Uttaranchal lies on the south slope of the mighty Himalaya range, and the climate and vegetation vary greatly with elevation, from glaciers at the highest elevations to tropical forests at the lower elevations. The highest elevations are covered by ice and bare rock. The Western Himalayan Alpine Shrub and Meadows ecoregion lies between 3000-3500 and 5000 meters elevation; tundra and alpine meadows cover the highest elevations, transitioning to Rhododendron-dominated shrublands below. The Western Himalayan subalpine conifer forests lie just below the tree line; at 3000-2600 meters elevation they transition to the Western Himalayan broadleaf forests, which lie in a belt from 2,600 to 1,500 meters elevation. Below 1500 meters elevation lies western end of the drier Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands belt, and the Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests. This belt is locally known as Bhabhar.These lowland forests have mostly been cleared for agriculture, but a few pockets remain.
Uttaranchal is divided into 13 districts: Almora, Bageshwar, Chamoli, Champawat, Dehradun, Haridwar, Nainital, Pauri (Pauri Garhwal), Pithoragarh, Rudraprayag, Tehri (Tehri Garhwal), Udham Singh Nagar, and Uttarkashi. These districts form two divisions; Garhwal division includes Chamoli, Dehradun, Haridwar, Pauri Garhwal, Rudraprayag, Tehri, and Uttarkashi districts, and Kumaon division includes Almora, Bageshwar, Champawat, Nainital, Pithoragarh, and Udham Singh Nagar.
Uttaranchal's gross state domestic product for 2004 is estimated at $6 billion in current prices. After partition of Uttar Pradesh, the new state of Uttaranchal produces about 8% of the output of the old Uttar Pradesh state.