The Rocky Mountains encompass nearly 3,000 miles and run the length of western North America, from Alaska to New Mexico. The Rocky Mountains are spread across eight states, two provinces, and two territories. They are bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and on the west by the Pacific Ocean.
Geographically, the Rocky Mountains consist of a large plateau surrounded by highlands on all sides except for the south where they drop down to the low plains of what was once a great oceanic basin. There are three main ranges within the Rockies: the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia, the American Rockies in Montana and Wyoming, and the Rockies of Colorado. Each range has its own unique characteristics which have shaped their current landscape today.
The Rocky Mountains were created by volcanic activity that formed the peaks we see today. Some of the more famous ones include Mount Everest, Denali, and Mauna Kea. The mountains provide a unique environment for plant life to grow because there is less sunlight than elsewhere at such a high altitude. This means that plants have evolved ways to use other sources of light energy such as moonlight and fireflies. Certain species of plants can even fix carbon dioxide while others photosynthesize using water instead.
The name "Rocky" comes from the rocky terrain found everywhere in the mountain range.
Mountains of the Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains run 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from northernmost western Canada to New Mexico in the southern United States in a single line. They are the world's longest mountain range and span six states from Alberta to Paraguay. Forming an arc around much of the center and east coast of North America, they are often called the Great Range of North America.
The Rocky Mountains consist of a series of parallel ranges with almost no undergrowth except on very windy slopes or near water courses. They are made up of hard granite that was once covered by ocean waters. As the land rose after being submerged by sea level changes, this solid rock was exposed, forming the peaks of the mountains.
Over time, parts of these mountains were used as roadbeds by Native Americans and explorers as they traveled across the continent. In 1823, Charles W. Stelle was the first European to see the Rockies when he reached the summit of what is now known as Mount Stelle International Peace Park. By 1845, the main route through the mountains from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean was completed when the Overland Stage Route was built by American pioneers. This wagon trail followed the same routes taken by early settlers who brought their own roads into the wilderness.
The Rocky Mountains are North America's largest mountain range and the world's second longest. They run for 3,000 miles north to south from New Mexico, across the United States to Montana, and all the way into Canada. The Rocky Mountains form the North American Continental Divide. They are made up of a series of peaks that reach an elevation of over 6,000 feet (1,829 m). Mount McKinley, located in Alaska, is the highest peak in the continental United States.
The Rocky Mountain Range has four major geographical features: the high plains, the mountain ranges, the desert valleys, and the trans-Canadian axis.
The High Plains are flat, dry areas between the Rockies and the other mountains of the Western Hemisphere. There are three types of High Plains: the Great Plains, the Central High Plains, and the Southwestern High Plains.
The Rocky Mountain Range stretches for thousands of miles through nine U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. This huge range of mountains covers almost a third of the country! It is divided into two main sections: the high plateau and the deep canyon. In between these two main sections are several smaller ranges such as the Jefferson, the Greater Yellowstone, and the Ouachita.
The Cananauusian Desert Valley is one of the driest places on earth with only 7 inches (18 cm) of rain falling per year.