Located in the southwest of the country, the US state of
known for its wide range of outdoor activities such as skiing,
snowboarding, hiking, boating, water skiing, horseback riding,
camping and mountaineering. The capital, Salt Lake City, has a
large number of unique modern and historical attractions. The
Ute Indians gave their name to the state of Utah.
Utah is bordered by Idaho to the north, Wyoming to the northeast, Colorado to the east, Arizona to the south, and New Mexico at one point to the southeast. Nevada follows west.
It is located in the Western region of the country, Rocky Mountain division. It borders Idaho to the north, Wyoming to the northeast, Colorado to the east, New Mexico to the southeast, Arizona to the south, and Nevada to the west. With 12.57 inhabitants/km², it is the tenth least densely populated state, ahead of Nevada, Nebraska, Idaho, New Mexico, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska, the least densely populated. It was the sixth-latest to be admitted to the Union, on January 4, 1896, as the 45th state, ahead of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, and Hawaii.
It is famous for housing the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Utah is one of the most important transportation and telecommunications centers in the American West. Its capital is an important financial and commercial center of the American West. The manufacturing and high-tech industries are also important sources of state income, as well as agriculture and livestock. It has a nationally renowned education and health system. The main source of income, however, is tourism. Its natural beauties attract millions of tourists to the state every year. These attractions range from large mountain ranges suitable for skiing (the Winter Olympic Games were held in Utah in 2002) and rocks that, due to the action of erosion, were excavated to form rocky "bridges", to the Great Lake. Salty—the largest lake west of the Mississippi River, which is four times saltier than seawater. Much of the state has a desert appearance and climate.
The state and its history are marked by the large presence of Mormons. The term "Mormons" refers as a nickname to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. About 60% of Utah's population are members of this religious association, whose headquarters are in Salt Lake City. Its first members initially settled in the region of present-day Utah in 1847, and called the region Deseret—which means 'worker bee' in the language of the Book of Mormon.
In 1848, by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the United States annexed Utah, after its victory over Mexico during the American intervention in Mexico. The U.S. Congress created the Territory of Utah in 1850—naming the territory for the Ute American Indian tribe, 'mountain people,' who lived in the region. On January 4, 1896, Utah became the 45th state. from United States.
Featuring Great Salt Lake and Savier Lake
At the foot of the Wasatch Range, in the valley of the Jordan River, the major cities of the state line up in close succession. The mountains and the two large lakes - Great Salt Lake and Utah Lake - also offer scenic attractions, including the Timpanogos cave system and no fewer than 12 state parks
Salt Lake City Logan Ogden Park City Provo
Cedar City St George
Home to no fewer than four national parks (Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Capitol Reef National Park). There are also four national monuments and a number of state parks that are well worth seeing. Another top Canyon Country destination is Monument Valley on the Arizona border, which is not a federal reserve but administered by the Navajo.
Moab Kanab Bluff
Arches National Park in Southern Utah and is famous for its magnificent natural bridges that formed due to geological processes.
Bryce Canyon National Park in North East Utah is not really a canyon, but a huge natural amphitheater carved by years of erosion by wind and water.
Canyonlands National Park landscape is shaped by two massive canyons that chewed through soft geologic layers for the past 300 million years.
Capital Reef National Park lies 10 mi (6 km) East of town of Torrey in Utah, United States. It covers an area of 241,904 acres.
Glen Canyon is a beautiful natural geologic formation carved by Colorado River in the Vermilion Cliffs in South- Eastern Utah.
Grafton Ghost Town is situated in Washington County in Utah. It was found in 1859 and was eventually abandoned in 1921.
Grand Staircase-Escalante covers a total area of 1.9 million acres and carries one of the best geological formations in the state.
Lake Powell is a man made lake that formed after Glen Canyon was flooded. It is famous for fishing, water skis, boating and other activities.
Timpanogos Cave National Monument is a maze of underground tunnels that offer a cool retreat from hot weather.
Zion National Park is situated in South Utah in United States. It covers an extensive area of 146,578 acres.
English. In Utah, the Spanish-speaking community is smaller than in other Southwest states, although its size is increasing. In Salt Lake City and Provo you will also find people with knowledge of other European or Asian languages, which can be traced back to the universities there.
The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) operates a multi-route bus system, primarily between Ogden and Provo. UTA is also responsible for the TRAX system, a light rail system that connects the University of Utah to downtown Salt Lake City and Sandy. A one-way ticket is $1.50 for both buses and trains.
In most national parks you can go on guided horseback riding tours, which are also suitable for newcomers and inexperienced riders. The mules know the way and there is no need to be afraid if there is a tens of meters down a meter next to the path. Each tour is accompanied by scouts, who also teach you the few commands that are necessary before the ride, if necessary also in German! Riding is comfortable and you can easily take photos on the animal. Usually you will be photographed during the trip and you can buy the photo later. So always smile... Sensitive people shouldn't put on clean trousers on a horseback riding excursion, because they can definitely be washed afterwards.
Important for hikers, even in areas close to cities: you hear rattlesnakes before you see them. Bites are life threatening. The safety rule here is: turn on your heel and gallop away in the opposite direction. The animals can only be seen safely behind glass in the zoo.
Utah takes its name from the Spanish word Yuta, the name with which the Spanish called the indigenous Yutas, speakers of the Shoshoni language who lived in the current valley of Utah Lake. This toponym is the modification of the indigenous word qusutas, with which the Franciscan father Gerónimo de Zárate Salmerón designated this town in the year 1620. It probably derives from the Western Apache languages or the Jemez people.
Two Native American tribes lived in the region that makes up the present-day U.S. state of Utah thousands of years before the arrival of the first European explorers. These tribes were the Anasazi and the Fremonte. These Native American tribes were subgroups of the Ute-Aztec Amerindian ethnic group, and were sedentary. The Anasazi built their residences through excavations in the mountains, and the Fremontes built straw houses before disappearing from the region around the 15th century. Another Native American group, the Navajos, settled in the region around the 18th century. In the mid-18th century, other Uto-Aztec tribes, such as the Gosiute, Paiute, Shoshone, and Ute, also settled in the region. These five groups were present when the first European explorers arrived.
