United States Mountain Ranges – US Mountain Ranges Geography

Appalachian Mountains

The Appalachian Mountains stretch he 1,500 miles along the eastern coast of the United States, from northern Alabama to Maine. The highest point in the Appalachian Mountains is Mount Mitchell in North Carolina at 6,684 feet. Part of the temperate forest biome, much of the Appalachian Mountains are covered with a variety of trees such as pine, spruce, birch, and maple. Animals found in the Appalachian Mountains include squirrels, cottontails, white-tailed deer, wolves, beavers, black bears, and red-tailed hawks.

The Appalachian Mountains played an important role in the early history of the United States. These acted as obstacles to the expansion of the initial colonies. At some point, the British made a pact with the Native American tribes that the settlers would not settle outside the Appalachian Mountains. But soon people were finding trails through mountains and sharp over-mountain trails, such as Daniel Boone’s Wilderness Trail.

Smaller mountains within the Appalachians include the Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, Green Mountains, White Mountains, Longfellow Mountains, and Berkshire Mountains.

Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains form the longest mountain range in North America and are his second longest mountain range in the world. Stretching more than 3,000 miles north-south, it stretches from New Mexico across the United States to Montana and into Canada. The highest peak in the Rocky Mountains is Mount Elbert in Colorado at 14,440 feet.

The Continental Divide of North America runs along the Rocky Mountains. At this point, water flows either into the Atlantic Ocean to the east or the Pacific Ocean to the west. The Rocky Mountains are known for their distinct seasons, with warm, wet summers and cold, snowy winters. Most of the Rocky Mountains are covered with spruce, pine, oak, juniper, and fir forests. The Rocky Mountains are home to a wide variety of wildlife including bighorn sheep, badgers, grizzly bears, black bears, coyotes, elk and white-tailed deer.

There are several smaller mountain ranges within the Rocky Mountains, including the Bighorn Mountains, the Front Mountains, the Wasatch Mountains, and the Bitterroot Mountains. There are several national parks that protect the Rocky Mountain region, including Yellowstone National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Teton National Park, and Glacier National Park.

The Rocky Mountains are considered fold mountains. This means that they formed at the point where two Earth’s plates meet.

Sierra Nevada

The Sierra Nevada Mountains run north-south along the west coast of the United States, mostly in California and some in Nevada. It is about 400 miles long and 110 miles wide. At 14,505 feet, the highest point in the Sierra Nevada is Mount Whitney, which is also the highest mountain in the Lower 48 United States.

The world’s largest tree, the Giant Sequoia, lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It can grow up to 270 feet tall and over 25 feet in diameter. Some of these trees are over 3,000 years old. Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe are also in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The mountains of the Sierra Nevada are fault mountains, meaning they formed along faults in the earth’s crust.

Other Ranges

Adirondacks – The Adirondacks are a mountain range in northeastern New York. The highest point is Mount Mercy with an elevation of 5,344 feet. At over 6 million acres, Adirondack Park is the largest state park in the United States.

Brooks Range – The Brooks Range stretches over 1,100 miles in northern Alaska. The highest point is Mt Chamberlain at 9,020 feet.

Cascade Range – The Cascade Range stretches for 1,100 miles along the northwest coast of the United States to Canada. The highest point is Mount Rainier at 14,411 feet. It is believed to be part of the Ring of Fire, a series of volcanoes surrounding the Pacific Ocean. Active volcano Mount St. Helens is part of the Cascade Range.

Ozarks – The Ozarks form the largest mountain range between the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains. They are primarily located in southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. The highest point in the Ozarks is Buffalo Lookout at 860 meters above sea level.

Alaska Range – The Alaska Range is the highest mountain range in the United States and is home to Mount McKinley, the highest mountain in North America at 20,237 feet above sea level.

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