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Geography of Utah

Utah is among the four states that form the "Four Corners". Southeastern corner of the state is the only place in the country where the four states of America (Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado) meet.
General Features

Utah is located in Western United States. It shares its borders with Arizona on the south, Colorado on the east, Wyoming on the northeast, Idaho on the north and Nevada on the west. It has a vivid landscape comprising deserts with sand dunes, pine forests, and mountains. It covers an area of 84,899 square miles.

The state can be divided into three major land areas:
  • The Rocky Mountains: There are two ranges of Rocky Mountains that run in the state of Utah. These are the Uinta Range and the Wasatch Range. Wasatch Range runs down to the northern center of the state whereas the Uinta Range lies in the northeastern region. It is home to the highest point in the state, Kings Peak. It has many ski resorts and attracts many visitors every year.
  • The Basin and Ridge Region: The Basin and Ridge Region lies in western Utah. Its topography is characterized by deserts, mountains and basins and sand dunes. The lowest and the warmest part of the state, "Utah's Dixie" is located in the southwestern corner of this region.
  • The Colorado Plateau: Majority of the southern and eastern region of the state lies on the Colorado Plateau. The topography of this region is characterized by deep canyons and valleys. Plateaus such as Fish Lake are as high as 11,000 feet above the sea level. The Colorado River passes through Utah.

Area 84,904 square miles
Land Area 82,168 square miles
Water Area 2,736 square miles
Highest point Kings Peak at 13,528 feet above sea level
Lowest point Beaverdam Wash at 2,000 feet above sea level
Highest temperature 117 degrees Fahrenheit
Lowest temperature -69 degrees Fahrenheit
Geographic Center Sanpete County, 3 miles north of Manti

Climate

Climate in Utah varies from region to region. It has dry, semi-arid to desert type climate because of its location in the rain shadow of the Sierra Nevada. It has extreme weather, with hot summers and cold winters. The lowlands receives less than 12 inches of rainfall annually, while the Great Salt Lake Desert is the driest region of the state. Salt Lake City receives around 60 inches of snowfall annually. Temperature inversion is a common phenomenon in winters in the low basins and valleys. There are less than 40 days of thunderstorm activity during the year and tornadoes are rare in the region.


Rivers

Colorado River and its tributaries flow in Utah. Some of the notable rivers in the state are Green River, White River, Muddy Creek, Dirty Devil River, and Paria River.


Mountains

Kings Peak is the highest summit in the state. Mount Nebo is the highest summit of the Wasatch Mountains. Other notable mountains in this region are Bald Mountain, Boulder Mountain, Naomi Peak, and Mount Olympus.


Lakes

Great Salt Lake is the largest lake in the Great Basin, It is the largest salt water lake in western hemisphere. Some of the notable lakes in Utah are: Utah Lake, Lake Powell, Fish Lake, Bear Lake, and Moon Lake.


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