Read about the most famous mountains called the Rockies.
The Rocky Mountains are the largest mountain system in North America. The Rocky Mountain chain extends for more than 4,800 km through the United States and Canada. Visitors to the Rockies enjoy sparkling lakes, snow-capped peaks and other spectacular scenery. The region is also famous for its ski resorts and wild game. Some US and Canadian national parks can be found there. Several rivers such as, the Colorado, the Missouri, the Arkansas and others begin in the Rockies.
Chief ranges of the Rockies include the Southern Rockies, the Middle Rockies, the Northern Rockies, the Canadian Rockies, the Selwyn and Mackenzie mountains and the Brooks Range.
Plant and Animal life: Forests of pinon pines cover the lower slopes of the Southern Rockies. In the higher areas of the Rockies firs, pines and spruces can be found. Mountain goats, elk, bears, deer, mountain lions, squirrels and other animals live in the Rockies.
History: The Rockies were formed over 65 million years ago. The sides of the mountains contain fossils of animals which once lived in the sea as well as rocks that were formed in the hot interior of the earth.
Many Indian tribes used to live there when Europeans first arrived in North America. The first Europeans to reach the Rockies were Spanish explorers, who established a colony near what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1598.
The Rockies hampered transportation during the 1800’s when explorers and settlers were moving westward. The first railroad route through them was built in the Wyoming Basin in 1868. Today, Interstate Highway 80 runs through the Wyoming Basin.
Choose true or false:
1. The Rocky Mountains are the smallest mountain system in North America.
2. Forests of pinon pines cover the higher slopes of the Southern Rockies.
3. The first Europeans to reach the Rockies were French people.
Virginia Evans, Jenny Dooley. Upstream. Intermediate, Newbury: Express Publishing, p.222.