A Map of the  Rio Grande River

Rio Grande River Facts

  • River Name: Rio Grande River
  • Location: United States (southwest) and Mexico (northern)
  • Total Length: 1,896 mi
  • Maximum Depth: 60 feet
  • Main Outlet: Gulf of Mexico
  • Known for: Being a natural border for many U.S. states

19 Rio Grande River Facts for Kids

  1. The Rio Grande River is a watercourse that flows through North America.
  2. The name for the Rio Grande River is pronounced: “REE-oh GRAHN-day”.
  3. The Rio Grande River is most well-known for being a natural border for parts of the United States and Mexico.
  4. The Rio Grande River flows through two countries in North America, the United States and Mexico.
  5. The Rio Grande River flows through three states in the United States and four states in Mexico.
  6. The three U.S. states the Rio Grande flows through are Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.
  7. The four Mexican states the Rio Grande flows through are Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas.
  8. The Rio Grande River starts at the Canby Mountain in Colorado, USA.
  9. The Rio Grande River ends at the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean.
  10. The entire length of the Rio Grande River is 1,896 miles.
  11. The Rio Grande River is the fourth or fifth longest river in North America, based on how it’s measured.
  12. The Rio Grande River is the twenty-eighth longest river in the world.
  13. The basin size of the Rio Grande River is over 182,000 square miles.
  14. There are more than 100 tributaries of the Rio Grande.
  15. The first European to explore the Rio Grande was Spanish explorer Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1540.
  16. The Rio Grande River is a major source of water for the drinking water and farm irrigation.
  17. The discharge of water from the Rio Grande River is only 20% of its natural amount. This has been caused by manmade dams and diverted routes for use in farms and drinking water.
  18. The Mexican-American War between 1846 and 1848 resulted in the Rio Grande River becoming the border for a section of the United States and Mexico.
  19. The Rio Grande River is a cross point for migrants trying to get into the United States. There are hundreds of recorded cases where migrants have drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande River.

Additional Resources on the Rio Grande River