|Elevation||11,928 ft (3,636 m)|
|States||Utah and Idaho|
|Parent range||Rocky Mountains|
The Wasatch Range ( /ˈwɑːsætʃ/ WAH-satch) or Wasatch Mountains is a mountain range in the western United States that runs about 160 miles (260 km) from the Utah-Idaho border south to central Utah.  It is the western edge of the greater Rocky Mountains, and the eastern edge of the Great Basin region.  The northern extension of the Wasatch Range, the Bear River Mountains, extends just into Idaho, constituting all of the Wasatch Range in that state.
In the language of the native Ute people, Wasatch means "mountain pass" or "low pass over high range."   According to William Bright, the mountains were named for a Shoshoni leader who was named with the Shoshoni term wasattsi, meaning "blue heron".  In 1926, Cecil Alter quoted Henry Gannett from 1902, who said that the word meant "land of many waters," then posited, "the word is a common one among the Shoshones, and is given to a berry basket" carried by women. 
Since the earliest days of European settlement, most of Utah's population has chosen to settle along the range's western front, where numerous rivers exit the mountains. For early settlers, the mountains were a vital water source, timber, and granite. Today, 85% of Utah's population lives within 15 miles (24 km) of the Wasatch Range, mainly in the valleys just to the west. This westside concentration is known as the Wasatch Front and has a population of just over 2,000,000. Salt Lake City lies between the Wasatch Range and the Great Salt Lake.
The range's highest point — 11,928 feet (3,636 m) — is Mount Nebo, a triple peak rising above Nephi, at the southern end of the range. In some places the mountains rise steeply from the valley's base elevation of 4,330 feet (1,320 m) to over 11,000 feet (3,400 m). Other notable peaks include Mount Timpanogos, a massive peak that looms over northern Utah County and is especially prominent from Pleasant Grove and Orem; Lone Peak, the Twin Peaks, and Mount Olympus, which overlooks the Salt Lake Valley; Francis Peak overlooking both Morgan and Davis counties; and Ben Lomond and Mount Ogden, both towering over Ogden.
Topping out below 12,000 feet (3,700 m), Wasatch peaks are not especially high compared to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado or even the Uinta Mountains (the other main portion of the Rocky Mountains in Utah). However, they are sculpted by glaciers, yielding notably rugged, sweeping upland scenery. They also receive heavy falls of snow: more than 500 inches (1,300 cm) per year in some places. This great snowfall, with its runoff, made possible a prosperous urban strip of some 25 cities along nearly 100 miles (160 km) of mountain frontage. The Wasatch Range is home to a high concentration of ski areas, with 11 stretching from Sundance in northeastern Utah County to Powder Mountain and Wolf Mountain northeast of Ogden. There is also one ski resort in the Bear River Mountains (Beaver Mountain). Park City alone is bordered by two ski resorts. Due to the low relative humidity in wintertime, along with the added lake-effect from the Great Salt Lake, the snow has a dry, powdery texture which most of the local ski resorts market as "the Greatest Snow on Earth". The snow and nearby ski resorts helped Salt Lake City gain the right to host the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Several of the canyons in the Lone Peak area, most notably Little Cottonwood Canyon, have several high-quality granite outcroppings, and make up a popular climbing area such as the Pfeifferhorn. Farther north, Big Cottonwood Canyon features tricky climbing on quartzite.
The densely vegetated narrow canyons of the Wasatch Range, such as Big Cottonwood Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon, are heavily visited; on September 25, 2005, 1,200 automobiles entered Little Cottonwood in an hour.  The canyons sit within 24 miles (39 km) of downtown Salt Lake City and the year-round paved roadways can reach 5,000 feet (1,500 m) higher in elevation above the city within a short distance. Dirt roads readily drivable in passenger cars with moderate clearance stretch up from Park City, Heber, and Big Cottonwood Canyon. These reach about 10,000 feet (3,000 m) above sea level and provide long-range high country views.
