Rocky mountains

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Rocky Mountains

Rocky Mountains or Rockies, great chain of rugged mountain
ranges in western North America, extending from central New Mexico to
northeastern British Columbia, a distance of about 3220 km (about 2000 mi).
The Great Basin and the Rocky Mountain Trench, a valley running from
northwestern Montana to northern British Columbia, border the Rockies on
the east by the Great Plains and on the west. The Rocky Mountains form part
of the Great, or Continental, Divide, which separates rivers draining into
the Atlantic or Arctic oceans from those flowing toward the Pacific Ocean.
The Arkansas, Colorado, Columbia, Missouri, Rio Grande, Saskatchewan, and
Snake rivers rise in the Rockies. The Rockies may be divided into four
principal sections—Southern, Central, Northern, and Canadian. The Southern
Rockies, which include the system's broadest and highest regions, extend
from central New Mexico, through Colorado, to the Great Divide, or Wyoming,
Basin, in southern Wyoming. This section, which encompasses Rocky Mountain
National Park, is composed chiefly of two northern-southern belts of
mountain ranges with several basins, or parks, between the belts. The
component parts include the Sanger de Crisco and Laramie mountains and the
Front Range, in the east, and the San Juan Mountains and the Swatch and
Park ranges, in the west. The Southern Rockies include the chain's loftiest
point, Mount Elbert (4399 m/14,433 ft high), in central Colorado. More than
50 other peaks of the Rockies rising above 4267 m (14,000 ft) are in
Colorado; these include Longs Peak (4345 m/14,255 ft high) and Pikes Peak
(4301 m/14,110 ft high). The Central Rockies are in northeastern Utah,
western Wyoming, eastern Idaho, and southern Montana. They encompass the
Bighorn; Bear tooth, and Unite Mountains and the Absaroka, Wind River, Salt
River, Teton, Snake River, and Wasatch ranges. The Unite Mountains are the
only major portion of the Rockies that extends east west rather than north
south. Among the peaks of the Central Rockies, which include Grand Eton and
Yellowstone national parks, are Gannett Peak (4207 m/13,804 ft high), Grand
Eton (4197 m/13,771 ft high), and Fremont Peak (4185 m/13,730 ft high). The
Northern Rockies are in northern Idaho, western Montana, and northeastern
Washington. They include the Saw tooth, Cabinet, Salmon River, and
Clearwater Mountains and the Bitterroot Range. The loftiest points in the
section, which includes Glacier National Park, are Granite Peak (3901
m/12,799 ft high) and Borax Peak (3859 m/12,662 ft high). The Canadian
Rockies, located in southwestern Alberta and eastern British Columbia, are
composed of a relatively narrow belt...