The Rocky Mountains (or ‘Rockies’ as they are often affectionately called by the locals) are one of North America’s most impressive natural structures. This 3,000-mile-long mountain range stretches from British Columbia in western Canada, all the way down to New Mexico in the centre of the United States. The other states that the Rocky Mountains pass through are Alberta, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. At their widest, the Rockies stretch out as wide as 300 miles, whilst their tallest peak (Mount Elbert in Colorado USA), stands an impressive 14,400 feet in height. The Rocky Mountains first formed some 80 million years ago when dinosaurs still roamed America. So massive were the Rockies that even the dinosaurs couldn’t cross them, with different species being isolated east and west of the great mountain range! Nowadays though, the Rockies have become a whole lot more accessible and have seen the rise of an exciting adventure tourism industry, with Rocky Mountain holidays becoming one of the destinations of choice among thrill-seekers.
The stunning and varied landscapes of this region, sometimes referred to as “America’s Spine”, has a lot to offer those of us who enjoy taking a walk on the wild side, including massive sand dunes, fast flowing rivers, rugged canyons, awe-inspiring cliff faces, impressive geysers and even flowing lava at certain times of the year. Of course, it’s not just the Rocky Mountain landscape which is wild. Much of the region is still considered wilderness and remains relatively unspoiled by human interference. As such, there are plenty of spectacular animals inhabiting the region including two kinds of bear, the iconic bighorn sheep, mighty moose, beautiful elk and the legendary gray wolf. For those interested in nature, there are few places in America which are more naturally beautiful and teeming with wildlife than the American Rockies.