The hydrographic Great Basin (magenta outline), distinguished from the Great Basin Desert (black), and the Basin and Range Geological Province (teal).
The Tule Valley watershed and the House Range (Notch Peak) are part of the Great Basin's Great Salt Lake hydrologic unit
Mexico in 1824. Alta California included today's Nevada.
Ecoregions as currently delineated by the Environmental Protection Agency and World Wildlife Fund
Sculpture representing a steam locomotive, in Ely, Nevada. Early locomotives played an important part in Nevada's mining industry.
Great Basin snowstorm in the Snake Valley of Utah and Nevada
Nevada territory in 1861
Basin and Range topography as seen from the air
Mountains west of Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert
Map showing the Great Basin physiographic section (shown as 22a)
A valley near Pyramid Lake
Native American tribes that inhabited the Great Basin were divided between the "Great Basin" and, in the Colorado desert region, the "California" tribal classifications.
Topographic map of Nevada
Wah Wah Valley, Utah, thunderstorm
Little Finland rock formation in Nevada
Köppen climate types of Nevada, using 1991-2020 climate normals.
The Las Vegas Strip looking South
Carson City Mint in Carson City. Carson City is an independent city and the capital of Nevada.
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, Calico basin
Great Basin National Park
The quartzite of Doso Doyabi in Great Basin National Park
Valley of Fire State Park
Mount Charleston
Population density map of Nevada
The Winnemucca Sand Dunes, north of Winnemucca
Downtown Reno
East Las Vegas suburbs
Nevada quarter
MGM Grand, with sign promoting it as The City of Entertainment
Lake Tahoe on the Nevada–California border
Goldstrike (Post-Betze) Mine in the Carlin Trend, the largest Carlin-type deposit in the world, containing more than 35000000 ozt gold
Cattle near the Bruneau River in Elko County
Ranching in Washoe County
State route shield
U.S. Route50, also known as "The Loneliest Road in America"
The Nevada State Legislative Building in Carson City
The courthouse of the Supreme Court of Nevada
A map that details the federal land in southern Nevada, showing Nellis Air Force Base Complex and Nevada Test Site

It spans nearly all of Nevada, much of Utah, and portions of California, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming, and Baja California, Mexico.

- Great Basin

The name means "snowy" in Spanish, referring to Nevada's small overlap with the Sierra Nevada mountain range; however, the rest of Nevada is largely desert and semi-arid, much of it within the Great Basin.

- Nevada

19 related topics

Alpha

Utah

State in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States.

State in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States.

Map showing Utah in 1838 when it was part of Mexico, Britannica 7th edition
Brigham Young led the first Mormon pioneers to the Great Salt Lake.
A sketch of Salt Lake City in 1860
Deseret Village recreates Utah pioneer life for tourists.
The Golden Spike where the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed in the U.S. on May 10, 1869, in Promontory, Utah
Children reading in Santa Clara, Utah, in 1940
Utah county boundaries
Köppen climate types of Utah, using 1991-2020 climate normals.
Snow in Rose Park, Salt Lake City
The Rocky Mountain elk is the Utah state mammal.
The California gull is the Utah state bird.
Western black widow spider
Pando, considered one of the heaviest and oldest organisms on Earth.
Joshua trees, yuccas, and cholla cactus occupy the far southwest corner of the state in the Mojave Desert
"Welcome to Utah" sign
Utah population density map
The LDS Salt Lake Temple, the primary attraction in the city's Temple Square
First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City
Sri Sri Radha Krishna (Hindu) Temple
The Wasatch Front region has seen large growth and development despite the economic downturn. Shown is the City Creek Center project, a development in downtown Salt Lake City with a price tag of $1.5–2.5 billion.
One out of every 14 flash memory chips in the world is produced in Lehi, Utah.
Zion National Park in southern Utah is one of five national parks in the state.
Farms and ranches
Bryce Canyon National Park Amphitheater (winter view)
Mining has been a large industry in Utah since it was first settled. The Bingham Canyon Mine in Salt Lake County is one of the largest open pit mines in the world.
Salt Lake International Airport is the largest airport in Utah
FrontRunner commuter rail serves select cities from Ogden to Provo via Salt Lake City.
TRAX light rail serves Salt Lake County
Jake Garn (top-right), former Senator of Utah (1974–1993), and astronaut on Space Shuttle flight STS-51-D
The Utah State Capitol, Salt Lake City
The Scott Matheson Courthouse is the seat of the Utah Supreme Court.
The Huntsman Cancer Institute on the campus of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City
The Eyring Science Center on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah
The Utah Jazz playing against the Houston Rockets
Robbie Russell playing for Real Salt Lake
Arches National Park
Pariette Wetlands
Little Cottonwood Canyon
Deer Creek Reservoir
American Fork Canyon
Kolob Canyons at Zion National Park
Salt Lake City
Logan
thumb|Ogden
Park City
Provo
Sandy
St. George
Layton
Monument Valley in southeastern Utah. This area was used to film many Hollywood Westerns.
The otherworldly look of the Bonneville Salt Flats has been used in many movies and commercials.

