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Pacific Time vs. Mountain Time: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on February 25, 2024
Pacific Time (PT) is the time zone for the western coast of North America, while Mountain Time (MT) is the time zone for regions directly east of PT.

Key Differences

Pacific Time (PT) is the time observed on the western coast of the United States and Canada, including states like California and Washington. Mountain Time (MT) is observed directly east of the Pacific Time Zone, encompassing states like Colorado and Arizona.
The Pacific Time Zone aligns with UTC-8 (standard time) and UTC-7 (during Daylight Saving Time). In contrast, the Mountain Time Zone operates at UTC-7 (standard time) and UTC-6 (during Daylight Saving Time), making it generally one hour ahead of Pacific Time.
Pacific Time influences the schedule of daily activities, business hours, and TV broadcasts for residents on the West Coast. Similarly, Mountain Time shapes the daily life and media schedules for people in the Mountain region of the U.S.
Both Pacific and Mountain Time Zones shift forward by one hour during Daylight Saving Time, which typically starts in March and ends in November, albeit being one hour apart throughout the year.
Pacific Time is crucial for businesses and communications that link with Asia, given its closer geographical proximity to Asian countries. On the other hand, Mountain Time is significant for its alignment with central parts of the United States and its unique geographical features like the Rocky Mountains.

Comparison Chart

Standard Time Offset


Daylight Saving Time Offset


Geographic Location

Western coast of North America
Regions east of the Pacific Time Zone

Example States/Regions

California, Washington
Colorado, Arizona

Relation to Other Time Zones

Close to Asian time zones
Closer to Central Time Zone

Pacific Time and Mountain Time Definitions

Pacific Time

Pacific Time influences business hours on the West Coast.
Our office opens at 8 AM Pacific Time.

Mountain Time

Mountain Time is UTC-7 in standard time and UTC-6 during Daylight Saving Time.
Phoenix observes Mountain Time without Daylight Saving adjustments.

Pacific Time

PT is crucial for communications with Asia.
The webinar with our Asian partners will be held at 7 PM Pacific Time.

Mountain Time

Mountain Time (MT) is the time zone for parts of western North America.
The meeting is set for 10 AM Mountain Time in Denver.

Pacific Time

Pacific Time (PT) is the time zone used in the western part of North America.
The conference call is scheduled at 9 AM Pacific Time.

Mountain Time

MT is followed in states like Colorado and Arizona.
The concert in Colorado starts at 6 PM Mountain Time.

Pacific Time

Pacific Time is UTC-8 in standard time and UTC-7 during Daylight Saving Time.
Los Angeles operates on Pacific Time.

Mountain Time

Mountain Time dictates schedules in the U.S. Mountain region.
The store in Salt Lake City closes at 9 PM Mountain Time.

Pacific Time

PT is the time observed in states like California and Washington.
The TV show airs at 8 PM Pacific Time.

Mountain Time

MT aligns closely with Central Time Zone.
The flight from Dallas to Denver changes from Central to Mountain Time.


What is Pacific Time?

Time zone observed on the western coast of North America.

When is Daylight Saving Time in PT?

Typically from March to November.

What is Mountain Time?

Time zone for regions directly east of the Pacific Time Zone.

How many hours difference is there between PT and MT?

There is a one-hour difference.

Which major cities use Pacific Time?

Cities like Los Angeles and Seattle.

Does PT align with any Asian time zones?

Yes, it’s geographically closer to Asian time zones.

Are business hours different in PT compared to MT?

Yes, due to the time difference.

What states in the U.S. follow Mountain Time?

States like Colorado, Utah, and parts of Arizona.

Do PT and MT both observe Daylight Saving Time?

Yes, except for some regions like Arizona.

What is the UTC offset for MT during standard time?


Are there any exceptions in MT for Daylight Saving Time?

Yes, Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time.

Is Mountain Time aligned with Central Time?

It’s one hour behind Central Time.

How does the time change traveling from PT to MT?

Time advances by one hour when moving eastward.

How does PT impact international business?

It's significant for business with Asia due to closer time alignment.

Is PT ahead or behind MT?

PT is one hour behind MT.

Do all of California and Washington follow PT?

Yes, these states are entirely in the Pacific Time Zone.

Are there any major Canadian regions in PT?

Yes, parts of British Columbia observe Pacific Time.

What geographic features are associated with MT?

The Rocky Mountains and central U.S. landscapes.

What’s the UTC offset for PT during Daylight Saving Time?


Do TV broadcasts differ between PT and MT?

Yes, programs are often aired at different times.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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