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States of the US


A map of NevadaA map of NevadaThe state of Nevada is located in the west of the United States. Most of Nevada lies within a geographical region called the Great Basin. Here, in what is known as basin and range topography, there are a number of mountain ranges, all aligned roughly north-south and separated by valleys. Dry river beds and salt flats are abundant. The rivers that do flow across the Great Basin, such as the Humboldt and Carson, never reach the ocean. Instead they drain into lakes or sinks, except where they have been diverted for irrigation. Although Nevada is mostly arid or semi-arid, its mountain ranges are covered by lush forest. The southern third of the state lies in the Mojave Desert. The Sierra Nevada mountain range forms part of the western border with Caifornia.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation AreaRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Carson Range, part of the Sierra NevadaCarson Range, part of the Sierra Nevada


Nevada means “snowy” or “snow-covered” in Spanish. The state is named after the Sierra Nevada (Spanish for “snow covered mountain range”), a mountain range that forms part of the western border with California and where the peaks are snow-covered in the winter months. The first Europeans to explore the region were Spanish, who arrived in the 18th century.

Nevada is the driest state in the US, with an average annual rainfall of about just 7 inches (180 mm).

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