Utah is a landlocked U.S. state bordered to its east by Colorado, to its northeast by Wyoming, to its north by Idaho, to its south by Arizona, and to its west by Nevada.

Most of the western half of Utah lies in the Great Basin.

Idaho

State in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States.

State in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States.

Köppen climate types of Idaho, using 1991-2020 climate normals.
Lake Coeur d'Alene in North Idaho
Redfish Lake in central Idaho
Priest River winding through Whitetail Butte
Bear Lake viewed from Bear Lake State Park
Bruneau Dunes State Park
Idaho population density map
There are large numbers of Americans of German and English ancestry in Idaho.
The Idaho Falls Idaho Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2006
Average Fuel Mix (2011–2015)
I-15 shield
US-95 shield
The Idaho State Capitol in Boise
Chamber of the House of Representatives in 2018
The Jacob Spori Building at Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg
Idaho State University in Pocatello
University of Idaho Arboretum in Moscow
American Falls Dam
Wheat harvest on the Palouse

It borders the state of Montana to the northeast, Wyoming to the east, Nevada and Utah to the south, and Washington and Oregon to the west.

The state's southeast incorporates part of the Great Basin.

The California Trail led to the gold fields.

California Trail

Emigrant trail of about 1600 mi across the western half of the North American continent from Missouri River towns to what is now the state of California.

Emigrant trail of about 1600 mi across the western half of the North American continent from Missouri River towns to what is now the state of California.

The California Trail led to the gold fields.
The exploration of the West by Jedediah Smith
John Bidwell
Western trails in Nebraska. The Mormon Trail is in blue; the Oregon and California Trails and the Pony Express route in red; an alternate Oregon/California route in dashed red; lesser-used trails in orange. The Platte River is between the Mormon and Oregon/California Trail. Fort Kearny is the black dot.
Chimney Rock, Nebraska
Scotts Bluff, Nebraska
Trail Ruts, Wyoming
The California Trail as it approaches Scotts Bluff from the east.
North Platte, Sweetwater Rivers across Wyoming
Independence Rock
The Sweetwater River at Devil's Gate, 1870
South Pass facing west toward Pacific Springs
Green River watershed
Map of the Bear River
Frederick W. Lander
An encampment on the Humboldt River, 1859. Digitally restored.
Humboldt River, Nevada
West Fork of the Carson River, just east of Hope Valley in Alpine County, California
Map of the Carson, Truckee, Humboldt River drainage system western Nevada
Donner Pass in the 1870s showing Dutch Flat wagon route improvements—made by Central Pacific Railroad.
A view of the South Fork of the Yuba River from the North Bloomfield Road bridge.
A waterfall on the South Fork Yuba River in South Yuba River State Park
View of the Sierra Nevada range and Sonora Peak looking northward from Sonora Pass.

The main Oregon and California Trails crossed the Yellow River on several different ferries and trails (cutoffs) that led to or bypassed Fort Bridger and then crossed over a range of hills to the Great Basin drainage of the Bear River (Great Salt Lake).

About 1000 mi of the rutted traces of these trails remain in Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada and California as historical evidence of the great mass migration westward.

State of Deseret

Provisional state of the United States, proposed in 1849 by settlers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City.

