HOME

TheInfoList




The Canadian Rockies (french: Rocheuses canadiennes) or Canadian Rocky Mountains comprise both the Alberta Rockies and the B.C. Rockies in the
Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the At ...

Canadian
segment of the North American
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with simila ...

Rocky Mountains
. They are the eastern part of the
North American Cordillera The North American Cordillera, sometimes also called the Western Cordillera of North America, the Western Cordillera or the Pacific Cordillera, is the North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere a ...
, which is a system of multiple ranges of mountains which runs from the
Prairies Prairies are ecosystems considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and a composition of grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the ...
to the Pacific Coast. The Canadian Rockies mountain system comprises the central/eastern part of this system, lying between the
Interior Plains 300px, The Interior Plains are highlighted in red. The Interior Plains are a vast physiographic region Physiographic regions of the world are a means of defining Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object ...
of
Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English , capital = Edmonton Edmonton ( ) is the capital ...

Alberta
and northeastern
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
on the east to the
Rocky Mountain Trench The Rocky Mountain Trench, also known as the Valley of a Thousand Peaks or simply the Trench, is a large valley A valley is an elongated low area often running between hills or mountains, which will typically contain a river or stream ...
of BC on the west. The southern end of the Canadian Rockies borders
Idaho Idaho () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper in ...

Idaho
and
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
. In geographic terms, the boundary is at the
Canada–United States border The Canada–United States border, officially known as the International Boundary, is the longest international border Borders are geographic Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of sc ...
, but in geological terms it might be considered to be at
Marias Pass Marias Pass (elevation The elevation of a geographic Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic en ...
in northern Montana. The northern end is at the
Liard River The Liard River of the North American boreal forest flows through Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the leas ...

Liard River
in northern British Columbia. The Canadian Rockies have numerous high peaks and ranges, such as
Mount Robson Mount Robson is the most prominent mountain in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of the ...

Mount Robson
() and Mount Columbia (). The Canadian Rockies are composed of
shale Shale is a fine-grained, clastic Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing minerals In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defi ...

shale
and
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
. Much of the range is protected by national and provincial parks, several of which collectively comprise a
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
.


Geography

The Canadian Rockies are the easternmost part of the Canadian Cordillera, the collective name for the mountains of
Western Canada Western Canada, also referred to as the Western Provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study ...
. They form part of the
American Cordillera The American Cordillera is a chain of mountain ranges (cordilleras) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, South America and Central America. It is also the backbone ...
, an essentially continuous sequence of mountain ranges that runs all the way from
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
to the very tip of South America. The Cordillera, in turn, is the eastern part of the
Pacific Ring of Fire The Ring of Fire (also known as the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Rim of Fire, the Girdle of Fire or the Circum-Pacific belt) is a region around much of the rim of the Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth ...

Pacific Ring of Fire
that runs all the way around the
Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. ...

Pacific Ocean
. The Canadian Rockies are bounded on the east by the Canadian Prairies, on the west by the Rocky Mountain Trench, and on the north by the Liard River. Contrary to popular misconception, the Rockies do not extend north into
Yukon Yukon ( ; ; formerly called Yukon Territory and sometimes referred to as The Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the least populated province or territory in Canada, with a population of 35,874 peo ...

Yukon
or Alaska, or west into central British Columbia. North of the Liard River, the
Mackenzie Mountains The Mackenzie Mountains are a Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections ...

Mackenzie Mountains
, which are a distinct mountain range, form a portion of the border between the Yukon and the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; french: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory A territory is an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subd ...

Northwest Territories
. The mountain ranges to the west of the Rocky Mountain Trench in southern British Columbia are called the
Columbia Mountains The Columbia Mountains are a group of mountain ranges along the upper Columbia River The Columbia River (Upper Chinook language, Upper Chinook: ' or '; Sahaptin language, Sahaptin: ''Nch’i-Wàna'' or ''Nchi wana''; Sinixt dialect'' '') i ...
, and are not considered to be part of the Rockies by Canadian geologists.


Highest peaks

Mount Robson () is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, but not the highest in British Columbia, since there are some higher mountains in the
Coast Mountains The Coast Mountains (french: La chaîne Côtière) are a major mountain range in the Pacific Coast Ranges of western North America, extending from southwestern Yukon through the Alaska Panhandle and virtually all of the British Columbia Coast, Co ...
and
Saint Elias Mountains The Saint Elias Mountains (french: Chaîne Saint-Élie) are a subgroup of the Pacific Coast Ranges, located in southeastern Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli ...

