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The Top 5 Essential Facts About the Rockies

Planning a visit to the Canadian Rockies this year? Before you decide where to stay and what to do, read our five fast facts about this vast mountain range.

1. At its highest points, the Rocky Mountain Range is elevated 4,400 metres above sea water. To get this into perspective, it’s about half the height of Mount Everest, but ten times the height of the Empire State Building.

2. The Rocky Mountains are an amazing place to take part in sports, and the popular activities include hiking, skiing and fishing. However, some fun and quirky sports are also on offer, such as snowshoeing and sledge hockey. Snowshoeing is a great sport for those who aren’t used to snow to try out before going skiing, as it simply involves taking a walk in snowshoes. It’s also relaxing and sociable. Sledge hockey is exactly what it says - hockey played on sledges. It was invented as an alternative to ice hockey for people with a physical disability and is a popular Paralympic event.

3. Although the Rockies are located closer to the Pacific than the Atlantic Ocean, it is within this mountain range that the water draining into the Pacific splits away from the water draining into the Atlantic. This is known as the Great Divide. It follows a line of high peaks within the Rockies, including the Snow Dome in Canada’s Columbia Icefield and the Triple Divide Peak, just inside the US border in Glacier National Park, Montana.

4. Because the Rockies stretch from the Northernmost part of British Columbia to New Mexico, in the south of the United States, the mountain range sees a wide range of climates and weather patterns. In the north, there is 60 inches of rain per year, and temperatures of -7 degrees in winter. Rio Grande, the southern end of the Rockies, averages at 36 degrees in July and August.

5. Hopefully you remember some of the French you learned at school, because you may need it in the Rockies. The Canadian national parks have two official languages, English and French. You’ll also meet tourists from all over the world during a stay in the Rockies, as it offers something for everyone with its natural beauty, educational opportunities and exciting activities.

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