Utah Geography


Abbreviated as UT by ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Utah is bordered to the north by the states of Wyoming and Idaho, to the south by Arizona and at a single point in the southeast by New Mexico, to the east by Colorado and to the west by Nevada. The southeastern corner of Utah meets the corners of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado in what is known as “the four corners” and is the only place in the United States where four states meet.


The climate in most of Utah — especially in the west — is desert or semi-arid.

In winter, the temperature decreases as one travels north, and as the altitude of the region increases. In general, the average temperature is below 0 ° C in most of Utah. Only the extreme south of the state has average winter temperatures above 0 ° C. The average of the minimums in the state is -12 ° C, and the maximum, -4 ° C. Days where the temperature is below -18 ° C can be expected in various areas at least once a year, but are generally short-lived. The mountains in the north and east of the state serve as barriers to cold air currents from the North Pole. The lowest recorded temperature in Utah was -56 ° C, at Peter’s Sink, on February 1, 1985

In summer, the highest temperatures are recorded in eastern and northern Utah. The average is 27 ° C. The average of the minimums is 15 ° C, and the average of the maximums is 31 ° C. Because of the desert climate, extremes are common in the state’s summers – highs easily exceed 40 ° C and lows easily drop below 10 ° C. The highest recorded temperature in Utah was 47 ° C, in St. George, on July 5, 1985.

Most of Utah is arid and elevated. Most of the eastern and southern parts of the state receive less than 30 centimeters of mean annual rainfall per year, while many mountainous areas receive more than 100 centimeters of mean annual rainfall. Most of the western part of the state receives less than 25 centimeters. The Great Salt Lake region is especially dry, receiving less than 13 centimeters of rain per year.

Snow is common during the winter in all of Utah except the southwestern part of the state — St. George, located in the southwest, for example, receives only 8 centimeters of snow per year, while Salt Lake City receives 150 centimeters a year. Many mountainous areas receive about 900 centimeters of snow per year, and portions of the Wasatch Mountains receive more than 1,250 centimeters per year of snow. Alta, a ski resort near Salt Lake City, receives 900 centimeters of snow per year. Snow is common between the end of November and March, in the lower altitude regions, and from October to May in the mountains. The mountains are often covered with snow until July.


Utah’s rivers flow into the Great Salt Lake or the Colorado River. Besides the latter, another great river in Utah is the Green River, which flows into the Colorado. The largest rivers in the state are the main sources of drinking water for artificial irrigation of various rural areas of the state. The Great Salt Lake is by far the largest lake in the state, and also the largest lake in the country west of the Mississippi River. The waters of the Great Salt Lake are saltier than the waters of the Pacific Ocean on the beaches of Los Angeles, due to the fact that it does not evacuate significant amounts of water neither by superficial drainage nor by infiltration (these types of lakes are called endorheic). When the lake water evaporates, salts and other sediments remain in the lake. The fact that the lake does not have drainage is the cause of problems during periods of heavy rains, which frequently cause flooding in the areas near the lake. Deserts cover about a third of all of Utah, and forests cover the other third.

  • CountryAAH: Offers a full list of cities and towns in Utah, together with postal codes for each of them, and including capital city of Utah.


Utah can be divided into three large well-defined geomorphological zones: The Rocky Mountains occupy the northeast of the state. It is characterized by its mountainous, rugged, and high-altitude terrain, and for being the only mountain range that runs east-west. The Rocky Mountains are the area where the highest point in the state is located, the Kings Peak, with 4,123 meters of altitude.2 Various peaks of the Rocky Mountains exceed 3,000 meters of altitude in the state. This is where much of Utah’s forests and ski resorts are located. Two branches of the Rockies stretch across the northeastern edge of the state, the Uinta and Wasatch Ranges.

The Basin and Range region is characterized by its relatively smooth terrain and its desert climate (one of the driest areas in the United States). It occupies all of western Utah, and is spread across several states. The Great Salt Lake is located in the north of this region. The soil in the regions south of the lake was formerly the bed of the Great Salt Lake. This soil is very hard, composed of salts and sediments left by the lake. In the region is the lowest point of the state, located in the southwest corner, with 610 meters of altitude.

The Colorado Plateau occupies all of east-central, most of the south, and all of southeastern Utah. It is characterized by its rugged terrain, cut by large plateaus and deep valleys. These plateaus are more than 3,000 m above sea level.

Utah state