Saint Elias Mountains
. Mount Robson lies on the
continental divide A continental divide is a drainage divide on a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as co ...

continental divide
near
Yellowhead Pass The Yellowhead Pass is a mountain pass across the Continental Divide of the Americas in the Canadian Rockies. It is located on the provincial boundary between the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian provinces of Alberta and British C ...
, one of the lowest passes in the Canadian Rockies, and is close to the
Yellowhead Highway The Yellowhead Highway (french: Route Yellowhead) is a major interprovincial highway in Western Canada that runs from Winnipeg to Graham Island off the coast of British Columbia via Saskatoon and Edmonton. It stretches across the four western P ...
. Its base is above sea level, with a total vertical relief of . Mount Columbia () is the second-highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, and is the highest mountain in Alberta. Snow Dome () is one of two hydrological apexes of North America. Water flows off Snow Dome into three different watersheds, into the Pacific Ocean,
Arctic Ocean The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major s. It spans an area of approximately and is also known as the coldest of all the oceans. The (IHO) recognizes it as an ocean, although some call it the Arctic Medit ...

Arctic Ocean
, and
Atlantic Ocean
Atlantic Ocean
via
Hudson Bay Hudson Bay ( iu, text=ᑲᖏᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ ᐃᓗᐊ, translit=Kangiqsualuk ilua or iu, text=ᑕᓯᐅᔭᕐᔪᐊᖅ, translit=Tasiujarjuaq; french: baie d'Hudson), sometimes called Hudson's Bay (usually historically), is a large body of sal ...
. The Canadian Rockies are not the highest mountain ranges in Canada. Both the Saint Elias Mountains (highest point in Canada
Mount Logan Mount Logan () is the highest mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is l ...

Mount Logan
at ) and the
Coast Mountains The Coast Mountains (french: La chaîne Côtière) are a major mountain range in the Pacific Coast Ranges of western North America, extending from southwestern Yukon through the Alaska Panhandle and virtually all of the British Columbia Coast, Co ...
(highest point
Mount Waddington Mount Waddington, once known as Mystery Mountain, is the highest peak in the Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Although it is lower than Mount Fairweather and Mount Quincy Adams (Fairweather Range), Mount Quincy Adams, which straddle ...

Mount Waddington
at ) have higher summits.


Mountain ranges

The Canadian Rockies are subdivided into numerous
mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and alignment that have arisen from the same cause, us ...

mountain range
s, structured in two main groupings, the
Continental Ranges The Continental Ranges is a major grouping of mountain ranges in the Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch in great-circle distance, stra ...
, which has three main subdivisions, the
Front Range The Front Range is a mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with similarity in form, structure, and alignment t ...
,
Park Ranges The Park Ranges, also known as the Main Ranges, are a group of mountain ranges in the Canadian Rockies of southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta, Canada. It is one of the three main subranges and the most central of the Continental ...
and
Kootenay Ranges The Kootenay Ranges, also known as the Western Ranges, are one of the three main subdivisions of the Continental Ranges which comprise the southern half of the Canadian Rockies The Canadian Rockies (french: Rocheuses canadiennes) or Canadian ...
, and the
Northern Rockies The Northern Rocky Mountains, usually referred to as the Northern Rockies, are a subdivision of the Canadian Rockies comprising the northern half of the Canadian segment of the Rocky Mountains. While their northward limit is easily defined as the ...
which comprise two main groupings, the
Hart Ranges The Hart Ranges are a major subrange of the Canadian Rockies The Canadian Rockies (french: Rocheuses canadiennes) or Canadian Rocky Mountains comprise both the Alberta Rockies and the B.C. Rockies in the Canadian Canadians (french: Canad ...
and the
Muskwa Ranges The Muskwa Ranges are a group of mountain ranges in northern British Columbia, Canada. They are part of the Northern Rockies section of the Rocky Mountains and are bounded on their west by the Rocky Mountain Trench and on their east by the Rocky M ...
. The division-point of the two main groupings is at
Monkman Pass Monkman Pass, in the Canadian Rockies, is southwest of Tumbler Ridge and northeast of Hansard (railway point), Hansard. Found in the Hart Ranges, some consider this mountain pass as the southern limit of the informal grouping known as the Northern R ...
northwest of Mount Robson and to the southwest of Mount Ovington.


