The West

A brief look at Nevada and Arizona

The Western Region

From the towering snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains to the rivers that carved into million year old canyons. The west is unrivaled in both beauty and fascination. Above anyone else, the western plainsmen acknowledged this.

Charles Goodnight, possibly the most popular cattle rancher in the West quotes, "I never had a compass in my life, but I was never lost."

Physical Geography of The West

The West is the largest region in the U.S., covering nearly half of the entire country. It is also very diverse. The climate can vary greatly depending on where you are. In the North-west The climate can be cooler and more lively than the dry, hot deserts of California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. Alaska and Hawaii are both part of the West, too, so that creates more diversity in the region, which also makes it hard to identify one climate for all of the West. We typically think of American cowboys and their standard issue 6- shooters adventuring the lawless deserts. But the truth is even better. Not only is their different geography in each Western state, but they have their own stories too.

The natural landscape of the West affects the culture of its people greatly. None more so than the Native Americans. They used the land and its natural resources to live in harmony with nature. They adapted to the mountains of the Rockies, lived with the critters of the Mojave Desert, and even benifited the forests with their recycling.

There are many mountains in the West: the Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Wasatch, Bitterroot, Bighorn, Sangre de Cristo Range, and of course, the Rocky Mountains.

And when there are mountains, there are rivers. Like the Klamath, San Joaquin, Colorado, Missouri, Columbia, and Yellowstone rivers.

The climate also affects the vegetation and animals. The deserts can only support the most adapted, strongest life. so plants like short grasses, hardy shrubs, and cacti are some of the few plants to adapt to the deserts.