Geography of the U. S. A.
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The USA is situated in the southern part of North America. Its neighbours are Canada in the north, Mexico in the south and Russia in Alaska. It covers the area of nearly 10 million square kilometers.
Central plains are bounded by the Rocky Mountains and the Coastal Mountains in the west, the Appalachian Mountains in the east and alluvial plains around the Gulf of Mexico. The highest mountain in the USA is Mt. McKinley in the Alaska Range (6 194 m).
The largest rivers are the Mississippi and the Missouri (together more than 6 000 km). It is the third longest river system in the world. Niagara Falls and the five Great Lakes – Lake Ontario, Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior are situated on the southeastern Canadian border. Lake Superior is the second largest lake in the world.
The USA has many different kinds of landscape and climate. The differences across continental US are extreme. Enormous parks and forests, lakes and seashores, mountains and valleys, deserts and wilderness areas surprise visitors in the same way as the climate does. The Pacific Coast has pleasantly warm summers and mild winters, except in the south, where summers are hot and dry. The Atlantic Coast is relatively cold, occasionally with heavy snowfalls in winter, but summers may be hot and very humid. The Middle West winters are cold and long. Death Valley in California is about the hottest place on earth in summer. California, Arizona, New Mexico and Florida belong among the so-called Sun Belt States.
There are many national parks in the USA, visited by millions of people. The first National Park was Yellowstone, founded in 1872, in the state of Wyoming. Another famous park is the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River in the state of Arizona. The parks represent one of the finest examples of nature conservation in the world.