Geography of Utah

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Home > Utah > Utah Travel Articles > Utah Geography    [ bookmark this page ]

Page Title: Geography of Utah
Page Synopsis: Utah is one of the Four Corners states bordered by Idaho and Wyoming in the north, by Colorado in the east, by Arizona in the south, and by Nevada in the west.



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Utah Geography


Albion Basin - Wasatch Mountains
Photo Courtesy: Utah Travel Council/(Mel Lewis)
Utah is one of the Four Corners states bordered by Idaho and Wyoming in the north, by Colorado in the east, by Arizona in the south, and by Nevada in the west.

One of Utah's defining characteristics is the variety of its terrain. The Wasatch Mountains run a center spine of the state, and the Uinta Mountain range in the north-east (the only east-west running mountain range in North America) includes the highest point in the state, Kings Peak at 13,528 feet. The Great Salt Lake lies to the immediate west of the Wasatch Mountains, beyond which the Bonneville Salt Flats stretch to Nevada. All land west of the Wasatch Mountains is within the Great Basin, while everything to the East drains into the Colorado River system.


Little Cottonwood Canyon Utah
Credit: Lee Cohen / Ski Utah
Much of the scenic southern landscape is sandstone, more specifically Kayenta sandstone and Navajo sandstone, cut and shaped by the Colorado River or its tributaries.

Western Utah is mostly arid desert with a basin and range geology. Northeastern Utah (from the Wasatch Mountains eastward and from the Uintah Plateau northward) is largely mountainous with many wooded and alpine regions.

  • Area: 219,900 square kilometers
  • Physical features: Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake, Lake Powell, Flaming Gorge, Jordan River, Colorado River, Green River, Lake Bonneville, Wasatch Mountains, Uinta Mountains, Great Basin, National Parks, Four Corners and the Colorado Plateau. 
  •  Like most of the west and southwest states, the federal government owns much of the land in Utah. In Utah over seventy percent of the land is either BLM land or national forest, park, monument, recreation or wilderness area. Under Article IV, 3, cl. 2 of the United States Constitution, the federal government has plenary and supreme--although concurrent--civil and criminal jurisdiction over these federal lands within the borders of each state.





Home > Utah > Utah Travel Articles > Utah Geography    [ bookmark this page ]

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