The southern region of Utah was explored by the Spanish in 1540,
under the command of Francisco Vázquez de Coronado, when he was
searching for the legendary Cíbola. A group led by two New Spain
Franciscan friars—known as the Domínguez and Escalante Expedition—left
Santa Fe in 1776, hoping to find a route to the missions on the
California coast. The expedition traveled far north to Utah Lake and
encountered the native residents. The Spanish conducted further
exploration in the region, but were not interested in conquering the
area due to its desert nature. In 1821, with the secession of the
nascent Mexico from the Spanish Empire, the Utah region became part of
the nascent Mexico, as an integral part of Alta California.
Fur-trading trappers explored parts of Utah in the early 1800s. The city of Provo was named for one of those men, Étienne Provost, who visited the area in 1825. The city of Ogden was named for a member of the Hudson's Bay Company, Peter Skene Ogden who traded furs in the Weber Valley. At the end of 1824, American Jimmy Bridger became the first white person to sight the Great Salt Lake. Due to the high salinity of its waters, Bridger thought he had found the Pacific Ocean. Later, however, it was discovered that this body of water was nothing more than a gigantic salt lake. After the discovery of the lake, hundreds of traders and hunters founded trading posts in the region, and around the 1830s, thousands of people, traveling from the East towards the American West, made stops in the Great Salt Lake region. .
The first Americans to settle permanently in the Utah region were the
Mormons. Mormons are members of a religious group called the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This Church had been established in
1830, near Fayette, New York, by Joseph Smith. After his assassination
in 1844, Brigham Young became leader of the majority of Mormons. Due to
the great religious persecution they suffered, Mormons began to move
from one region to another seeking freedom and religious tolerance,
passing through Ohio, Illinois and Missouri. However, wherever they
passed there was religious persecution. In 1846, Young decided to make
an expedition to the North American Midwest, and look for an isolated
and little or uninhabited region, where the group could enjoy religious
tolerance. In 1847, Young and his expedition reached the Great Salt
Lake, where they settled. A year later, in 1848, by the Treaty of
Guadalupe Hidalgo, the United States annexed Utah, after its victory
over Mexico during the American intervention in Mexico.
Young quickly planned communities for church members. News of the successful settlement in the region caused thousands of people—mainly Mormons—to settle in the region of the Great Salt Lake and its estuaries, especially north of the present state, where many settled in valleys and began to irrigate these valleys. , promoting the practice of agriculture. However, the first years of settlement were difficult—especially because of a large infestation of grasshoppers. However, the gulls of the Great Salt Lake eventually exterminated the grasshoppers. Since then, the seagull has been the avian symbol of Utah, and a monument was erected in Salt Lake City in its honor.
In 1849, the Mormons created a provisional state, which they called
Deseret, a gigantic expanse that included territory that is currently
part of Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico
and California. In the same year, Mormons also created the Perpetual
Emigration Fund Company. The fund paid for the relocation of Mormon
families from other countries to Utah. This helped approximately 26,000
immigrants—about 36% of the approximately 73,000 Mormons who emigrated
from Europe to the United States between 1852 and 1887.
Throughout 1849 and 1850, Mormons lobbied the U.S. government to elevate Deseret to statehood, but Congress rejected these requests; However, due to issues related to slavery in the country, the United States government created the much smaller Utah Territory in 1850, named after the Ute tribe that lived in the region. Although larger than the current state, this territory already had the current northern and southern limits at that time. Young became the territory's first governor.
Until the 1850s, relations between Utah Native Americans and Mormons were good. However, in 1853, a Ute Indian chief, Walkara (also called Walker), began attacking Mormon communities, starting the Walker War, which raged for a year, until Young managed to convince Walker to end the attacks.
Much of the US Congress, as well as the president himself at the
time, James Buchanan, wanted to remove the Mormons from the government
of Utah. Rumors reached Washington that the entire territory was
revolting. President Buchanan, in 1857, decided to appoint Alfred
Cumming of Georgia as the new governor of the territory. Troops were
sent to ensure compliance with the substitution, starting the Utah War
(also known in English as the Utah Expedition or Buchanan's Blunder). In
the absence of formal notification or declaration of intent, Young and
other Mormon leaders interpreted the sending of troops as religious
persecution and adopted a defensive posture.
In September of that same year, a group of Mormons, along with a group of Native American allies, attacked a group of about 140 people, from Arkansas and Missouri, who were heading towards California. It was assumed by the attackers that these people were mostly anti-Mormons. They killed all the travelers, except for the children, who were sent to live with Mormon families (two years later, claimed by their relatives, they returned to Arkansas). This incident is known nationally as the Mountain Meadows massacre and is one of the most controversial acts committed by members of the Church. Some claim that Salt Lake officials, including Young, ordered the massacre, while others assert that Salt Lake did not learn of the massacre until it was too late.
President Buchanan had been criticized by the US Congress and the public because he failed to warn Young of his removal, provide adequate provisions for the troops, or even investigate whether sending troops was necessary. The president wanted to end the situation, and began negotiating with Young. He accepted his removal and Cumming took over. Although Young was no longer the governor of Utah, he was still considered as such by the inhabitants of the territory. There were great tensions between the Mormon population and the troops who occupied Utah for three years, and who abandoned the territory in 1861 with the advent of the American Civil War.
Throughout the 1860s, the U.S. government ceded part of the Utah
Territory to other newly created territories, such as Colorado, Nevada,
and Wyoming. In 1868, Utah acquired its current territorial boundaries.
In 1865, the Black Hawk War began, a new conflict between the Mormons
and the Ute Native American tribe, led by the Indian chief Black Hawk.
