Rocky Mountain Region 8

The Rocky Mountain region includes the states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah. The area is known for its beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities.

The region has an economy based on tourism and recreation. There are also many hightechnology companies in the region.


Colorado’s natural landscape and incredible recreation opportunities attract millions of visitors each year. The state is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, camping, and white water rafting.

The rock layers accumulating beneath the rugged mountains and serene plains of Colorado record an ancient saga. Broad tropical seas teemed with life, and colossal tectonic plates converged and collided.

Broad, high-altitude valleys and mountain basins separate the two main Rocky Mountain ranges in Colorado. From them, great rivers flow to the northeast and the southwest, delivering freshwater and hydroelectric power.


With vast national parks, recreation areas, and wilderness areas, Idaho’s wild, rugged landscape offers many natural wonders. A variety of lake shores, forests, and river valleys complement snow-capped mountains and desert habitats.

Visitors can admire wildlife at Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Parks, witnessing elk herds roaming among the peaks, or watch pronghorn perform the last long distance ungulate migration in North America. Large tracts of unfragmented rangelands support mule deer and antelope. The region’s bird fauna includes grouse (ruffed, sage, and gunnison), woodpeckers, and songbirds.


The Rocky Mountains are a major mountain system of North America. They span 3,000 miles (4,800 km) in straight-line distance from northern Canada to New Mexico in the United States.

Public parks and forest lands preserve much of the mountain region. These lands attract visitors who come for camping, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, and skiing.

Last year, food price inflation in the mountain region accelerated faster than the national average. That trend is expected to continue into 2023.


Montana’s rugged natural landscape is complemented by a vibrant cultural heritage. Its citizens are devoted to the outdoors, and many spend their free time hiking, skiing, hunting or just relaxing.

Montana borders Canada to the north and the U.S. states of North Dakota and South Dakota to the east, Wyoming to the south and Idaho to the west. Its western mountains are home to grizzly bears, elk and other big game. The state’s wide-open spaces also include Glacier National Park, a vast wilderness preserve that extends into Canada.


The Rocky Mountains extend into Nebraska, and the Forest Service manages eleven national forests and grasslands in this state. Students can explore the landscape and ecology of these forests, and learn about the people who live there.

Early fur trappers and explorers were drawn to the mountain range by natural resources. A number of online archives feature historical art, photography, and documents from this period. Students can study these resources to understand how the Rockies have changed over time.

North Dakota

The rocky mountain region that includes Colorado, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wyoming is a fascinating place. It is a spectacular home for wildlife and a fabulous destination for visitors.

North Dakota has a rich hunting and farming heritage. More than 90% of its land is privately held, with cropland, rangeland, prairie and wetlands making up the majority. The state is a national leader in spring and durum wheat, and produces a wide variety of other crops.

South Dakota

South Dakota’s variety of habitats — including grasslands, mountains and rivers — support a wide array of animals. From herds of bison roaming the Black Hills to pronghorn (commonly called antelope) in Custer State Park and elk herds in Badlands National Park, you’ll see native wildlife throughout the state.

With two national parks, several state parks, two national forests and three national grasslands, South Dakota provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. It also has many storied natural and cultural history sites.


Utah is famous for its stunning national parks and natural wonders, from the red rock formations of Zion to the eerie cliff dwellings of Bears Ears. Utah also attracts skiers and snowboarders to its mountain resorts.

The state’s rugged and geographically diverse landscape features everything from arid deserts to thriving pine forests. It is home to the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains of the Rocky Mountain region.

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