How Wide Is the Mississippi River?

Dave Herholz/CC-BY-SA 2.0

The Mississippi River ranges in width from 20 to 30 feet at Lake Itasca to 11 miles at Lake Winnibigoshish, both in Minnesota. The widest navigational section of the river is two miles, at Lake Pepin, also in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

From its headwaters at northern Minnesota’s Lake Itasca, the world’s fourth-longest river flows roughly 2,350 miles before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. About 30 percent of the Mississippi’s length is in Minnesota, where it connects several lakes. The Mississippi River divides Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas and Louisiana on the west from Wisconsin, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi on the east.