Provisional state of the United States, proposed in 1849 by settlers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City.

The boundaries of the provisional State of Deseret (orange with black outline) as proposed in 1849. Modern state boundaries are underlaid for reference.
The Deseret Stone used in the construction of the Washington Monument. The stone was donated by the territory in 1853 to represent the provisional state.
The Beehive symbol often associated with Deseret.
The Beehive symbol used on Utah's state route shield.
The Utah Territory is shown in blue, while the proposed State of Deseret is outlined by the dotted line. Modern state boundaries underlaid for reference.
Reconstruction of a flag, as described in contemporary newspapers

In March 1849, realizing that they did not have time to follow the usual steps towards statehood, Young and a group of church elders quickly drafted a state constitution based on that of Iowa, where the Mormons had temporarily settled, and sent the legislative records and constitution back to that state for printing, since no printing press existed in the Great Basin at the time.

The proposal encompassed nearly all of present-day Utah and Nevada, large portions of California and Arizona, and parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon.

Rabbit-Tail

Shoshone

They traditionally speak the Shoshoni language, part of the Numic languages branch of the large Uto-Aztecan language family.

They traditionally speak the Shoshoni language, part of the Numic languages branch of the large Uto-Aztecan language family.

Rabbit-Tail
A Shoshone encampment in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, photographed by W. H. Jackson, 1870
Reported picture of Mike Daggett February 26,1911
Sheriff Charles Ferrel with the surviving members of Mike Daggett's family ( Dagget's daughter Heney (Louise, 17), and two of his grandchildren, Cleveland (Mosho, 8), Hattie (Harriet Mosho, 4))
Dagget grandchild Mary Jo Estep {1909/1910-1992} age 5 in 1916
Tindoor, Lemhi Shoshone chief and his wife, ca. 1897, photographed by Benedicte Wrensted
"Shoshone at Ft. Washakie, Wyoming Native American reservation. Chief Washakie (at left) extends his right arm." Some of the Shoshones are dancing as the soldiers look on, 1892

Western Shoshone: Nevada, northern Utah

The Shoshone are a Native American tribe, who originated in the western Great Basin and spread north and east into present-day Idaho and Wyoming.

Humboldt River

View southwest from footbridge in Elko, the largest city along the Humboldt
Aerial view of the Humboldt River's intermittent wetlands at Red House, Nevada, between Battle Mountain and Winnemucca in Humboldt County, in June 2019, a wet year

The Humboldt River is an extensive river drainage system located in north-central Nevada.

It is located within the Great Basin Watershed and is the third longest river in the watershed behind the Bear River at 355 miles (570 km) and the Sevier River at 325 miles (523 km).

Peter Skene Ogden

British-Canadian fur trader and an early explorer of what is now British Columbia and the Western United States.

British-Canadian fur trader and an early explorer of what is now British Columbia and the Western United States.

Historical marker at Peter Skene Ogden State Scenic Viewpoint in Oregon

During his many expeditions, he explored parts of Oregon, Washington, Nevada, California, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming.

1828–29: Ogden explored the Great Salt Lake and the Weber River drainage, where the Ogden River, and subsequently the current city of Ogden, Utah, are named for him. He explored areas of the Great Basin, finding and following the Humboldt River, later named for German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, 330 mi west to its dry sink in present-day Nevada. A year earlier, in 1827, American trapper and explorer Jedediah Smith had become the first American to cross the Great Basin in 1827, traversing west to east from the Sierra Nevada near Ebbetts Pass. Smith, however, missed Humboldt Lake and the Humboldt River, and nearly died for lack of food and water. Ogden's easier route following the river eventually became part of the California Trail.

Kearsarge Lakes Basin is named after the USS Kearsarge

Sierra Nevada

Kearsarge Lakes Basin is named after the USS Kearsarge
The Sierra hosts many waterways, such as the Tuolumne River.
Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the range and the contiguous United States
Mount Tallac above Lake Tahoe
View of Sequoia National Park from Moro Rock
Sevehah Cliff, near Convict Lake, shows severely deformed Devonian rock
Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park was carved by glaciers
Red Slate Mountain (elevation 13156 ft) is still covered with snow in June.
Tuolumne Meadows is an example of a subalpine meadow in the Sierra.
John Frémont was an early American explorer of the Sierra
Map of gold fields in the Sierra
The exploration team for the California Geological Survey, 1864
The General Sherman Tree, a giant sequoia in Sequoia National Park, is the world's largest tree by volume.