The war lasted for two years, until 1867, a period in which other Native
American tribes joined the cause of the Utes: to reconquer the lands
captured by the Mormons. In 1867, Black Hawk, seeing that he had no
chance of victory, agreed to surrender to the American government. Most
of Utah's Native Americans were then placed on Indian reservations.
Occasional attacks by natives lasted until 1873.
Salt Lake City became a communications center in 1860, with the beginning of the Pony Express mail service between Saint Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, with a stop in Salt Lake City. On October 24, 1861, two telegraph lines, one from Washington D.C. and the other from San Francisco, were connected in Salt Lake City, inaugurating the country's first transcontinental telegraph line.
In 1862, the United States Congress passed a law, valid for the entire country, prohibiting the practice of polygamy. This year, the US government sent a regiment of volunteers from California under the command of Patrick E. Connor, who in Utah encouraged his soldiers to search for precious metals in the region. Connor, an anti-Mormon, hoped that such a discovery in the region would attract thousands of non-Mormons to the area, thus reducing Mormon power in Utah. In 1863, gold and silver were discovered, although the lack of a railroad in the territory made the extraction of these metals very expensive. Few companies were interested in mining these reserves, and few people settled in Utah. In 1863, two railroad companies began construction of two railroads. The Central Pacific began the construction of a railway line starting from Sacramento heading east and the Union Pacific began the construction of another railway line, starting from Omaha (Nebraska) heading west. On May 10, 1869, these two lines joined at Promontory, completing the first transcontinental railroad in the United States. Quickly, other railroads were built in Utah, precious metal mining exploded, and Utah's population began to grow rapidly. In 1870, Utah was the second territory in the United States to grant women the right to vote. after Wyoming, which did so in 1869. This right was eliminated by Congress in 1887 through the Edmunds-Tucker Act, since it was feared that the wives of polygamists would vote as their husband ordered them, and that they would create a state in which , paraphrasing the well-known motto of "one man, one vote", became "one man, five votes." In 1895, women in the state regained their right to vote.
With Utah's population growing, the region began lobbying the US
Congress to have Utah elevated to statehood. These requests were again
rejected, due to the polygamous customs of the territory (although not
all Mormons actually had that custom, which ranged between 5 and 40% of
their members, depending on the time and area). During the 1880s the
U.S. government began enforcing antipolygamy laws in Utah, with
five-year prison sentences and heavy financial penalties, and provided a
mechanism to acquire Church property. All of these factors meant that in
1890 , the leader of the Church, Wilford Woodruff, officially declared
that his members did not practice polygamy. According to the Mormons,
their prophet Wilford Woodruff received a revelation from God that
plural marriage should be suspended.
In 1895, the territorial government of Utah created a new constitution, subject to approval by the United States Congress. This new constitution declared the practice of polygamy illegal. Furthermore, it prevented control of the Utah government by any religious association. Under these terms, Congress ratified the new constitution, and Utah became the 45th American state on January 4, 1896.
Economic takeoff: the establishment of national parks
Utah prospered economically during the first two decades of the 20th century. The state became an important livestock center, with large herds of cattle and sheep. New railroads continued to be built and expanded throughout the state. The inauguration of a gigantic US government project in the state in 1913 dramatically expanded Utah's arable area. Copper mining became one of the state's main sources of income, and various steel mills were established in the region.
Beginning in the early 1900s, with the establishment of national parks such as Bryce Canyon and Zion, Utah began to become known for its natural beauty. Southern Utah became a popular filming spot for arid, rugged scenes, and natural landscapes like Rainbow Bridge National Monument in Arches National Park and the Mittens of Monument Valley are instantly recognizable to most residents. national. During the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, with the construction of the United States Interstate Highway Network, accessibility to the southern scenic areas became easier.
Utah was one of the American states hardest hit by the Great Depression of the 1930s. The drastic drop in the prices of agricultural products, and the closure of various mines, made Utah have one of the highest rates of unemployment and debt. highest in the country throughout the decade. Utah's economy only began its recovery after the start of World War II. With the entry of the United States into the war in 1942, Utah underwent a process of extensive industrialization, and the state greatly prospered. Utah became one of the nation's largest producers of ballistic missiles in the 1950s. Throughout the decade, large deposits of uranium, oil, and natural gas were discovered in Utah. This industrialization process lasted until the 1960s, and Utah became a major steel center. In 1963, however, demand for ballistic missiles in the country dropped drastically, also causing a drop in the state's mineral prices. Utah entered a period of economic recession that lasted until the end of the decade.
After the end of World War II, Utah's public education system faced several problems due to the drastic growth in school maintenance during the 1940s and 1950s until the early 1960s. Educators of Utah requested approval of an increase of 25 million dollars for education. The state soon agreed to increase the state education budget by $11 million, and created a committee to study the needs of Utah's school system. This commission, in 1964, recommended that the annual education budget be increased by at least $6 million, a request that was rejected by the government, which believed that this would ruin the state's economy. However, this decision caused the National Education Association union to begin a major boycott of Utah, calling for teachers across the country to refuse to work in the state. With the approval in 1965 of a new budget increase $25 million education fund, the union ended its protests.
Beginning in 1939, with the establishment of the Alta Ski Area, Utah has become a world-renowned skiing hotspot. During the late 1950s and 1960s, Utah's growing urban population caused demand for outdoor recreation areas to grow dramatically, leading to the opening of several ski resorts across the many mountain ranges. of the state, and other open recreational areas, by private companies and government bodies. The dry, powdery snow of the Wasatch Mountain Range is considered some of the best in the world for skiing. In 1995, Salt Lake City won the bid to host the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, and these have served as a great incentive for the economy. Ski resorts have increased in popularity, and many of the Olympic venues scattered across the Wasatch Front continue to be used for sporting events. This event also spurred the development of the light rail system in the Salt Lake Valley, known as TRAX, and the reconstruction of the freeway system around the city. Since then, tourism is the main source of income for the state.
