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By John M. Seal of Montana. Mountains, Glacier National Park, northwestern Montana.
There the valley bottoms are wide, dry, and grassy, permitting sweeping panoramic views of the mountain ranges. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires .
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The northwestern section of the state lies west of the Continental Divide and is drained to the Columbia River —and thus ultimately to the Pacific—by the Kootenai River and by the Clark Fork and its major tributary, the Flathead River. The valleys of the major rivers flowing from the Rocky Mountains across eastern Montana are deeply incised. The bottoms of the incised valleys are made up of alluvial floodplains, terraces, and soft-rock benchlands.
Most of Great Plains Montana is rather rough land.
Facebook Twitter. Scattered upon the plains and plateau surfaces are eight small mountain masses called Rocky Mountain outlierswhich are like islands of the Rockies set out upon the plains. The Flathead flows into and then out of Flathead Lakethe largest natural lake in the state.
Rising in southwest Montana, where it is formed by the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison, and Gallatin rivers, the Missouri is a tributary of the Mississippi Riverwhich flows into the Gulf of Mexico and thus is part of the Atlantic Ocean drainage system.
Roughly north of the Missouri River the plains rocks are covered by glacial deposits left by the continental ice cap, which occupied the area at the same time that alpine glaciers were sculpting the mountains to the west. Fast Facts.
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The state is strongly oriented toward the outdoors and toward activities such as summer and winter sports, hunting, and fishing. In Rocky Mountain Montana the mountain ranges are aligned generally from north-northwest to south-southeast.
Long-distance trips are frequent occasions for socializing and entertainment or cures for prairie- or mountain-born restlessness. Surrounding a long segment of the Missouri River in the north-central part of the state are the Missouri River Breaks, which make up a scenic area of rugged uplands that is part of Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument. Some of the hills, breaks, and valley bluffs form rugged badlands such as those seen at Makoshika State Park, near Glendive. During the last ice agesome 11, years ago, glaciers carved the mountain crest lines and high valleys from rounded, convex terrain into sharp, rugged, concave topography and, when they melted, left the loose earth material that they had gouged out of the mountains as glacial deposits in the valley bottoms.
Montana is called the Treasure State because of its immense mineral wealth. The bottoms of the valleys between the mountain ranges consist mainly of alluvial floodplains and terraces; of benchlands and foothills carved on young, soft rocks; and of plains, terraces, and foothills made up of glacial deposits. External Websites.
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Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Population ,; est. The country south of the Yellowstone River is mainly scattered hills.
The Kootenai flows out of Montana at the lowest elevation in the state, 1, feet metres above sea level. The western two-fifths of Montana falls within the Rocky Mountainsand the eastern three-fifths lies upon the Great Plains. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students. There is a contrast within Rocky Mountain Montana between mountains with narrow valleys and those with broad valleys.
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Subscribe Now. Missouri River, northeastern Montana. The rocks underlying Great Plains Montana, except for the mountain outliers, are young, soft, and more or less horizontal. Print print Print. East of the Continental Divide, Montana is drained by the Missouri River and its principal tributary, the Yellowstone. Load Next .
Show more Governor: Greg Gianforte Republican Show more Date Of Admission: November 8, Show more U. Show more. Montanaconstituent state of the United States of America.
Capital: Helena Show more Population: ,; est. There are two narrow-valley regions.
In the narrow-valley regions, which are the most rugged and spectacular of the state, the valley floors are humid and forested. This contrast between mountain and plain is among the most powerful geographic features of the state.
The other lies in south-central Montana at the northern end of Yellowstone National Park ; this area contains the highest point in Montana, Granite Peakwhich has an elevation of 12, feet 3, metres. Give Feedback External Websites. Helena is the capital. They are made up of ancient hard rocks that were compressed, folded, faulted, and otherwise contorted by the mountain-building forces that created the Rockies, beginning about million years ago. Full Article.
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See all media. The glaciers in Montana today are very small compared with the great tongues of ice of the past. Additional Info. Areasquare milessquare km. In spite of its northern location, Montana is very much a Western state.
Please refer to the appropriate style manual or other sources if you have any questions. Montana is the only state in the union from which waters flow to Hudson Baythe Gulf of Mexicoand the Pacific Ocean.
These two narrow-valley regions are separated by a broad-valley area in west-central and southwestern Montana. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies.
Rocky Mountain Montana is a land of high mountains, deep valleys, green forests, and treeless crest lines, whereas Great Plains Montana is a vast horizontal sweep of yellow rangeland, golden grain fields, and brown fallow strips. The eastern portion of the state, however, is a gently rolling landscape, with millions of grazing cattle and sheep, and with only scattered evidence of human habitation. Table Of Contents.