The Sierra Nevada is a mountain range in the Western United States, between the Central Valley of California and the Great Basin.

The vast majority of the range lies in the state of California, although the Carson Range spur lies primarily in Nevada.

Utah Territory

Organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 4, 1896, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Utah, the 45th state.

Organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from September 9, 1850, until January 4, 1896, when the final extent of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Utah, the 45th state.

The Utah Territory upon its creation, with modern state boundaries shown for reference
The evolution of the Utah Territory from its creation by Congress in 1850 to 1896, when statehood was granted
The Utah Territory upon its creation, with modern state boundaries shown for reference

At its creation, the Territory of Utah included all of the present-day State of Utah, most of the present-day state of Nevada, much of present-day western Colorado, and the extreme southwest corner of present-day Wyoming.

The Mormons, under the leadership of Brigham Young, had petitioned Congress for entry into the Union as the State of Deseret, with its capital as Salt Lake City and with proposed borders that encompassed the entire Great Basin and the watershed of the Colorado River, including all or part of nine current U.S. states.

Colorado River

One of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

One of the principal rivers (along with the Rio Grande) in the Southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

Headwaters of the Colorado River in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Colorado River in the Grand Canyon seen from Pima Point, near Hermit's Rest
Satellite view of the Colorado River valley near Yuma, Arizona; interstate 8 runs from left to right just below center.
Colorado River as it exits the United States into Mexico beneath the San Luis Colorado-Colonia Miguel Aléman Bridge (September 2009)
The San Juan River near Mexican Hat, Utah
The Green River at Mineral Bottom, just north of Canyonlands National Park
Annual Colorado River discharge volumes at Lee's Ferry between 1895 and 2004
Map showing the Upper and Lower Colorado River Basin, and adjacent areas supplied by Colorado River water.
The Black Suspension Bridge crosses the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon at Phantom Ranch, Arizona.
Remnants of basalt flows from the Uinkaret volcanic field are seen here descending into the Grand Canyon, where they dammed the Colorado over 10 times in the past 2 million years.
Navajo woman and child, photographed by Ansel Adams, c. 1944
Pueblos and cliff dwellings such as this one in New Mexico were inhabited by people of the Colorado River basin between 2,000 and 700 years ago.
Two Mohave warriors beside the Colorado River in 1871
La conquista del Colorado, by Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau, depicts Francisco Vázquez de Coronado's 1540–1542 expedition
Coronado Sets Out to the North, by Frederic Remington, c. 1905
Lithograph of Fort Yuma, c. 1875
Marble Canyon, one of the many gorges that Powell's expedition traversed
The steamboat Mohave No. 2 at Yuma, c. 1876
John D. Lee, date and photographer unknown. He established a permanent ferry across the Colorado.
Harrison Gray Otis, president of the Colorado River Land Company
Hoover Dam releasing water in 1998
The Grand Ditch, one of the earliest water diversions of the Colorado River, is still in use today.
Hoover Dam under construction, 1934
The Imperial Dam (bottom right) diverts water into the All-American Canal (center) running towards Imperial Valley.
Glen Canyon Dam, the largest dam of the Colorado River Storage Project
The main canal of the Central Arizona Project, crossing the Sonoran Desert
Lake Mead in 2010, showing the "bathtub ring" left behind by low water levels
Heavily forested banks of the Colorado River near Topock, Arizona
The Colorado was named for the reddish color caused by its natural sediment loads, but damming the river has caused it to acquire a clear green hue as seen here in lower Glen Canyon.
A rafting party on the Colorado River

Starting in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, it flows generally southwest across the Colorado Plateau and through the Grand Canyon before reaching Lake Mead on the Arizona–Nevada border, where it turns south toward the international border.

The western boundary of the Colorado River Basin is formed by various ranges and plateaus that border the Great Basin, including the Uinta Mountains and Wasatch Range.