Talk:Rocky Mountains (United States of America)

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Utah and not New Mexico?[edit]

Utah is not a part of the Rocky Mountains, properly speaking. The high mountains of Utah are part of the "basin and range" country between the Rockies and the Sierra Nevada. New Mexico, by contrast, does contain a significant hunk of the Rockies (the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, one of my favorite places in the world and one that I've been working on via several articles), even though it's lumped with the Southwest (United States of America) here. Evan, you're the one that set things up this way, if I read the attributions correctly; how would you suggest dealing with this incongruity? My own fix is to put New Mexico in this article, in the same dual status as Utah which is already listed in both regions. That seem OK? -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 20:38, 14 Oct 2005 (EDT)

I think we're going to have to give up something here. Either a) we're going to have to give up the idea of having each region in exactly one other region (by listing NM twice), or b) we're going to have to think up some more accurate but less traditional names for what we're calling the Southwest and the Rocky Mountains, or c) we're going to have to live with the fact that these inexact names (Northeast, Southwest, Midwest, etc.) are mostly useful for organization, and we shouldn't spend a lot of time worrying about them too literally. --(WT-en) Evan 11:28, 15 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I'd vote for a). After all, Utah already appears in both. The advantage of region names is that they may be known to international travelers who otherwise don't know some of the details of American place names. Therefore "more accurate but less traditional names" may not help the readers who need the help, and "inexact names ... mostly useful for organization" are still the tool that those readers will use, so best to at least make them reasonably descriptive. The number of exceptions to the one-region-per-state principle should be small (NM, Utah, maybe Montana, one or two in the eastern Midwest), but they're important since both NM and UT are significant travel destinations. May as well get them right. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 11:58, 15 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Renaming suggestion[edit]

I believe that this article should be renamed. The preferred alternatives are (in my own order of preference, but obviously subject to discussion):

  1. Mountain States (United States of America)
  2. Mountain West (United States of America)
  3. Rocky Mountain States (United States of America)

Usage in the region is that the term "Rocky Mountains" refers to the range itself, while the states are more commonly called the "Mountain States" with "States" explicit and "Rocky" not. The term "Mountain West" is also widely used but may get into some proprietary territory. Changing the name to match local practice is both an attempt at clarity and a recognition that many -- maybe most -- of the mountains in the region aren't really part of the Rocky Mountains range. It also resolves the ambiguities regarding New Mexico and Utah noted above.

Opinions? If this is going to be done, let's do it soon, before there are zillions of links to be fixed. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 11:50, 31 Dec 2005 (EST)

No! Absolutely NOT! It goes with Rocky Mountains. Though if you want to write articles about.
  1. Mountain States - States with mountains?
  2. Mountain West - States in the West with Mountains? or West side of the Mountain?
  3. Rocky Mountain States - The states where the Rocky Mountains are.
Feel free and see how they turn out. I think the local view is not the only view or even the most popular view. While local usage may be these terms, the traveler from abroad does not care what states the Rocky Mountains are in. They just want ot go see them. There is no reason why we cannot have two different region articles that cover and overlap the same region. Besides, mountains don't have political boundaries, they are a physical thing. State boundaries are often an accident of history and are imaginary lines conceived in the head of some politician or land office draughtsman, who couldn't be bothered to actually go see the country before drawing a boundary. -- (WT-en) Huttite 15:29, 31 Dec 2005 (EST)

Does (United States of America) have to be in the name? (WT-en) Kingjeff 15:41, 31 Dec 2005 (EST)

Based on both of these comments, maybe there's some confusion as to what the existing article is for. It is NOT about the "Rocky Mountains" themselves as a destination; rather, it is one of the "regions" of the United States. (KJ, that's why (United States of America) is in there.) Check the breadcrumbs on the article, look at the contents so far, and look at the defined regions in the United States of America article.
I agree that the traveler from elsewhere should have a syntactically easy way to get to an article about the mountains themselves. The top-level Rocky Mountains article is a start in that direction that should be expanded. My objection is to using the same terminology as part of the regional hierarchy for the US, when it doesn't fit well and is misleading. Does that clarify? -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 15:55, 31 Dec 2005 (EST)
I think the reason that the split occured along nationalistic lines was because different travel requirements applied to the different areas. I see Rocky Mountains as being an orientation article for the overall mountain range. Rocky Mountains (United States of America) is an orientation article for that part of what people might think could be parts of the Rocky Mountains and nearby areas in the United States of America. You then write regional articles off this that refer to the actual regional hierarchy articles for the area. In the Rocky Mountains (United States of America) you then explain what all the regions mean and why they are misleading to be lumped into Rocky Mountains (United States of America), and yes the (United States of America) is needed because we already have an article called Rocky Mountains. These articles do not need to be mutually exclusive and some information can be repeated. I think what we are dealing with here is a topic fork. One way we look at it by geography (Mountains, etc.) the other way we look at it by people, culture and politics (states, towns and communities of common interest). It's like the difference between a house and a home - one is a building that a group of people live in, the other is a group of people that live in a building. Logically both the same and different! It is permissible to develop both (multiple?) ways, perhaps inefficient, but probably practical in this case. Both are useful. Think of it as another way of seeing travel. -- (WT-en) Huttite 17:13, 31 Dec 2005 (EST)
This makes sense. Suppose we take this approach: consider the present article to be a sub-region of the Rocky Mountains and develop it so that there are appropriate sub-sub-regions, while creating a new region name for the United States of America hierarchy -- which was actually what I was suggesting all along, I probably wasn't clear on that. That allows both ways of seeing travel to have their say.
I propose to continue this discussion in Talk:United States of America. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 18:41, 31 Dec 2005 (EST)
Certainly an acceptable approach. I would see the Rocky Mountain article as linking in all the relevant regions and sub-regions that pop up in the various state articles, even though a State is only mentioned in passing (for a link). I would see this article as being more descriptive and informative but with less of a complete region template. It might even just have a big understand section. The article that is written off the USA hierarchy would be the primary article for IsIn linking. -- (WT-en) Huttite 19:32, 31 Dec 2005 (EST)

