Nevada is a state located in the western United States, best known for its widespread legalization of gambling and gaming industry. It has borders with Oregon and Idaho to the north; California to the west; Arizona to the southeast; and Utah to the east. The border with Arizona includes the Colorado River and Hoover Dam. The state is broken up by several north-south mountain ranges.
Much of the northern part of the state is within the Great Basin Desert, a colder desert that experiences hot temperatures in the summer and sub-freezing temperatures in the winter. Occasionally, moisture from the Arizona Monsoon will cause summer thunderstorms; Pacific storms may blanket the area with snow. The mountain ranges, some of which have peaks above 12,000 feet, harbor lush forests high above desert plains, creating sky islands for endemic species. The valleys are often no lower in elevation than 3,000 feet. The eastern parts of the state receive more summer moisture and have a slightly more verdant terrain. Sagebrush grows and some rivers and streams break the desert terrain. The southern third of the state, including the Las Vegas area, is within the Mojave Desert. The area receives less precipitation in the winter, but is closer to the Arizona Monsoon in the summer. The terrain is also lower, mostly below 4,000 feet, creating conditions for hotter summer days and colder winter nights due to inversion.