Rivers

The Canadian Rockies are noted for being the source of several major river systems, and also for the many rivers within the range itself. The Rockies form the divide between the Pacific Ocean drainage on the west and that of Hudson Bay and the Arctic Ocean on the east. Of the range's rivers, only the
Peace River The Peace River (french: links=no, rivière de la Paix) is a river in Canada that originates in the Rocky Mountains of northern British Columbia and flows to the northeast through northern Alberta. The Peace River joins the Athabasca River in the ...
penetrates the range. Notable rivers originating in the Canadian Rockies include the
FraserFraser may refer to: Places Antarctica * Fraser Point Fraser Point is a point between Marr Bay and Mackintosh Cove on the north coast of Laurie Island, in the South Orkney Islands of Antarctica. It was mapped by the Scottish National Antarctic Ex ...

Fraser
,
Columbia Columbia may refer to: * Columbia (personification), the historical female national personification of the United States, and a poetic name for the Americas Places North America Natural features * Columbia Plateau, a geologic and geographic regio ...

Columbia
,
North Saskatchewan The North Saskatchewan River is a glacier-fed river that flows from the Canadian Rockies continental divide east to central Saskatchewan, where it joins with the South Saskatchewan River to make up the Saskatchewan River. Its water flows eventually ...

North Saskatchewan
,
Bow Bow often refers to: * Bow and arrow The bow and arrow is a ranged weapon A ranged weapon is any weapon A weapon, arm or armament is any implement or device that can be used with the intent to inflict physical damage or harm. Weapons ar ...

Bow
and
Athabasca River The Athabasca River (French: ''Rivière Athabasca'') is a river in Alberta ("Strong and free") , image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = Engl ...

Athabasca River
s.


Geology

The Canadian Rockies are quite different in appearance and geology from the American Rockies to the south of them. The Canadian Rockies are composed of layered
sedimentary rock Sedimentary rocks are types of rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its Chemical compoun ...

sedimentary rock
such as
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its na ...

limestone
and
shale Shale is a fine-grained, clastic Clastic rocks are composed of fragments, or clasts, of pre-existing minerals In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defi ...

shale
, whereas the American Rockies are made mostly of
metamorphic Metamorphic rocks arise from the transformation of existing rock Rock most often refers to: * Rock (geology) A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the mineral ...

metamorphic
and
igneous rock Igneous rock (derived from the Latin word ''ignis'' meaning fire), or magmatic rock, is one of the three main The three types of rocks, rock types, the others being Sedimentary rock, sedimentary and metamorphic rock, metamorphic. Igneous rock i ...
such as
gneiss Gneiss ( ) is a common and widely distributed type of metamorphic rock. Gneiss is formed by high-temperature and high-pressure metamorphic processes acting on formations composed of igneous Igneous rock (derived from the Latin Latin (, or ...

gneiss
and
granite Granite () is a coarse-grained (phanerite, phaneritic) intrusive rock, intrusive igneous rock composed mostly of quartz, alkali feldspar, and plagioclase. It forms from magma with a high content of silica and alkali metal oxides that slowly cool ...

granite
. The Canadian Rockies are overall more jagged than the American Rockies, because the Canadian Rockies have been more heavily
glaciated A glacier ( or ) is a persistent body of dense ice that is constantly moving under its own weight. A glacier forms where the accumulation of snow exceeds its ablation over many years, often centuries. Glaciers slowly deform and flow under str ...
, resulting in sharply pointed mountains separated by wide, U-shaped valleys
gouged
gouged
by glaciers, whereas the American Rockies are overall more rounded, with river-carved V-shaped valleys between them. The Canadian Rockies are cooler and wetter, giving them moister soil, bigger rivers, and more glaciers. The
tree line The tree line is the edge of the habitat at which tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of ...

tree line
is much lower in the Canadian Rockies than in the American Rockies.


Parks

Five national parks are located within the Canadian Rockies, four of which are adjacent and make up the
Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Sites, World Heritage Site is located in the Canadian Rockies. It consists of seven contiguous parks including four National Parks of Canada, national parks: *Banff National Park, Banff *Jasper Natio ...
. These four parks are
Banff
Banff
,
Jasper Jasper, an aggregate of microgranular quartz Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen Tetrahedral molecular geometry, tetrahedra, with ...

