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Rocky Mountains


Rocky Mountain National Park
Photo courtesy NPS

The Rocky Mountains, often called the Rockies, are a broad mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3000 miles (4800 kilometres) from Mexico, through the continental United States, into Canada and Alaska. The highest peak is Mt Elbert[?], in Colorado, which is 14,431 feet (4399 metres) above sea level.

The Rocky Mountains were created during what geologists call the Laramide orogeny during a period that started 70 million years ago and ended 30 million years ago. After the mountains were raised nearly as high as what the Himalayas are today, then part of western North America started to stretch and much of the south western part of the high mountain plateau started to get broken up into horsts[?] (ranges) with grabens[?] (basins) in between them. This area is now called the Basin and Range Province.

The rivers that flow from the Rocky Mountains eventually drain into three of the world's four Oceans: the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. These rivers include:



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