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The Rocky Mountains (or the Rockies) are a major mountain range in western North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000 miles (4,830 km) from the northernmost part of British Columbia, in western Canada, to New Mexico, in the southwestern United States. The range's highest peak is Mount Elbert located in Colorado at 14,440 feet (4,401 m) above sea level. 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 formed from 80 million to 55 million years ago by the Laramide orogeny. Since then, erosion by water and glaciers have sculpted the mountain range into dramatic valleys and peaks. At the end of the last ice age, humans started to inhabit the mountain range. After Europeans, such as Sir Alexander MacKenzie and the Lewis and Clark expedition, started to explore the range, minerals and furs drove the initial economic exploitation of the mountains, although the range itself never became densely populated.
Currently, 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, skiing, and snowboarding.
The Rocky Mountains are commonly defined as stretching from the Liard River in British Columbia south to the Rio Grande in New Mexico. Other mountain ranges continue beyond those two rivers, including the Selwyn Range in Yukon, the Brooks Range in Alaska, and the Sierra Madre in Mexico, but those are not part of the Rockies, though they are part of the American cordillera. The United States definition of the Rockies, however, includes the Cabinet and Salish Mountains of Idaho and Montana, whereas their counterparts north of the Kootenai River, the Columbia Mountains, are considered a separate system in Canada, lying to the west of the huge Rocky Mountain Trench, which 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. The Rockies vary in width from 70 to 300 miles (110 to 480 kilometers). Also west of the Rocky Mountain Trench, farther north and facing the Muskwa Range across the trench, are the Stikine Ranges and Omineca Mountains of the Interior Mountains system of British Columbia. A small area east of Prince George, British Columbia on the eastern side of the Trench, the McGregor Plateau, resembles the Rockies but is considered part of the Interior Plateau.
The eastern edge of the Rockies rises dramatically above the Interior Plains of central North America, including the Front Range of Colorado, the Wind River Range and Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, the Absaroka-Beartooth ranges and Rocky Mountain Front of Montana, and the Clark Range of Alberta. 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). Mount Robson in British Columbia, at 12,972 feet (3,954 m), is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. The Muskwa and Hart Ranges together comprise what is known as the Northern Rockies (the Mackenzie Mountains north of the Liard River are sometimes referred to as being part of the Rockies but this is an unofficial designation).
The western edge of the Rockies includes ranges such as the Wasatch near Salt Lake City and the Bitterroots along the Idaho-Montana border. The Great Basin and Columbia River Plateau separate these sub-ranges from distinct ranges further to the west, most prominent among which are the Sierra Nevada, Cascade Range and Coast Mountains. The Rockies do not extend into the Yukon or Alaska, or into central British Columbia, where the Rocky Mountain System (but not the Rocky Mountains) includes the Columbia Mountains, the southward extension of which is considered part of the Rockies in the United States. The Rocky Mountain System within the United States is a United States physiographic region; the Rocky Mountain System is known in Canada as the Eastern System.
The Continental Divide 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 (U.S.) is so named because water that falls on the mountain reaches not only the Atlantic and Pacific, but Hudson Bay as well. Farther north in Alberta, the Athabasca and other rivers feed the basin of the Mackenzie River, which has its outlet on the Beaufort Sea of the Arctic Ocean. See Rivers of the Rocky Mountains for a list of rivers.
The younger ranges of the Rocky Mountains uplifted during the late Cretaceous period (100 million–65 million years ago), although some portions of the southern mountains date from uplifts during the Precambrian (3,980 million–600 million years ago). The mountains' geology is a complex of igneous and metamorphic rock; younger sedimentary rock occurs along the margins of the southern Rocky Mountains, and volcanic rock from the Tertiary (65 million–1.8 million years ago) occurs in the San Juan Mountains and in other areas. Millennia of severe erosion in the Wyoming Basin transformed intermountain basins into a relatively flat terrain. The Tetons and other north-central ranges contain folded and faulted rocks of Paleozoic and Mesozoic age draped above cores of Proterozoic and Archean igneous and metamorphic rocks ranging in age from 1.2 billion (e.g., Tetons) to more than 3.3 billion years (Beartooth Mountains).
Periods of glaciation occurred from the Pleistocene Epoch (1.8 million–70,000 years ago) to the Holocene Epoch (fewer than 11,000 years ago). Recent episodes included the Bull Lake Glaciation that began about 150,000 years ago and the Pinedale Glaciation that probably remained at full glaciation until 15,000–20,000 years ago. Ninety percent of Yellowstone National Park was covered by ice during the Pinedale Glaciation. The little ice age was a period of glacial advance that lasted a few centuries from about 1550 to 1860. For example, the Agassiz and Jackson glaciers in Glacier National Park reached their most forward positions about 1860 during the Little Ice Age.
Water in its many forms sculpted the present Rocky Mountain landscape. Runoff and snowmelt from the peaks feed Rocky Mountain rivers and lakes with the water supply for one-quarter of the United States. The rivers that flow from the Rocky Mountains eventually drain into three of the world's Oceans: the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean.
Texas first time home buyer grants and loan programs - The Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) offers programs for first time home buyers.
Two types of loans are available under this program. An “Unassisted Rate” loan typically offers the lowest interest rate available and does not provide funds for down payment and closing cost assistance. For borrowers needing assistance with their down payment, an “Assisted Rate” loan is offered to income-eligible borrowers that provides grant funds up to 5% of the mortgage amount. These loans are offered at a slightly higher interest rate.
Information that any buyer should know before purchasing a home provided by HUD:
First Time Home Buyers, Texas Loan Star Program:
For Active Military: You may be eligible for a VA Loan which requires no money down.
Professional Educators, Fire fighters, and law enforcement programs:
Program for Texas Veterans:
Single family Housing Programs:
Minority Home ownership:
Texas Low Income Housing Information Services:
Local El Paso links - Mortgage Credit Certificate Programs:
Informacion en espanol:
You as a buyer have the option to have an agent represent you in your buying transaction.
A Texas Realtor, will not only have access to all the listings in the area, but will also help you negotiate the best price, write the contract to your benefit, and make the whole transaction smoother at no cost to you. Please contact Yvonne Russell, RE/MAX Associates for more information.