At the end of the 20th century, the state's population grew rapidly. According to the 2000 census, Utah was the fourth fastest growing state (29.6%) in the United States between 1990 and 2000. St. George, in the southwest, was the first fastest growing metropolitan area in the United States. United States between 2000 and 2006, and Provo-Orem the sixth. In the 1970s, growth was enormous in the suburbs. Sandy was one of the fastest growing cities in the country at that time. At the beginning of the 21st century, many areas of Utah are experiencing tremendous growth. Davis to the north, Salt Lake and Summit to the south and west, and Tooele, Utah, Wasatch and Washington counties are all growing very rapidly. Transportation and urbanization are major policy issues when development consumes agricultural land and uncultivated areas.
Utah is bordered to the north by the states of Wyoming and Idaho, to the south by Arizona and at a single point in the southeast by New Mexico, to the east by Colorado and to the west by Nevada. The southeast corner of Utah joins the corners of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado in what is known as "the four corners" and is the only place in the United States where four states meet.
Utah's rivers flow into the Great Salt Lake or the Colorado River. In addition to the latter, another large river in Utah is the Green River, which flows into the Colorado. The state's largest rivers are the main sources of drinking water for artificial irrigation in various rural areas of the state. The Great Salt Lake is by far the largest lake in the state, and also the largest lake in the country west of the Mississippi River. The waters of the Great Salt Lake are saltier than the waters of the Pacific Ocean on the beaches of Los Angeles, due to the fact that it does not evacuate significant amounts of water either by surface drainage or infiltration (this type of lake is called endorheic). When lake water evaporates, salts and other sediments remain in the lake. The fact that the lake does not have drainage causes problems during periods of heavy rainfall, which frequently cause flooding in the areas near the lake. Deserts cover about one-third of all of Utah, and forests cover the other third.
Utah can be divided into three large, well-defined geomorphological
The Rocky Mountains occupy the northeast of the state. It is characterized by its mountainous, rugged, high-altitude terrain, and for being the only mountain range that runs in an east-west direction. The Rocky Mountains are the area where the highest point in the state is located, Kings Peak, with an altitude of 4,123 meters.2 Various peaks of the Rocky Mountains exceed 3,000 meters in altitude in the state. Much of Utah's forests and ski resorts are located here. Two branches of the Rockies extend along the northeastern edge of the state, the Uinta and Wasatch mountain ranges.
The Basin and Range region is characterized by its relatively uneven terrain and its desert climate (one of the most arid areas in the United States). It occupies all of western Utah, and extends across several states. The Great Salt Lake is located in the north of this region. The soil of the regions south of the lake was formerly the bed of the Great Salt Lake. This soil is very hard, composed of salts and sediments left by the lake. In the region is the lowest point in the state, located in the southwest corner, with 610 meters of altitude.
The Colorado Plateau occupies all of east-central, most of southern, and all of southeastern Utah. It is characterized by its rugged terrain, cut by large plateaus and deep valleys. These plateaus are located more than 3000 m above sea level.
Utah is the boundary between two geographical
provinces: the Colorado Plateau in the east and south and the Basin and
Range Province in the west of the state. The Wasatch Mountains form the
boundary between these major regions. In the east and northeast, the
Rocky Mountains just reach Utah. In the northeast, in the Uinta
Mountains, is Kings Peak (4123 m), the highest of the mountains in Utah.
Utah's portion of the Colorado Plateau can be divided into several sections. To the north, below the Uinta Mountains lies the Uinta Basin. It is shaped by the headwaters of the Green River. To the south is the Canyon Lands section, where the Colorado River flows and the Green River empties into it. West of this is the High Plateaus section with multiple layers of the Grand Staircase. To the southeast is an area known as Utah's Dixie, drained by the Virgin River. The Mormon pioneers coined the name because they were able to grow cotton in this region of Utah, which has the mildest climate.
The Basin and Range portion of Utah consists of the completely flat Great Salt Flats and a multitude of small and tiny horsts and the grabens that occur in between. The region's two easternmost valleys, the Salt Lake Valley and the Utah Valley, together form the Wasatch Front below the Wasatch Mountains. They are the only parts of the state that are densely populated and are home to about 80% of all Utah residents.
The area of 219,887 km² extends over 435 kilometers from east to west between 109° W and 114° W, and over 565 kilometers from south to north between 37° N and 42° N. 3.25 percent of the state consists of water, the Great Salt Lake has the largest share.
The climate in most of Utah—especially in the west—is desert or
In winter, the temperature decreases as you travel north, and as the altitude of the region increases. In general, the average temperature is below 0°C in most of Utah. Only the southern tip of the state has average winter temperatures above 0 °C. The average in the south during winter is 1 °C and in Salt Lake City, -6 °C. The average minimum temperature in the state is -12 °C, and the maximum temperature is -4 °C. Days where the temperature is below -18 °C can be expected in various areas at least once a year, but they are usually short-lived. The mountains in the north and east of the state serve as barriers to cold air currents from the North Pole. The lowest temperature recorded in Utah was -56°C, at Peter's Sink, on February 1, 1985.
In summer, the highest temperatures are recorded in eastern and northern Utah. The average is 27°C in Salt Lake City and 20°C in the south-central part of the state. The average of the minimum is 15 °C, and the average of the maximum is 31 °C. Because of the desert climate, extremes are common in the state's summers — highs easily exceed 40°C and lows easily fall below 10°C. The highest temperature recorded in Utah was 47°C in St. George on July 5, 1985.
Most of Utah is arid and elevated. Most of the east and south of the state receive less than 30 centimeters of average annual rainfall per year, while many mountain areas receive more than 100 centimeters of average annual rainfall. Most of the west of the state receives less than 25 centimeters. The Great Salt Lake region is especially dry, receiving less than 13 centimeters of rain per year.