Mountain West[edit]

OK, so per discussion here and in the USA talk page, I'm starting to move the USA-level region description to Mountain West (United States of America) -- with the assumption that this Rocky Mountains page will be a sub-region of the Mountain West, as reflects the actual geography, culture, and so on. This should basically be pretty transparent; I'm redoing the isIn links for the US states affected (btw, one of the reasons for doing this is to resolve the region ambiguity for New Mexico noted above) as well as a few links that should now go to Mountain West. About the only side effect that I can see is that a few pages may wind up with bogus isIn trails until I get them hunted down and fixed. If anybody else notices problems or side effects, please leave me a note on my talk page. It make take a day or two to get these resolved. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 12:44, 21 Jan 2006 (EST)

Added Other Destinations[edit]

I have taken the liberty of adding some national parks and monuments to the Other Destinations section to bring the list up to 9. I tried to spread them between the RM states so that each is represented. (Even though not all are pictured on the map). Please let me know your thoughts and opinions on the additions. Thanks! (WT-en) WineCountryInn 23:26, 31 January 2009 (EST)

Looks fine to me! (WT-en) Texugo 23:31, 31 January 2009 (EST)

Swapped Lead Photo[edit]

As beautiful as the bald eagle is, I thought it might be more appropriate to show a pristine, iconic snow covered mountain from a national park. I moved the eagle further down the page. Any thoughts? Thanks! (WT-en) WineCountryInn 00:32, 1 February 2009 (EST)

Fine with me, though I'm not sure I like having the eagle in the "Eat" section! (WT-en) LtPowers 11:49, 1 February 2009 (EST)
Aw, c'mon, eagles are delicious! ;) (WT-en) WineCountryInn 14:08, 1 February 2009 (EST)

list of cities[edit]

I can't help but notice that Aspen with its population of a whopping 6,642 people made the top tier list of cities. I understand that this is a major tourist draw area, but is it that major of a tourist draw? I'm willing to bet that some small towns at the edges of Yellowstone get more tourists passing through than Aspen. What is the criteria for being listed on the top list of cities? Is there any? --Lumpytrout (talk) 21:08, 28 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I'd say they are: # visitors, general travel importance, fame, geographic spread (they shouldn't be all clustered in one area), "interestingness," and probably a few other considerations. Towns by Yellowstone are not themselves the primary destination—Yellowstone is (and is listed), while I think Aspen is the destination itself? It's certainly more famous than half the other cities listed. --Peter Talk 21:54, 28 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Aspen's pretty well known, but the presence of Coeur d'Alene proves that we don't have a high bar for cities in this region. There just aren't that many big tourist cities in the Rockies; they're all about the Other Destinations. LtPowers (talk) 22:04, 28 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm actually wondering about Bozeman and Missoula in Montana. Either one strikes me as being more of a tourist town than Billings and certainly comparable with Boulder Colorado that made the map. There also happens to be a nice geographic need to have some more cities listed in Montana. --Lumpytrout (talk) 00:47, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well, not all travel is tourism. Billings is a major city in the region, and the closest thing to a "big city", with all the attendant traveler services, that Montana has. And replacing Billings with Bozeman or Missoula wouldn't improve the geographic spread any. LtPowers (talk) 16:10, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not suggesting replacing, I'm suggesting adding to the map and list. Boulder is on the list despite having a population of 98,889 and essentially being a megalopolis with the surrounding areas and kind of smeared together on the map. Missoula on the other hand has a population of 67,290 but is geographically very isolated and would be a welcome addition. If anything could be replaced, it should be Boulder.
I could get behind removing Boulder; we already have three Colorado cities on the list. LtPowers (talk) 18:59, 1 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Denver being a rail hub[edit]

In light of this edit, maybe it doesn't qualify as one one North America's principal hubs, but in terms of passenger rail in and through the Rockies, Denver still is the most important one, isn't it? Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:54, 22 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]