The Wasatch Range's origins are rooted in the Sevier Orogeny. As the Farallon plate subducted under the North American plate between the Jurassic and Paleogene, the regional stress regime became a maximum striking east to west. This horizontal compression caused thin skinned imbricated thrust faults resulting in as much as 50% crustal shortening of the western North American Plate.  The Wasatch anticlinorium represented the furthest eastern margins of these Sevier origin imbricated thrusts. Once the Farallon plate had largely subducted, the NW moving Pacific plate latched onto the North American Plate, causing a change in regional stress. Sevier thrust ramps were reactivated into normal faults, causing crustal extension as the Pacific plate drags the western margins of the North American plate to the NW. The current Wasatch range continues to grow via normal faults as the valley drops in periodic motion. Mount Nebo, the highest peak of the Wasatch, is at the southern edge of the range. The Colorado Plateau comes to its northwest corner as it meets the southern end of the Rocky Mountains. Immediately west of these two, the Great Basin, which is the northern region of the Basin and Range Province, begins and stretches westward across western Utah and Nevada until it reaches the Sierra Nevada near the Nevada/California border. Geologic faults punctuate the range, chief among them the Wasatch Fault. These faults also formed the Timpanogos Cave.
A series of mountain valleys punctuate the northern Wasatch Range. While the western side of the range drops sharply to the floors of the Wasatch Front valleys, the eastern side of the range is gentler, allowing for the construction of several ski resorts. The Cottonwoods, a particularly rugged and dense area just east of the Salt Lake Valley, shelters small mountain coves that harbor four world-famous ski resorts (Alta, Brighton, Solitude, and Snowbird). The eastern slopes of the Cottonwoods drop to the Snyderville Basin, which contains Park City and its two ski resorts (Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley). Much of the eastern side of the range, from north of Salt Lake City to the Bear River Mountains, is especially gentle compared to the rest of the range. The range widens east of Ogden, sheltering a high mountain valley known as the Ogden Valley. Three more ski resorts lie here, as well as several small towns (such as Huntsville, Liberty, and Eden).
North of this, the Wellsville Mountains branch off from the northwest of the range, continuing a line of mountains paralleling the I-15 corridor. This range is exceptionally thin and steep. However, US-89/US-91 is maintained as a four-lane highway through the range at Wellsville Canyon east of Brigham City. Cache Valley, created by the Bear River, is flanked on the west by the Wellsville Mountains and on the east by the much denser and higher Bear River Mountains. The northwestern border of Cache Valley is flanked by the Bannock Range in Idaho. The two highest peaks in this area are Mount Naomi and Mount Logan, each just under 10,000 feet (3,000 m).
The southeastern portion of the range across Wasatch County transforms into the relatively flat, windswept Wasatch Plateau at an elevation of about 8,500 feet (2,600 m) to 9,500 feet (2,900 m). At its southeastern edge, just north of Helper, it runs into the Book Cliffs. Further north, the Heber Valley and Weber River Valley separate the Wasatch Range from the Uinta Mountains, while the Bear River Valley and Bear Lake Valley separate it from lower mountain ranges that mark the western edge of the Green River Basin.
The Wasatch Range is traversed by just seven highways, along with several rugged mountain roads and unpaved trails. The most prominent are I-80 through Parley's Canyon east of Salt Lake City and I-84 through Weber Canyon southeast of Ogden. They meet near the ghost town of Echo on the eastern slopes of the range and continue northeast as I‑80. Other highways through the range include US-6/US-89 through Spanish Fork Canyon, US-189 through Provo Canyon, Utah State Route 39 extending east from Huntsville (a route which is closed in winter), US‑89/US-91 through Logan Canyon, and along Idaho State Highway 36 near the northern end of the range.
The Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad had a line through the Wasatch Range via Soldier Summit Pass and Spanish Fork Canyon. Now operated by the Union Pacific Railroad, the line is used by freight trains and Amtrak's California Zephyr .
The Wasatch Range is part of the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains Level 3 Ecoregion,  a temperate coniferous forest. Common trees include Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), subalpine fir (Abies bifolia), Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens), and quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides). Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii) is common on the foothills of the range from just south of Brigham City in the north, to the southern extension of the Wasatch Range. It is not found in the northern portion of the Range. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), while abundant elsewhere in Utah is not common in this mountain range, except in plantations in Big Cottonwood Canyon southeast of Salt Lake City and in Logan Canyon, east of Logan. Some individual trees have been found in remote areas of the Wasatch Range that appear to be relic individuals from past populations.
