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Activities
  1. Explore It
    This map explores the geography of the West. Does every western state have large areas of mountains?
  2. Find It
    Which state is surrounded on all sides by water?
  3. Think About It
    The Missouri River and the Snake River both start in the mountains near where Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming meet. What is different about the directions in which they flow?
Learn More About It

The West is the nation's most mountainous region. Every state in the West has at least one mountain over 10,000 feet high. No state outside the West has mountains over 9,000 feet high. The West also has the lowest place in the United States. It is in Death Valley, California and is 282 feet below sea level.
Check Your Answers
  1. Yes. Every western state has mountainous areas.
  2. Hawaii.
  3. The two rivers start on opposite sides of the "continental divide." The Snake River flows toward the Pacific Ocean and the Missouri flows in the other direction. Its waters eventually flow into the Gulf of Mexico, a part of the Atlantic Ocean.