of the most changed rivers in the U.S. Its many dams and reservoirs have created many lakes and stopped the free-flowing nature of the river, stopping flooding in many areas. For many years commerce on the river was restricted to the fur trade, and the river was little used by the earliest American settlers moving west. The flow of the Missouri and of most of its tributaries is exceedingly varied—the minimum flow being 4,200 cubic feet (120 cubic metres) per second and the maximum 900,000 cubic feet (25,500 cubic metres) per second. Missouri is located in the mid-western United States and it shares borders with eight different states … Facts About the Missouri River For most of its course, the Missouri flows across the Great Plains, one of the driest parts of North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of western Montana, the Missouri flows east and south for 2,341 miles (3,767 km) before entering the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. The Big Sioux, Chariton, Little Platte, Marias, Sun, and Teton rivers enter from the north and east. More Nile River facts. The source of the Missouri River is in the Rocky Mountains, in the state of Montana. It is also the fourth longest in the world. The Missouri has the nickname “Big Muddy,” because of the large amount of silt that it carries. When combined with the lower Mississippi River, it forms the world’s 4th longest river system. Corrections? The Missouri River flows north from Three Forks to Great Falls, where it bends east toward North Dakota. … Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet reached the mouth of the Missouri in 1673. There are an estimated … The river originates from the Rocky Mountains in the state of Montana and flows for approximately 2,341 miles before emptying into the Mississippi River. Today, the river is used primarily for commerce, although some river cruises go up and down the "Muddy Mo." About The Missouri River While the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween costumes disappear after October 31st, the very real and very scary problems facing the Missouri River are not going anywhere. The Mississippi River’s drainage basin (the area from which it collects water) covers parts of 31 US states and 2 provinces of Canada. Some sources, however, give the combined lengths of the Missouri proper and the Red Rock River (the upper course of the Jefferson River) of southwestern Montana as that of the Missouri River itself, instead of identifying it as a river system made up of both streams. The Missouri River flows from Montana's Gallatin, Madison, and Jefferson Rivers for 2,341 miles to the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, Missouri. The Missouri proper has a total course of 2,315 miles (3,726 km). Location: The Missouri River is formed near the town of Three Forks by the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers.. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. The Missouri River will travel more than 2,300 miles before it joins the Mississippi in its namesake state at St. Louis, forming the world’s fourth longest river system as it rolls south to the Gulf of Mexico.Considered the “Center of Life” for the Great Plains, the Missouri has served as t… Since we haven't always kept track of the source, be sure to cross check the fact if you use it. During the 20th century, the Missouri River basin was extensively developed for irrigation, flood control and the generation of hydroelectric power. Steamboats were a popular means of transport along the river during the early 19th century. Most of the rocks around the Upper Missouri River are sedimentary rocks. The name ‘Missouri’ is derived from the Missouri tribe name, meaning ‘people with wooden canoes‘. Steamboat traffic on the river reached its height in 1858 but began to decline in the following year with the completion of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railway to St. Joseph, Missouri. The watershed of the Missouri River is also one of the largest in North America, as it drains an area of over 0.529 million square miles, which is equivalent in size to the Canadian province of Quebec or one-sixth of the entire United States. The Missouri River, a tributary of the Mississippi River, is about 100 miles longer. The range of elevations within its basin is considerable: from some 14,000 feet (4,300 metres) above sea level in the Colorado Rockies near the Continental Divide to 400 feet (120 metres) where it joins the Mississippi. The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. The Missouri River drains a vast area of the north central US, from Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas, across Nebraska and Kansas to Missouri. Interesting facts about Missouri River. With unprotected slopes and violent fluctuations in flow, erosion and silting are major problems. Length of the Mississippi River. The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) divides the Missouri River watershed into three freshwater ecoregions: the Upper Missouri, Lower Missouri and Central Prairie. The Mississippi River flows through more than just Mississippi alone. The Missouri River is the longest river in the United States. The Missouri’s aquatic and riparian habitats also support several species of mammals, such as minks, river otters, beavers, muskrats, and raccoons. Interesting Mississippi River Facts: Hernando de Soto, a Spanish explorer, was the first European to record reaching the Mississippi River. The Missouri is the world’s 15th-longest river. Your email address will not be published. Missouri River, longest tributary of the Mississippi River and second longest river in North America. For millennia, the area around the upper Missouri River was home to Native American peoples such as the Blackfeet, Hidatsa, and Crow. In the 1970, some people imported Bighead and silver carps, also know as Asian Carps. The Missouri proper has a total course of 2,315 miles (3,726 km). The mouth of the river was first encountered by Europeans in 1673—by the French explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet while they were canoeing down the Mississippi River. MISSOURI RIVER, in the central and northwest central United States, is a major tributary of the Mississippi River and the longest river in the United States (2,466 miles). Missouri River Facts. The Missouri–Red Rock River system has a total length of some 2,540 miles (4,090 km), making it the third longest system in North America. The Fort Peck Dam is one of the largest earthfill dams in the world. However, we believe them to be accurate. Its muddy waters flow for more than 2,500 miles. Believe it or not, there are no more affordable ways for you to travel across the South-eastern states than via the Mississippi River. Major cities located along the Mississippi River include Minneapolis, Minnesota; St. Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; and New Orleans, Louisiana. The basin is home to about 10 million people from 28 Native American tribes, 10 states, and a small part of Canada. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/place/Missouri-River, Social Studies for Kids - Missouri River, United States, Missouri River - Children's Encyclopedia (Ages 8-11), Missouri River - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). There it makes its final eastward turn, flowing until it joins the Mississippi River about 10 miles (16 km) north of St. Louis. For the first 150 years after settlement along the river, little was done to develop the Missouri as a useful waterway or as a source of irrigation and power. Country: United States Length: 2320 miles (3734 km) Source: Lake Itasca, Clearwater County, Minnesota Mouth: Gulf of Mexico, Louisiana. The Missouri River flows for 2,315 miles (3,726 kilometers) through the central United States. It enters the state of North Dakota and then it turns south. Other Facts About the Mississippi River. The Missouri River flows through several states including Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. Missouri River, longest tributary of the Mississippi River and second longest river in North America. Over time, we've collected numerous facts on rivers, which we're willing to share. The major dams built on the Missouri were Fort Peck (near Glasgow, Montana), Garrison (North Dakota), and Gavin’s Point, Fort Randall, and Oahe (South Dakota). By discharge, the Missouri is the 9th largest river of the United States, after the Mississippi, St. Lawrence, Ohio, Columbia, Niagara, Yukon, Detroit, and St. Clair. The Missouri River was one of the main routes for the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The river’s drainage basin occupies about 529,400 square miles (1,371,100 square km) of the Great Plains, of which 2,550 square miles (16,840 square km) are in southern Canada. The longest river in Europe is the Volga. Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet were the first Europeans to set foot on the land in 1673 … The Missouri River basin is home to a wide variety of animal and plant life. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Many National Parks in the United States are located in the Missouri River’s watershed, including Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Badlands National Park, and Rocky Mountain National park. Chief tributaries include the Cheyenne, Kansas, Niobrara, Osage, Platte, and Yellowstone rivers, flowing in on the south and west sides, and the James and Milk rivers, entering from the north. The upper Missouri River at Gates of the Mountains, western Montana, north of Helena. Together the Missouri and the Mississippi form a river system that is 3,710 miles (5,971 kilometers) long. Interesting facts about Mississippi River, Interesting facts about the Mediterranean Sea, Interesting facts about Torres del Paine National Park, Interesting facts about the Blue Ridge Mountains. Black Eagle Dam and (foreground) Black Eagle Falls on the Missouri River, near Great Falls, west-central Montana, U.S. Fort Peck Dam on the Missouri River near Glasgow, northeastern Montana, U.S. The Missouri River is quite a wonder to behold and holds a prominent place in the history of our great nation. Back to Rivers. It envisioned a system of more than 100 dams and reservoirs on the Missouri and certain of its tributaries. Get Missouri facts, maps, and pictures in a U.S. state profile from National Geographic Kids. The Missouri was named Peki-tan-oui on some early French maps and, later, Oumessourit; it has been nicknamed “Big Muddy” because of the amount of solid matter it carries in suspension. The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. The Missouri River drops a total of 612 feet (187 m) from the first of the falls to the last, which includes a combined 187 feet (57 m) of vertical plunges and 425 feet (130 m) of riverbed descent. Over 95 significant tributaries and hundreds of smaller ones feed the Missouri River. Major tributaries to the Missouri River include Yellowstone River, Platte River, and Kansas River. The Missouri first flows northward and northeastward (via Great Falls) through western Montana before turning eastward across the northern portion of the state. American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark traveled the length of the Missouri River on their journey west with the Corps of Discovery. A segment of free-flowing river in north-central Montana is a federally designated national wild and scenic river, and the portion of the Missouri and its adjacent lands east of there to Fort Peck constitutes Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. Updates? The first Europeans to see the Missouri River were the Frenchmen Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet, in 1673, when floating down the Mississippi. One of the steamboats, the Arabia, was buried under (12 meters) 40 feet of mud and remained missing for over a century before being found 0.8 kilometers (half a mile) from the present course of the river. The Missouri River is the longest river in North America, longest tributary in the United States and a major waterway of the central United States. River and Water Trivia. Meramec River, tributary of the Mississippi River rising in the Ozark Mountains, near Salem in Dent county, southeastern Missouri, U.S.The river winds 207 miles (333 km) generally north, northeast, and southeast through the limestone Meramec Caverns and Meramec State Park (near Sullivan) to enter the Mississippi River 20 miles (32 km) below St. Louis. The American Fur Company began to use steamers on the river in 1830. With a drainage basin spanning 529,350 square miles (1,371,000 km2), the Missouri River's catchment encompasses nearly one-sixth of the area of the United States or just over five percent of the continent of North America. The second longest river in the world is the Amazon River, it reaches around 6400 kilometres in length (4000 miles). Shortly after entering western North Dakota, it begins to trend southeastward before continuing southward just south of Bismarck into northern and central South Dakota to Pierre, where it again begins to trend southeastward. The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. The Missouri, for example, though longer than the Mississippi itself, was essentially without navigation until the mid-20th century, when a combination of dams, locks, and dredging opened the river to barge traffic.…. Local flood protection, involving levees and bank stabilization, and a deeper river channel were provided on the Missouri itself from Sioux City, Iowa, to the Mississippi, a distance of 760 miles (1,220 km). Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The longest river in the USA is the Missouri River, stretching around 2,340 miles (3,770 km) in length (slightly longer than the Mississippi River). The river is the fourth longest river with a length of 3,730 km; and flows at an average of one third of human walking speed. Tributaries and hundreds of smaller ones feed the Missouri has the nickname “ Big Muddy, ” of... Great Plains, one of the rocks around the upper Missouri River in! Check the fact if you use it Edition with your subscription and plant life Forks of Missouri confluence of River. 1970, some people imported Bighead and silver carps, also know Asian! 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