Snow is common during the winter throughout Utah except in the southwestern part of the state—St. George, located in the southwest, for example, receives only 8 centimeters of snow per year, while Salt Lake City receives 150 centimeters per year. Many mountain areas receive about 900 centimeters of snow per year, and portions of the Wasatch Mountains receive more than 1,250 centimeters per year of snow. Alta, a ski resort near Salt Lake City, receives 900 centimeters of snow per year. Snow is common between the end of November and March, in lower altitude regions, and from October to May in the mountains. The mountains often remain covered in snow until July.
Several thousand plants are native to Utah, including a variety of
trees, shrubs, cacti, herbaceous plants, and herbs. In 2018, there were
3,930 plant species in Utah, of which 3,128 were native and 792 were
introduced through various means.
Common trees include pine/piñon (white spruce, Colorado single-leaf, Great Basin bristlecone, ponderosa, Engelmann spruce, Rocky Mountain white), and Acer grandidentatum, quaking aspen, bigtooth maple, Utah juniper, speckled alder, red birch , Gambel oak, desert willow, blue spruce, and Joshua trees. Utah has several named trees, such as the Jardine juniper, the aspen (Populus tremuloides), and the thousand mile tree. Shrubs include various ephedras (pitmoreal, navajo, Arizona, Nevada, Torrey fir, and Mormon green tea), sagebrush (small, Bigelow, silver, Michaux's wormwood, black, pygmy, budwood, and Great Basin ), blue elderberry, Utah serviceberry, cherry, and sumac. Western poison oak, poison sumac, and western poison ivy are found in Utah.
There are many varieties of cacti in Utah's varied deserts, especially in the southern and western parts of the state. Some of them are the desert prickly pear, the California barrel cactus, the hook cactus, the cholla, the beavertail prickly pear, and the hookless cactus of the Uinta Basin. Despite the desert climate, there are many different grasses in Utah, including Mormon needlegrass, bluebunch wheatgrass, western alkaligrass, squirreltail, desert saltgrass, and cheatgrass.
Several species of invasive plants are considered noxious weeds by the state, including Bermuda grass, bindweed, henbane, jointed goatweed, Canada thistle, Balkan and common toadflax, giant reed, grass grass, St. John's, hemlock, swordgrass, Russian olive, myrtle spurge, Japanese knotweed, salt cedar, and goat's head.
Utah is home to more than 600 vertebrate animals, as well as numerous
invertebrates and insects.
The mammals are found in all areas of Utah. Large non-predatory mammals include the plains bison, elk, mountain goat, mule deer, pronghorn, and several types of bighorn sheep. Small non-predatory mammals include the muskrat, and the otter. Large and small predatory mammals include the black bear. the puma, the Canadian lynx, the bobcat, the fox (gray, red and kit), the coyote, the badger, the black-footed ferret, the mink, the stoat, the long-tailed weasel, the raccoon, and The Otter.
The grizzly bear was formerly found in Utah, but has been extirpated. There are no confirmed gray wolf mating pairs in Utah, although there have been sightings in northeastern Utah along the Wyoming border.
As of January 2020, there were 466 species included on the official list managed by the Utah Bird Records Committee (UBRC). Of these, 119 are classified as accidental, 29 as occasional, 57 as rare, and 10 have been introduced to Utah or North America. . Eleven of the accidental species are also classified as provisional.
Due to the Miracle of the Gulls incident in 1848, the best-known bird in Utah is the Californian gull, which is the state bird of Utah. A monument in Salt Lake City commemorates this event, known as the "Miracle of the Gulls." ". Other common gulls in Utah are Bonaparte's gull, ring-billed gull, and Franklin's gull.
Other common birds are the American robin, common starling, finches (black roseate, Cassin's, and goldfinch), black-billed magpie, mourning doves, sparrows (house, tree, black-chinned, black-throated, Brewer's, and great woodpeckers, great crested grebe, ferruginous hawk, geese (snowy, carrasqueño, and Canadian), eagles (golden and bald), California quail, mountain bluebird and hummingbirds (calliope, carrasqueño, and with a wide tail).
Utah is home to a wide variety of arachnids, insects, mollusks, and other invertebrates. Arachnids include the Arizona bark scorpion, the western black widow spider, the crab spider, the hobo spider (Tegenaria agrestis), the cellar spider, the American grass spider, and the wood scale spider. Several spiders found in Utah are often confused with the brown recluse spider, including the desert recluse spider (found only in Washington County), the cellar spider, and the crevice weaver spider. The brown recluse spider has not been officially confirmed in Utah as of summer 2020.
One of Utah's rarest insects is the coral pink sand dune tiger beetle, which is only found in Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park near Kanab. In 2012, its inclusion on the list of threatened species was proposed. but the proposal was not accepted. Other insects include grasshoppers, green stink bugs, army cutworms, monarch butterflies, and Mormon fritillary butterflies.
The current Utah Constitution was adopted in 1895. Amendments to the
Constitution are proposed by the Utah Legislature and to be approved,
they need to be ratified by at least 51% of the state Senate and House
of Representatives, in two consecutive votes, and later by 51% or more
of the Utah electorate, in a referendum. The population of the state can
also propose amendments to the Constitution through a popular initiative
with a collection of signatures, where at least the signature of 10% of
the people who voted in the last referendum or state gubernatorial
election held in the state. If this signature gathering event achieves a
minimum of 10% signatures, this amendment then needs to receive the
votes of at least 51% of voters in two consecutive referendums. If this
amendment is approved by 51% or more of the voters in both ballots, the
amendment is automatically approved. Amendments can also be proposed and
introduced by constitutional conventions, which need to receive at least
the approval of 66.7% of the votes of both Houses of the Legislature and
51% of the state's electors in a referendum.
About 50% of Utah's government budget comes from state taxes. The rest comes from budgets received from the national government and from loans. In 2002, the state government earned 10,107 million dollars, having generated 8,468 million dollars. Utah's public debt is $4.729 billion. The debt per capita is $2,039, the value of state taxes per capita is $1,693, and the value of government expenditures per capita is $4,358.