Subspecies of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) dominate drier portions of the landscapes. Most of the sagebrush that occurs in the Wasatch Range is mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. vaseyana). Many of the valley bottoms at one time were occupied by basin big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentata). Most of this subspecies has been removed, however, because it occurred on what constitutes prime agricultural lands. In upper elevations, and on slightly more mesic sites than that of mountain big sagebrush, one can find subalpine big sagebrush (Artemisia tridenta ssp. spiciformis).  This subspecies occupies productive sites and often has a lush understory of wildflowers and grasses. Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis) occurs at the lowest and driest elevations, although much of the Wasatch Range is above the elevation where this subspecies occurs.  All sagebrush species, combined, provide critical habitat to greater sage grouse, a species under consideration for listing by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Wasatch Range is home to several plants that occur nowhere other than in this area. Several of these are rare and restricted to narrow geological formations, while others are more widely distributed throughout the area. Some of the less rare endemics include five-petal cliffbush (Jamesia americana var. macrocalyx),  Sierra fumewort (Corydalis caseana ssp. brachycarpa),  and Utah angelica (Angelica wheeleri). 
In addition to ski resorts, there are hundreds of miles of mountain biking and hiking trails winding through the canyons and alpine valleys of the Wasatch Range. These offer backcountry access close to a large metropolitan area. There is rock climbing and mountaineering on the towering limestone, granite, and quartzite peaks and in many of the surrounding canyons.
Winter recreation includes ski touring, ski mountaineering, snowshoeing.
Alpine lakes and streams offer somewhat overworked fishing opportunities. The Wasatch Mountain Club has regular activities. The Utah Native Plant Society conducts regular walks from spring until fall along the foothills of the central Wasatch Front and in adjoining canyons as the season progress. Many wildflowers bloom in the late summer in Albion Basin at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon.
The Great Basin Desert is part of the Great Basin between the Sierra Nevada and the Wasatch Range. The desert is a geographical region that largely overlaps the Great Basin shrub steppe defined by the World Wildlife Fund, and the Central Basin and Range ecoregion defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and United States Geological Survey. It is a temperate desert with hot, dry summers and snowy winters. The desert spans large portions of Nevada and Utah, and extends into eastern California. The desert is one of the four biologically defined deserts in North America, in addition to the Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan Deserts.
The Uinta Mountains are an east-west trending chain of mountains in northeastern Utah extending a short distance into northwest Colorado and slightly into southwestern Wyoming in the United States. As a subrange of the Rocky Mountains, they are unusual for being the highest range in the contiguous United States running east to west, and lie approximately 100 miles (160 km) east of Salt Lake City. The range has peaks ranging from 11,000 to 13,528 feet, with the highest point being Kings Peak, also the highest point in Utah. The Mirror Lake Highway crosses the western half of the Uintas on its way to Wyoming. Utah state highway 44 crosses the east end of the Uintas between Vernal UT and Manila UT.
The Sevier River is a 400-mile (640 km)-long river in the Great Basin of southwestern Utah in the United States. Originating west of Bryce Canyon National Park, the river flows north through a chain of high farming valleys and steep canyons along the west side of the Sevier Plateau before turning southwest and terminating in the endorheic basin of Sevier Lake in the Sevier Desert. It is used extensively for irrigation along its course, with the consequence that Sevier Lake is usually dry.
Snowbird is an unincorporated community in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains near Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. It is most famous for Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort, an alpine skiing and snowboarding area, which opened in December 1971.
Little Cottonwood Canyon lies within the Wasatch-Cache National Forest along the eastern side of the Salt Lake Valley, roughly 15 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah. The canyon is part of Granite, a CDP and "Community Council" designated by Salt Lake County. The canyon is a glacial trough, carved by an alpine glacier during the last ice age, 15,000 to 25,000 years ago. A number of rare and endemic plant species are found in the canyon's Albion Basin. Mountain goats inhabit the surrounding mountains.
The Sevier orogeny was a mountain-building event that affected western North America from northern Canada to the north to Mexico to the south.
Solitude Mountain Resort is a ski resort located in the Big Cottonwood Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains, thirty miles southeast of Salt Lake City, Utah. With 66 trails, 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) and 2,047 feet (624 m) vertical, Solitude is one of the smaller ski resorts near Salt Lake City, along with its neighbor Brighton. It is a family-oriented mountain, with a wider range of beginner and intermediate slopes than other nearby ski resorts; 50% of its slopes are graded "beginner" or "intermediate," the highest such ratio in the Salt Lake City area. Solitude was one of the first major US resorts to adopt an RFID lift ticket system, allowing lift lines to move more efficiently. It was followed by Alta Ski Area in 2007. Solitude is adjacent to Brighton Ski Resort near the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon. Solitude and Brighton offer a common "Solbright Pass" which provides access to both resorts for a nominal surcharge.
