Interim Content

Rocky Mountains, North America


Mountain chain consisting of at least one hundred separate ranges, commencing in present-day New Mexico and continuing about 3,000 miles northwest to northern Canada. Determine flow of North American rivers and streams toward Atlantic or Pacific oceans. First explored by Europeans, ca. 1600s. Explored by Lewis and Clark, 1804–1806. Viewed by Latter-day Saint missionaries as potential region for missionary work among American Indians, Feb. 1831. Believed by some Latter-day Saints to be future “place of safety” for church, 1840. Council of Fifty decided to move church west of mountains to what was part of Mexico, 1844–1846. Saints began immigrating to western side of Wasatch Range, 1847.