The chief executive officer of Utah is the governor. This is elected
by the population of the state for terms of up to four years in
duration. The position of governor has no established term limit. Since
1896 all governors have been Mormons.
The Legislative Branch of Utah is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate has a total of 29 members, while the House of Representatives has a total of 75 members. Utah is divided into 29 senatorial districts and 75 representative districts. The voters of each district elect a senator/representative, who will represent that district in the Senate/House of Representatives. The term of office for senators is four years, and for members of the House, two years. The position of senator or representative also has no term limit. Although Mormons only make up 60% of the population, they make up 80% of elected officials.
The highest court of the state's Judiciary is the Utah Supreme Court, composed of five judges. Utah also has eight district courts, which have one or two judges each. Other courts include juvenile courts and the Court of Appeals, the second highest court in the state's judiciary after the Utah Supreme Court. All judges on the Utah judiciary are nominated by the governor, and approved by the state Senate. Periodically, the Senate examines the actions of the judges, and may re-elect them at the end of their terms, or opt for their replacement.
Largely because of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
Utah is one of the most conservative and Republican states in the
country. The state is dominated by the Republican party. Mormons make up
about 60% of Utah's population, but approximately 80% of the members of
the state Legislature are Mormons. Likewise, all of the state's
governors since 1896 have been Mormons.
Historically, the political force of the state was relatively divided between Republicans and Democrats. Since the 1960s, however, Republicans have increasingly come to dominate state politics, both at the state and national level. Since 1964, the state's population has not voted overwhelmingly for a Democratic candidate in the US presidential elections, making Utah one of the strongest Republican strongholds. Utah was the best state for Republicans in the elections of 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000 and 2004.
In 1992, Utah was the only state in the nation where Democratic candidate Bill Clinton finished behind both Republican candidate George H. W. Bush and independent candidate Ross Perot. In 2004, George W. Bush won the support of every county in the state. state—his victory in Utah was the largest in the entire country. Bush obtained all of the 5 electoral votes to which Utah is entitled, obtaining 71.5% of the votes of the state's electors. However, the Democratic Party still has political strength in the Salt Lake City metropolitan region, which encompasses about half of the state's population.
Utah's population tends to hold conservative views on most political issues and the majority of the state's voting citizens are registered Republicans.
The population center (closest geographical point to all inhabitants,
on average) of Utah is located in Utah County in the city of Lehi.
According to the 2010 United States Census, the population of the The
state had 2,763,885 inhabitants, which represented an increase of 23.8%
compared to the 2000 census.
Most of the population lives in towns and cities along the Wasatch Front, a metropolitan region that runs from north to south with the Wasatch Mountain Range rising on the eastern side. The rest of the state is mostly rural and wasteland. Utah has the highest percentage of the population that shares a single religious affiliation of any state in the country.
Most of the state's residents are members of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called Mormons. In 2004, the
percentage of the population who are members of said Church was 62.4% of
the population of said state.68 The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper has
predicted that Mormons will no longer be the majority in the state, not
only in Salt Lake City, approximately the year 2030, although the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints refuted the Salt Lake Tribune's
conclusions by publishing its 2006 year-end statistics in January 2008,
showing that 1.8 million of inhabitants (72% of the population) are
registered in its archives.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has historically had a strong influence in Utah, contributing to the state's restrictive attitude toward alcohol and gambling, and its high birth rate (25% higher than the national average ; the highest of any state in the United States), and the lowest percentage of single mothers in the nation.
According to data from the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City (Diœcesis Civitatis Lacus Salsi), in 2020 it served 10% of the state's population with about 324,988 Catholics (10.0% of the 3,249,879 inhabitants in the state) in 219,887 km² with 48 parishes, 61 priests (58 diocesan, 3 religious), 83 deacons, 25 lay religious (3 brothers, 22 sisters) and 9 seminarians. Within the limits of the diocese there are also 3 Catholic schools.
The Utah government divides the state's cities into classes, which
vary according to the population of the city in question. Those of the
first class have more than 100,000 inhabitants, those of the second
class of 65,000 to 100,000, those of the third class of 30,000 to
65,000, those of the fourth class of 10,000 to 30,000, those of the
fifth class of 1,000 to 10,000. and secondary cities (towns), less than
Higher class cities have more powers and responsibilities than lower class cities. The counties are responsible for providing most government services to the smaller cities than to the higher cities, which are the responsibility of the city. Most major cities in Utah are governed by a mayor and a city council, or a manager and a council. Lower class cities can only be governed by a council, without a mayor or administrator.
Utah is divided into 29 counties. These counties are governed by councils composed of three members, one of them elected for four-year terms and the third for two-year terms. This council is in charge of overseeing the different departments of the county. The vast majority of Utah counties have an Executive and Legislature that operate independently—with the exception of Salt Lake County.
The first school in Utah was a store founded by Mormons in a
settlement in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. The emphasis placed on
education by the Mormons led to some 200 schools being created in just
two decades in the region. which would later form the state of Utah.
These schools, although founded by the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, only provided education to children whose families
were able to pay for the education. It was only in 1866 when the first
public school in the state was founded. All elementary schools became
public by a decree of the government of the Territory of Utah in 1877.
In 1884, a constitutional convention created a public secondary
education system in the territory, although such schools were not a
mandatory requirement for Utah school districts until 1911.
Utah currently has one of the highest high school graduation rates in the country. All educational institutions in the state need to follow rules and instructions issued by the Utah State Board of Education. This board directly controls the state's public school system, which is divided into different school districts. The council is made up of fifteen members elected by the population and two more members elected by a Council of Regents. Each second-class city, several of the larger third-class cities, and each county, is served by a school district.
In cities, the responsibility for managing schools lies with the municipal school district, while in less densely populated regions, this responsibility lies with school districts operating throughout the county at large. Utah allows the operation of so-called "charter schools" — independent public schools, which are not managed by school districts, but which depend on public budgets for their operation. School attendance is mandatory for all children and adolescents over six years of age, until the completion of secondary education or up to seventeen years of age.
