(covers information from several alternate timelines)
Classified as M-class, Veridian III was the uninhabited third planet of the Veridian system. The planet had three moons. Its surface contains rocky mountainous regions as well as lush vegetative areas. There were also several large bodies of water. Its ionosphere created enough interference that it was hard to penetrate by sensors. In 2371, the position and orbital path of Veridian III was illustrated in a system map displayed in stellar cartography aboard the USS Enterprise-D.
Dr. Tolian Soran used Veridian III as the final key to his plan to return to the Nexus. He established a small launching site on the planet sometime prior to 2371, needing to destroy the Veridian star to change the gravitational forces in the sector and alter the course of the Nexus to Veridian III. He obtained trilithium for his weapon from the Duras sisters, and began destroying other stars in order to alter the path of the temporal energy ribbon towards Veridian III. After discovering his plan aboard the Amargosa observatory, the USS Enterprise-D chased Dr. Tolian Soran to Veridian III, where Captain Jean-Luc Picard beamed down to negotiate with Soran.
In the meantime, the Enterprise was attacked by the Duras sisters. While they were killed when the Enterprise destroyed their ship, they inflicted enough damage to cause a warp core breach. The saucer section was safely separated before the stardrive section exploded, but the shock wave from the blast forced the saucer into the atmosphere of Veridian III, and it crash landed in one of the jungle regions.
Dr. Soran eventually succeeded in launching his trilithium weapon, and the resultant collapse of the Veridian star destroyed Veridian III, the Enterprise saucer section, and the entire Veridian system. Fortunately, Picard was swept into the Nexus along with Soran, and enlisted the help of Captain James T. Kirk. The two captains returned to a few moments before Soran launched the weapon and prevented the launch, saving the Veridian system. Unfortunately, Kirk was killed in the attempt. Picard buried Kirk on one of the mountains in the area.
Scenes set on Veridian III were filmed in the Valley of Fire in Overton, Nevada.
In the novel The Return written by William Shatner, Riker returns to Veridian III to ensure that the Enterprise is fully recovered (to prevent its technology influencing the development of civilization on Veridian IV when they develop space travel themselves), and also to provide transport to Spock as he comes to see Kirk's grave. The saucer's remains are briefly attacked by the Borg-Romulan alliance to provide a distraction while Kirk's body is stolen, and Spock- accompanied by Riker and Deanna Troi- subsequently accesses the remaining computer databanks in the damaged saucer in an attempt to work out whether any of Kirk's old foes could have still been alive and recovered his body for some reason.