The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range and the largest mountain system in North America. The Rocky Mountains stretch 3,000 mi (4,800 km) in straight-line distance from the northernmost part of western Canada, to New Mexico in southwestern United States.
The Rocky Mountains formed 80 million to 55 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny, in which a number of plates began sliding underneath the North American plate. The angle of subduction was shallow, resulting in a broad belt of mountains running down western North America. Since then, further tectonic activity and erosion by glaciers have sculpted the Rockies into dramatic peaks and valleys.
Every year the scenic areas of the Rocky Mountains draw millions of tourists. The main language of the Rocky Mountains is English. But there are also linguistic pockets of Spanish and indigenous languages. People from all over the world visit the sites to hike, camp, or engage in mountain sports.