The United States is an enormous and geographically diverse nation with various landforms and climatic zones. The Sierra Nevada Range, the Rockies, the Cascade Range, the Appalachians, and the Coast Range are the five major mountain ranges in the United States. Today, we’ll look at the Appalachian Mountains and the Rocky Mountains, also recognized as the Rockies.
The Rocky and Appalachian mountain ranges share many similarities, including the beauty and wonderment that high elevations can provide and black bears. However, there are many dissimilarities between these two historical ranges, including differences in culture, flora, geography, mountain folk, fauna, and activities.
The two mountain ranges are very contrasting and provide very different experiences. The Appalachians are quite different from the Rockies, rugged, jagged, and “Rocky.”
Mountain ranges, however, are frequently compared by their dimensions, such as length. So we compared the lengths of these two magnificent mountain ranges. Continue reading to find out how long the longest mountain range in North America is compared to the Appalachians.
The Appalachians, not to be mistaken for the European Alps, are a mountain range in southeastern Canada and the United States that runs parallel to the eastern coast. They run approximately 1,500 miles from the Canadian island of Newfoundland to Central Alabama. The range is divided longitudinally into Central, Northern, and Southern regions, and it forms a latitudinal boundary between the Midwest and Eastern regions of the United States.
Over 480 million years ago, the Appalachian Mountains formed. That is at least four times the number of years it took the Rockies to form. So, what the Appalachians lose in physical properties to the Rocky Mountains (the highest elevation in the Appalachian mountains: 6,684 feet), they make up for in wisdom and age.
It is thought that at their apex, they would have reached altitudes comparable to the Alps in Europe or the Rocky Mountains in the West. However, since they are no longer being pushed up, they have been slowly weathered by natural erosion. Individual mountains now average about 3,000 feet in height.
The Appalachians were once thought to be as large as or larger than the Rockies, but erosion and time have reduced them to their current size. The Appalachians, which stretch from central Alabama to Newfoundland, have significantly better climbing, great whitewater, and classic hikes than the Rockies.
The culture, particularly in the southern Appalachian Mountains, consists of potential beer drinkers, hard workers, and people as attached to the mountains as some are to their cell phones. Enjoy the weather, which varies as you travel north or south, but you can usually find warm temperatures all year.
The Appalachians are home to a diverse range of fauna and flora. The land around the mountains is densely forested and teeming with wildlife. The trees in this lush landscape include firs, hardwoods, pines, and spruces.
Herbs, shrubberies, and various berries grow at the forest’s ground level. Large and small mammals, birds, wolves, large cats, and snakes are all common in the Appalachians. Rabbits, wolves, deer, moose, bears, beavers, and many species of tree squirrels are among the most well-known.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail goes through the mountains, connecting Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. Hikers who complete the trail in multiple trips are known as section-hikers, whereas hikers who accomplish it in a single season are called thru-hikers.
The latter group typically hikes from south to north, beginning in early spring to arrive in the north when spring arrives. This 1,500-mile trail typically takes around five to seven months to hike.
The Rocky Mountains
In terms of physical features, the Rocky Mountains are unrivaled. Compared to the Appalachian Mountains’ highest peak of 6,684 feet (Mount Mitchel), the Rockies’ highest is 14,440 feet (Mount Elbert). In addition, the Rockies stretch nearly twice as far across the country as the Appalachian Mountains (1,500 miles in contrast to 3,000 miles).
The Rockies formed roughly 60 million years ago due to tectonic plate movement. The Great Continental Divide, which runs through the Rocky Mountains, is a fascinating landform that acts as a boundary that redirects water to the Atlantic on one side and the Pacific on the other. The Triple Divide Peak redirects water to the Arctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans.
This incredible physical presence does not go unnoticed; the Rockies are the Disney-World of alpine getaways. With year-round sightseeing, mountain biking, and general adventure, why wouldn’t it be? Climbers must search for their crags because the rock is typically dolomite or limestone.
Many towns in the Rockies’ vicinity are thriving, hip with an adventurous and young culture, and growing cities. The Rockies’ newly established catch? Come for the winter, but remain for the summer.
The climate is highly variable due to the range of latitude that the Rockies encompass. The climate is also affected by altitude variability, as the temperature drops as you travel higher up the mountains. Even in the summer, you can find snow on the highest peaks.
The Rocky Mountains are home to a plethora of national parks. These national parks include the world’s first national park (Yellowstone) and some of the globe’s most iconic national parks. Perhaps you can visit the most spectacular national park in the U.S. and take in the breathtaking natural scenery.
There are numerous ways to discover these magnificent works of natural art. Colorado’s hot air balloon ride is a novel way to travel in the United States. Think about taking the globally-famous Rocky Mountaineer train while in Canada.
While the human population is limited in the Rockies, the wildlife population is flourishing. The Rocky Mountains are home to a wide range of wildlife, including birds, mammals, and fish. There are grizzly bears, moose, wolves, elk, otters, bison, mountain goats, cutthroat trout, and bald eagles in the area.
So, whichever you choose, put on your hiking boots and prepare to hike more than elevation. Prepare to push yourself to your limits, travel back in time, and marvel at the beauty of these two mountain paradises. Have a safe journey!