In 1999, the state's public schools served about 480,300 students, employing approximately 21,800 teachers. Private schools served about 12,600 students, employing approximately 1,100 teachers. The state's public school system consumed about $2.026 billion, and public school spending was approximately $4.5 billion per student. About 89.4% of the state's residents over 25 years of age have a high school diploma.
The first library in Utah was created during the 1850s. In 1897, a state law provided funds for the creation of public libraries, with the first opened the following year, in Salt Lake City. Currently, the state has seventy public library systems, which annually move an average of 11 books per inhabitant. All cities with more than a thousand inhabitants have at least one public library.
Utah is a great center of higher education. The state has one of the highest rates of people studying in higher education institutes in the country, relative to the state's population. The Board of Regents, composed of sixteen members, plus two non-voting members who are representatives of the Utah Board of Education, administers the state's system of public colleges and universities. The first institution of higher education founded in Utah was the University of Utah, founded in 1850, in Salt Lake City. Utah currently has twenty-five institutions of higher education, of which ten are public and fifteen are private. In addition to the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, located in Provo, which is one of the largest private universities in the United States, Utah State University and Southern Utah University, stand out.
The official language of the state of Utah is English. Utah English
is primarily a fusion of North American and Midwestern dialects brought
west by members of the LDS Church, whose original New York dialect later
incorporated features from northeastern Utah. Ohio and central Illinois.
Conspicuous in the speech of some in the Central Valley, though less
common now in Salt Lake City, is a cord-card fusion, so that the vowels
/ɑ/ and /ɔ/ are pronounced the same before a /ɹ/, as in the words cord
In 2000, 87.5% of all state residents ages five and older spoke only English at home, down from 92.2% in 1990. Unofficial Spanish has seen a sustained increase in the number of speakers at least since 1980, going from 2.84% to 9.94% according to 2016 data.
According to data from the University of Utah, the gross state product in 2005 was $92 billion or 0.74% of the gross domestic product of the United States, which was $12.4 trillion in that year. Per capita income was $36,457 in 200578 (the 2nd lowest among the 50 states of the Union). The unemployment rate in 2008 was 4.3%.
The primary sector accounts for 1% of Utah's GDP. The state has
15,000 farms, which occupy about a fifth of its territory. Much of this
land is used only for livestock farming. Most Utah farms are
artificially irrigated. Without artificial irrigation, the practice of
agriculture in most of the state would be impossible. Together,
agriculture and livestock account for 1% of the state's GDP, and employ
approximately 19,000 people. Utah has large cattle and sheep herds. The
main agricultural products produced in Utah are beef and sheep meat and
milk, as well as apples, peaches and cherries. The main vegetable grown
in Utah is the potato. The effects of fishing and forestry are minimal
on the state's economy.
Mining and energy sector
The main mining products extracted in the state are copper, oil—concentrated in the east of the state—and uranium.
Approximately 95% of the electricity generated in the state is produced by coal-fired thermal power plants. The rest is produced mainly in hydroelectric plants.
The secondary sector accounts for 20% of Utah's GDP. The manufacturing industry accounts for 12% of the state's GDP and employs approximately 140,000 people. The total value of products manufactured in the state is $13 billion. The main industrialized products manufactured in the state are computers and electronic equipment, processed metals, industrially processed foods and transportation equipment. The construction industry accounts for 6% of the state's GDP, employing approximately 97,000 people. Mining accounts for 2% of GDP, employing around 9,300 people.
The service sector accounts for 79% of Utah's GDP. About 21% of the state's GDP comes from community and personal services. This sector employs more than 423,000 people. Financial and real estate services account for around 19% of GDP, employing approximately 132,000 people. Salt Lake City is the main financial center of the state, and one of the main financial centers of the American Midwest. Wholesale and retail trade accounts for 16% of the state's GDP, and employs approximately 293,000 people. Tourism contributes greatly to the state's business sector, and is Utah's main source of income. One of the main tourist attractions are the large mountain ranges suitable for skiing, a fact that generated the construction of various resorts for this sport; Another major tourist attraction is the rocks that, due to the action of erosion, were excavated to form rock "bridges", and the Great Salt Lake - the largest lake west of the Mississippi River, and which is saltier than sea water. Due to its high salt content, a person floats very easily on the beaches of this lake. Government services account for 14% of Utah's GDP, employing approximately 202,000 people. Transportation, telecommunications and utilities employ nearly 68,000 people and account for 9% of Utah's GDP.
In 1869, the opening of a railroad connecting Utah with other regions
of the country freed the region from its previous geographic isolation
and allowed Utah to prosper economically. Currently, ten railway
companies provide freight transportation services in the state. In 2002,
Utah had 2,298 km of railroad tracks, and Salt Lake City is the state's
main railroad center. A light rail system in the Salt Lake Valley, known
as TRAX, consists of two lines, both ending in downtown Salt Lake City.
In 2003, the state had 68,745 km of roads and highways, of which 1,513 km were part of the United States Interstate Highway Network. Interstate 15 (I-15) is the main highway in the state, entering from Arizona, it crosses the state from north to south, and enters Idaho near Portage. This highway serves the state's major demographic centers, linking St. George and its suburbs (commonly known as Dixie) and Cedar City, and then traverses the Wasatch Front from north to south, passing cities such as Provo, Orem, Sandy, West Jordan, Salt Lake City, Layton and Ogden.
Utah's busiest airport is Salt Lake City International Airport.
In some ways, Utah's cultural heritage and historical heritage takes
us back to the ages when dinosaurs roamed the earth; With their life and
death, they left a large number of fossils in the state, making Utah an
important paleontological center that the state tries to preserve with
places like the Dinosaur National Monument. Ancient indigenous cultures,
such as the Anasazi and Fremonte Indians, left remnants of their art,
life and beliefs scattered throughout the state in petroglyphs and ruins
of their homes and places of worship. This cultural heritage is
manifested in many festive events and cultural events with historical or
religious themes throughout the state.
