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     The Canadian Rockies are distinct from the American Rockies in that they are older mountains, they were primarily formed by overthrusting whereas the American Rockies were primarily formed by uplifting, and they are almost exclusively sedimentary rock, whereas the American Rockies are cored with granite. Their physical appearance is different because the Canadian Rockies have been very heavily glaciated, resulting in sharply pointed mountains separated by wide, U-shaped valleys gouged by glaciers, whereas the American Rockies are more rounded with river-carved V-shaped valleys between them.

     Five national parks are located within the Canadian Rockies, four of which interlock and make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage site. These four parks are Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho. The national park not included in the World Heritage Site is Waterton, which does not interlock with the others (it lies farther south, along the international boundary). The World Heritage site also includes three British Columbia provincial parks that adjoin the four national parks: Hamber, Mount Assiniboine and Mount Robson. Together, all these national and provincial parks were declared a single UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984 for the unique mountain landscapes found there, comprising peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, canyons and limestone caves as well as fossils (e.g. the Burgess Shale, once a World Heritage Site in its own right, is now part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site). Numerous other provincial parks are located in the Canadian Rockies.

Rocky Mountain News