Jasper
,
Kootenay
Kootenay
and
Yoho
Yoho
. The fifth national park,
Waterton
Waterton
is not adjacent to the others. Waterton lies farther south, straddling the Canada–US border as the Canadian half of the
Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park The Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is the union of Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories exte ...
. All five of these parks, combined with three British Columbia provincial parks, were declared a single
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
World Heritage Site in 1984 for the unique mountain landscapes found there. Numerous provincial parks are located in the Canadian Rockies, including Hamber,
Mount Assiniboine Mount Assiniboine, also known as Assiniboine Mountain, is a pyramidal peak mountain located on the Continental Divide of the Americas, Great Divide, on the British Columbia/Alberta border in Canada. At , it is the highest peak in the Southern Con ...

Mount Assiniboine
and
Mount Robson Mount Robson is the most prominent mountain in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as the northern subcontinent of the ...

Mount Robson
parks. Throughout the Rockies, and especially in the national parks, the Alpine Club of Canada maintains a series of alpine huts for use by mountaineers and adventurers.


Human history


The Rockies and the Canadian Pacific Railway

The
Canadian Pacific Railway The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) , known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996 and simply Canadian Pacific, is a historic Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be res ...
was founded to provide a link from the province of British Columbia to the eastern provinces. The main difficulty in providing such a link were the Rockies themselves: treacherous mountain passes, fast rivers and sheer drops made for a difficult railway construction process. The following articles describe in detail the political and technical feats involved: *
Canadian Pacific Survey Image:Canadian Pacific Railway Survey Engineers, 1872.jpg, 250px, Unidentified engineers of the Canadian Pacific Railway Survey, 1872. The Canadian Pacific Survey or Canadian Pacific Railway Survey comprised many distinct Geography, geographical Sur ...
*
Big Hill under the rear of the train, now known as the "Old Bridge", survives as a tourist attraction The Big Hill on the Canadian Pacific Railway descending from Rogers Pass (British Columbia), Rogers Pass The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) , know ...
*
Field Hill Field Hill is a steep portion of the mainline of the Canadian Pacific Railway descending from Rogers Pass (British Columbia), Rogers Pass The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) , known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996 and simply Canadian Pacifi ...
*
Kicking Horse Pass Kicking Horse Pass (el. 1627 m, 5339 ft) is a high mountain pass A mountain pass is a navigable route through a mountain range or over a ridge A ridge or a mountain ridge is a geographical feature consisting of a chain of mount ...

Kicking Horse Pass


See also

*
Ecology of the Rocky Mountains The ecology of the Rocky Mountains is diverse due to the effects of a variety of environmental factors. The Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountain ...
*
Geology of the Rocky Mountains The geology of the Rocky Mountains is that of a discontinuous series of mountain ranges with distinct geological origins. Collectively these make up the Rocky Mountains, a mountain system that stretches from Northern British Columbia through cent ...
*
Arctic Cordillera The Arctic Cordillera is a terrestrial ecozone in northern Canada characterized by a vast, deeply dissected chain of mountain ranges extending along the northeastern flank of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago The Arctic Archipelago, also known ...
: an example of another major mountain system in North America east of the Canadian Rockies. *
The Rocky Mountain Rangers , website = , colors = , colors_label = , march = "The Meeting of the Waters" , mascot = , equipment = , eq ...


Notes


References

* Adams, Ansel (2013). ''Ansel Adams In The Canadian Rockies''. Little, Brown and Company. * Roger W. Patillo: ''The Canadian Rockies: Pioneers, Legends and True Tales''. Trafford Publishing 2005, 9781412056274
restricted online version (Google Books)
* Brenda Koller: ''The Canadian Rockies Adventure Guide''. Hunter Publishing Inc. 2006,
restricted online version (Google Books)
* Canadian Rockies. (2009). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 22, 2009, from Encyclopædia Britannica OnlineCanadian Rockies
at
Encyclopædia Britannica The (Latin for "British Encyclopaedia") is a general knowledge English-language encyclopaedia which is now published exclusively as an online encyclopedia, online encyclopaedia. It was formerly published by Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., ...
{{authority control Mountain ranges of Canada *