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Nevada has 172 mountain summits with 2,000 feet (610 m) of prominence.Nevada ranks second in the United States by number of mountains, behind Alaska, and ahead of California, Montana, and Washington.It is also known as the "Battle Born State", because it achieved statehood during the Civil War (the words "Battle Born" also appear on the state flag); as the "Sagebrush State", for the native plant of the same name; and as the "Sage-hen State".Nevada borders Oregon to the northwest, Idaho to the northeast, California to the west, Arizona to the southeast and Utah to the east.
The state's lowest point is along the Colorado River, south of Laughlin.
Tributaries of the Snake River drain the far north, while the Colorado River, which also forms much of the boundary with Arizona, drains much of southern Nevada.
The mountain ranges, some of which have peaks above 13,000 feet (4,000 m), harbor lush forests high above desert plains, creating sky islands for endemic species.
The area formed part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, and became part of Mexico when it gained independence in 1821.
The United States annexed the area in 1848 after its victory in the Mexican–American War, and it was incorporated as part of Utah Territory in 1850.