The Deseret Peak Wilderness is located in the Stansbury Mountains of Tooele County, Utah, United States near the towns of Tooele and Grantsville, not far from the Great Salt Lake. It is part of the Wasatch-Cache National Forest. This semi-arid wilderness is part of the Great Basin ecosystem. Elevations range from about 6,000 feet to the top of Deseret Peak's limestone escarpment at 11,031 feet (3,362 m). In this high country, with barren Skull Valley to the west, you'll find some springs and intermittent creeks, despite the general dryness of the area.
The Lone Peak Wilderness is a 30,088-acre (121.76 km2) wilderness area located within the Uinta and the Wasatch-Cache National Forest in the U.S. state of Utah.
The Tushar Mountains are the third-highest mountain range in Utah after the Uinta Mountains and the La Sal Range. Located in the Fishlake National Forest, Delano Peak, 12,174 ft NAVD 88, is the highest point in both Beaver and Piute counties and has a prominence of 4,689 ft. Delano Peak is named for Columbus Delano (1809–1896), Secretary of the Interior, during the Grant administration. The Tushars receive an ample amount of snow annually even though they are situated within the rainshadow of the Sierra Nevada range in California and the Snake Range located in Nevada.
The landlocked U.S. state of Utah is known for its natural diversity and is home to features ranging from arid deserts with sand dunes to thriving pine forests in mountain valleys. It is a rugged and geographically diverse state at the convergence of three distinct geological regions: the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau.
State Route 190 (SR-190) or the Big Cottonwood Canyon Scenic Byway is primarily an east and west state highway and scenic highway in eastern Salt Lake County, Utah, United States, that begins at Interstate 215 (I-215), runs through Big Cottonwood Canyon, and ends at the Salt Lake and Wasatch county line.
Millcreek Canyon is a canyon in the Wasatch Mountains and part of Millcreek City on the east side of the Salt Lake Valley, Utah. It is a popular recreation area both in the summer and in the winter. It was named by Brigham Young on August 22, 1847, before all of the mills that were built in and below the densely forested canyon. It is home to two restaurants and six Boy Scout Day Camps.
Little Cottonwood Creek is one of the principal streams entering Salt Lake Valley from the east. The creek rises near the summit of the Wasatch Mountains, a short distance south of the ski resort town of Alta, and flows in a westerly direction through Little Cottonwood Canyon until it emerges into Salt Lake Valley about eleven miles from its source. Thence its course is north westerly through Sandy, Midvale and Murray, Utah until it empties into the Jordan River, about six miles south of Salt Lake City. Its whole length is nearly 27 miles (43 km). The headwaters of Little Cottonwood Creek are in Little Cottonwood Canyon, a glaciated canyon in Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and the Wasatch and Uinta Mountains eco-region. One of the main tributaries of the creek rises in Cecret Lake, a small sheet of water situated near Alta. The entire Little Cottonwood Creek drainage basin encompasses 46 square miles (120 km2), ranging in elevation from about 4,490 to 11,500 feet.
Big Cottonwood Creek is located in the Wasatch Mountains just east of Salt Lake City. It is part of the Big Cottonwood Creek Watershed, which ranges in elevation from 5,000 to 10,500 feet with the headwaters around 9,600 feet. The creek flows through the Big Cottonwood Canyon in a westerly direction until it emerges into Salt Lake Valley about eighteen miles (29 km) from its highest source. Thence its course is northwesterly through Cottonwood Heights, Holladay, and Murray, Utah for a little over twenty-four miles miles from the headwaters until it empties into the Jordan River about five miles (8.0 km) south of Salt Lake City. The water eventually flows into the Great Salt Lake. In the summer, its waters are all used for irrigation purposes. From its source to its original outlet in the Jordan River is about twenty-six miles.
The geology of Utah, in the western United States, includes rocks formed at the edge of the proto-North American continent during the Precambrian. A shallow marine sedimentary environment covered the region for much of the Paleozoic and Mesozoic, followed by dryland conditions, volcanism, and the formation of the basin and range terrain in the Cenozoic.
Guardsman Pass (elevation 9,717 feet is a high mountain pass in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. The pass is located on the boundaries of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest to the west, and the Bonanza Flats backcountry area to the east.
Mount Superior is an 11,045 feet (3,367 m) mountain peak in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States.