When you travel from West to East, in the West, the U.S. starts with the Pacific Ocean coastline.
The western portions have mountain ranges. There are the Sierra Nevada mountains and the Coast Ranges.
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Between the two mountain ranges lies California’s Central Valley. To the East of the Sierra Nevada, we find the Basin and Range, a land that consists of mountains and deserts. This is where we find the hottest place in our country, Death Valley.
Then comes the Colorado Plateau, where we see many mountains and canyons. Also in the West lies the Grand Canyon, and the Rocky Mountains are located east of the Grand Canyon.
When we go East of the Rocky Mountains, the terrain is flatter than the land in the West. Lakes, plains, and rivers make up the key features of the land we call the central United States.
The American Great Plains is a massive region of dry grasslands, and if you go farther east, more forests are covering the Central Plains.
In the south, we find the Gulf Coastal Plain, which is low and flat. The mighty Mississippi River (over 2,000 miles in length) flows here south into the Mexican Gulf.
Farther to the north, we find the five big lakes that make up the Great Lakes. These lakes form Earth’s largest freshwater body.
Eastern Mountains and Plains
The area of the East consists of mountains, plains, hills, and rivers. The famous Appalachian Mountain Range is running all the way from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south.
The Atlantic Coastal Region consists of plains, wetlands, and beaches. Florida’s Everglades are a large area of wetlands. The eastern portions of the U.S. end at the Atlantic Ocean.