Purcell Mountains

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Purcell Mountains
Elevation3,493 metres (11,460 ft)
South BC-NW USA-relief Purcells.png
Location map of the Purcell Mountains
CountriesCanada and United States
Provinces/StatesBritish Columbia, Montana and Idaho
Range coordinates49°55′N 116°15′W / 49.917°N 116.250°W / 49.917; -116.250Coordinates: 49°55′N 116°15′W / 49.917°N 116.250°W / 49.917; -116.250
Parent rangeColumbia Mountains

The Purcell Mountains are a mountain range in southeastern British Columbia, Canada.[1] They are a subrange of the Columbia Mountains, which includes the Selkirk, Monashee, and Cariboo Mountains. They are located on the west side of the Rocky Mountain Trench in the area of the Columbia Valley, and on the east side of the valley of Kootenay Lake and the Duncan River.[2][3] The only large settlement in the mountains is the Panorama Ski Resort and Kicking Horse Resort, though there are small settlements, such as Yahk and Moyie along the Crowsnest Highway, and residential rural areas dependent on the cities of Creston, Kimberley and Cranbrook, which are located adjacent to the range.

The Purcells are shown on some United States maps as the Percell Mountains, where their southern limit protrudes into the states of Idaho and Montana, abutting Lake Koocanusa, a reservoir on the Kootenai River.[4] American geographic classifications consider the Percells to be part of the Rocky Mountains but in Canada that terminology is reserved for ranges on the east side of the Rocky Mountain Trench. In the Purcell Mountains, most of the peaks are near or above 10,000 feet in elevation.

The Purcells were formed in the Proterozoic eon (in the Precambrian period), which spans from 2,500 million years ago to about 540 million years ago.[citation needed]


See also[edit]