The historical heritage of the Mormons is undoubted in the state. Utah is full of Mormon historical and cultural sites, bringing droves of tourists to the state. Among the countless examples of Mormon history we can highlight the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, one of the most prestigious choral institutions in the world, usually accompanied by the famous and impressive 11,623-pipe organ. Perhaps The most impressive example of Mormon heritage can be seen on Temple Square, which, with between 3 and 5 million visitors annually, makes it one of the most visited places in the state.
In the performing arts section, we can highlight the opera season of the Utah Festival Opera, which runs annually from early July to early August at the Ellen Eccles Theater in Logan. Park City, one of Utah's main tourist cities (along with Moab), hosts Artstravaganza every August with outdoor performances and symphony orchestras, the Park City International Music Festival, and the Sundance Film Festival created by Robert Redford in 1983 to give new talents an opportunity through so-called independent cinema, far from the world of Hollywood. It is the most important independent film festival in the world.
As an example of typical dishes of popular Utah cuisine, we can mention fry sauce, a condiment based on one part ketchup and two parts mayonnaise that is usually served with French fries, or the jello salad made with seasoned gelatin, fruit and sometimes grated carrots.
Throughout its history, Utah has had numerous famous residents or
natives in the field of culture, science and politics. We can mention,
John Amaechi – Utah Jazz basketball player (2001-2003), sports commentator and political activist. In February 2007, Amaechi became the first NBA player to voluntarily and publicly come out as homosexual.
Hal Ashby-film director, and winner of an Oscar for best editing for his work in In the Heat of the Night.
Ezra Taft Benson-Thirteenth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from November 1985 until his death in May 1994 and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture during both terms of President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Nolan Bushnell - Founder of Atari.
Orson Scott Card - Writer of science fiction and other literary genres. His best-known work is Ender's Game. Although he was born in Washington state, he grew up in Utah.
Neal Cassady - Icon of the Beat generation of the 1950s and the psychedelic movement of the 1960s, best known for being portrayed, under the name Dean Moriarty, in Jack Kerouac's classic novel On the Road.
Philo Farnsworth - Inventor of the first fully electronic television.
Harvey Fletcher - Physicist. Known mainly for the invention of the hearing aid and the audiometer. Also known as the "father of stereophonic sound."
Gordon B. Hinckley-Fifteenth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from March 1995 until his death in January 2008.
Tracy Hickman - Writer. Fantasy novel author, known for his work on the Dragonlance series.
John D. Lee- Prominent member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, farmer, successful businessman, bishop, colonizer and the only one tried and sentenced for the Mountain Meadows massacre.
All members of the group The Used.
Kim Peek - Famous Savant who inspired Dustin Hoffman's character in the film Rain Man.
Robert Redford - Actor and film director, winner of the Oscar and Golden Globe awards (although born in California, he resides in Utah).
Brent Scowcroft - National Security Advisor to Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush.
Wallace Stegner - Historian, novelist, short story writer, and environmentalist, often called "the dean of Western writers."
John Stockton – NBA basketball player (retired). Considered one of the greatest point guards of all time, he spent his entire professional career with the Utah Jazz.
Mack Swain - Silent film and vaudeville actor.
James Woods - Well-known Oscar-nominated actor who has received three Emmy Awards.
Loretta Young-Actress who won an Oscar for best actress in 1947 for her role in A Woman's Destiny.
Steve Young - American football player, Hall of Fame quarterback. Born in Salt Lake City, he played almost his entire career with the San Francisco 49ers. He is a direct descendant of Brigham Young.
David Zabriskie - Cyclist, was a silver medalist in the time trial at the 2006 World Road Cycling Championships.
Utah's first newspaper was the Deseret News, published in 1850, and is still in circulation. Another major newspaper is the Salt Lake Tribune. The state's first radio station was founded in 1922, and the first television station in 1948, both in Salt Lake City, and both still operating.
Animal: Canadian deer (Cervus canadensis), since 1971.
Bird: California Gull (Larus californicus), since 1955.
Fish: Cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii), since 1997.
Flower: Calochortus nuttallii, since 1911.
Fruit: Cherry (Prunus cerasus and Prunus avium), since 1997.
Gem: Topaz, since 1969.
Insect: European or honey bee (Apis mellifera), since 1983.
Vegetable: Spanish sweet onion (Allium cepa), since 2002.
Tree: Blue spruce (Picea pungens), since 1933.
The NBA basketball team, the Utah Jazz, plays on the court at the
Vivint Smart Home Arena (formerly EnergySolutions Arena) in Salt Lake
City. Utah is the American state with the smallest population that has a
franchise in one of the so-called "Major Leagues" of professional sports
in the United States, although the District of Columbia has a smaller
In terms of university sports, the BYU Cougars won the national football championship in 1984 and triumphed in the Cotton Bowl in the 1983 season. Other teams in the state are the Utah Utes, the Utah State Aggies and the Weber State Wildcats.
The Park City ski resort hosts international winter sports competitions, especially downhill skiing, and was one of the venues for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer was founded in 2005 and plays its home games at Rio Tinto Stadium (now known as America First Field in Sandy. RSL remains the only major league sports team in Utah to have won a national championship, after winning the MLS Cup in 2009. RSL currently has three adult teams, in addition to the MLS team. The Real Monarchs, which competes in the third tier of MLS Next Pro, is the official reserve team of RSL The team began playing in the 2015 season at Rio Tinto Stadium, remaining there until moving to Zions Bank Stadium, located at RSL's training center in Herriman, for the 2018 season and beyond.
Utah Royals FC, which shares ownership with RSL and also plays at América First Field, has played in the National Women's Soccer League, the top level of US women's soccer, since 2018. Prior to the creation of the Royals , RSL's main women's team had been Real Salt Lake Women, which began playing in the Women's Premier Soccer League in 2008 and moved to United Women's Soccer in 2016. RSL Women currently plays at Utah Valley University in Orem.