The name Wasatch is derived from an eponymous Native American tribe in the region.
Eighty-five percent of Utah`s population lives within 15 miles of the Wasatch range. This concentration is commonly known as the Wasatch Front. Salt Lake City lies between the Wasatch Range and the Great Salt Lake.
At 11,928 ft (3,636 m), Mount Nebo, located at the southern end of the range near Nephi, Utah, is the highest peak of the Wasatch. Other notable peaks include Mount Timpanogos, a massive peak which looms over Provo, Utah, and Lone Peak, which overlooks Salt Lake City, as does Mount Olympus.
Although the peaks are not especially high compared to the rest of the Rockies, they receive heavy falls of powder snow, and there are many ski areas in the Wasatch. The 2002 Winter Olympic Games made good use of the powder.
Several of the Wasatch canyons in the Lone Peak area, most notably Little Cottonwood Canyon, have a number of high-quality granite outcroppings, and make up a popular climbing area. Further north, Big Cottonwood Canyon features tricky climbing on quartzite.