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Much of the mountain range is protected by public parks and forest lands and is a popular tourist destination, especially for hiking, camping, mountaineering, fishing, hunting, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding.", is given as, when seen from across the prairies, they looked like a rocky mass.The Continental Divide of the Americas is located in the Rocky Mountains and designates the line at which waters flow either to the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans.Triple Divide Peak (8,020 feet (2,440 m)) in Glacier National Park is so named because water that falls on the mountain reaches not only the Atlantic and Pacific, but Hudson Bay as well.Within the North American Cordillera, the Rockies are somewhat distinct from the Pacific Coast Ranges and the Cascade Range and Sierra Nevada, which all lie further to the west.The Rocky Mountains were initially formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny, in which a number of plates began to slide underneath the North American plate.This runs the length of British Columbia from its beginnings in the middle Flathead River valley in western Montana to the south bank of the Liard River.
In Canada geographers define three main groups of ranges: the Continental Ranges, Hart Ranges and Muskwa Ranges (the latter two flank the Peace River, the only river to pierce the Rockies, and are collectively referred to as the Northern Rockies).
The Rocky Mountains, commonly known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range in western North America.
The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the Southwestern United States.
The 40-year statewide increases in population range from 35% in Montana to about 150% in Utah and Colorado.
The populations of several mountain towns and communities have doubled in the last 40 years.