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History of the Uinta Basin, Utah
Taken from the Utah History Encyclopedia (Links Added)
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The Uinta Basin and Mountains are located in the northeast corner of the state and are part of a larger physiographic area known as the Colorado Plateau Province. The Uinta Mountains, a folded and faulted anticlinorium (a succession of geological anticlines and synclines), are 150 miles long and are oriented in an east-west direction; they extend from Heber Valley on the west to Cross Mountain in Colorado to the east. The mountain range is thirty miles wide. The Uintas contain some of the highest mountain peaks in the state, Kings Peak being the highest at 13,520 feet. The mountains receive annually about thirty inches of precipitation. During the Pleistocene era the Uintas were extensively glaciated. Lakes formed by this process dominate the mountains. Some of the larger lakes today serve as important reservoirs for the Wasatch Front.

In addition to the Great Salt Lake, the Uinta Mountains are perhaps the most important physiographic feature in northern Utah and the central Intermountain region. The Uintas are central to the historic and economic developments of northern Utah. They are the source for several of the most important Wasatch Front rivers and streams including the Bear, the Weber, and the Provo. They are also an important source of water for Green River, a major tributary to the Colorado River. The Uintas contain Ashley and Wasatch National Forests as well as the High Uinta Primitive Area.

The Uinta Basin lies south of the Uinta Mountains. The southern rim of the basin is formed by the Tavaputs Plateau of the Book Cliffs, and the western rim is formed by the Wasatch Mountains. The central portion of the basin has an elevation of 5,000 to 5,500 feet. Asphalt Ridge divides the Utah portion of the Basin into two unequal parts. Between Asphalt Ridge and the Utah-Colorado state line is Ashley Valley, named for William H. Ashley an important fur-trapping and trading entrepreneur of the 1820s.


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