The Rocky Mountains run nearly 3,000 miles in western North America. The Rockies can be broken down into four main sections – Canadian, northern, central, and southern.
These mountains that I love so much travel a huge distance from the northern most part of British Columbia in western Canada down to New Mexico in the United States. The flora and fauna of the mountains is similar, but can be found at different elevations in the different sections. Here is a rough overview of the four sections of the Rockies.
Rocky Mountains Overall
Contrary to how it sounds, the Rocky Mountains are not just one continuous mountain range, but actually consist of many, many separate mountain ranges. The Rocky Mountains contain many of the highest peaks in North America at over 14,000 feet.
The Rockies are usually divided into four distinct sections – the Canadian Rockies, Northern Rockies, Central Rockies, and the Southern Rockies.
Rocky Mountains – Southern Rockies
The Southern Rockies are the highest of the four different sections of mountains and include many peaks above 14,000 feet.
The Southern Rockies include most of the mountains in Colorado, part of south-central Wyoming, and into New Mexico. Some of the individual ranges include the Front Range and San Juan Mountains of Colorado.
Rocky Mountains – Central Rockies
The Central Rockies include the ranges in north-eastern Utah, western and northern Wyoming and the south-eastern corner of Idaho. The peaks in this section are lower than the Southern Rockies, with the highest being just over 13,000 feet.
The Central Rockies include the areas around Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP, the Wind Rivers in Wyoming and down into the Wasatch and Uintas of Utah.
Rocky Mountains – Northern Rockies
The Northern Rockies are made up of the mountains in Idaho from Boise north and west to the Canadian border. They extend across into Montana to include everything north of Yellowstone to the Canadian Border. Yet again, the highest peaks in this section are lower than the sections south of it. The highest peak are just around 12,500 feet.
The Northern Rockies include the Lewis, Bitterroot, and Sawtooth Ranges in Idaho and most of Glacier National Park in Montana.
Rocky Mountains – Canadian Rockies
The Canadian Rockies stretch from the border of the US and Canada all the way to the northern parts of British Columbia. The highest point of the Canadian Rockies is Mt. Robson at 12,972 feet.
The Canadian Rockies include the Mackenzie and Selwyn Ranges