State of Utah: attractions, history, interesting facts, cities

State of Utah – the promised land for American Mormons, located in the western United States. Mormons are prohibited from consuming alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and their consumption of coffee and tea is also restricted. Utah is characterized by vast deserts and mountains. Demographic indicators here are like two opposite sides: the highest birth rate in America and the lowest mortality rate.

Brief information about the state:

  • Abbreviation: UT
  • Capital: Salt Lake City
  • State area: 219,887 sq km (13th place in the USA)
  • State population: about 3,340,000 people (data for 2021)
  • Religion: Mormons predominate in Utah – about 60% of the population adheres to the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The main building of this organization is located in the capital, where about 80% of the state’s population resides.
  • The minimum wage in Utah is $7.25 per hour, federal authorities plan to gradually increase it to $15 per hour by 2026.
  • Official website of the state Utah.gov

Utah Attractions

The state’s hallmark is Monument Valley. This unique natural formation is located on Navajo Indian land and stretches between two states: on the southeast border of Utah and the northeast border of Arizona.

This is one of the most recognizable landscapes in the United States, with countless movies, music videos, and even several computer games shot against its backdrop.

Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon

Utah also boasts the second-largest lake in the country, the Great Salt Lake, and the Wasatch Mountain Range (elevation 3700 meters above sea level). There are also other picturesque places in the state where you can take impressive photographs: Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Zion National Park.

A special place among the attractions of the state is occupied by museums and memorial complexes. There are so many of them that counting the exact number is not possible.

History of the State

Utah is the ancestral land of Native Americans. Ancient Pueblo and Anasazi have long lived here. They engaged in simple crafts, hunting, and gathering. And in the 18th century, other small ethnic groups began to call this land their home: Navajo, Shoshone, Goshute, and Paiute. And, of course, Utah – the “people of the mountains,” from which the name of the region originated.american indian woman on horse

When Europeans first appeared in the mountain ranges of Utah is still unclear. Some sources mention the expedition of de Coronado, who was searching for gold deposits. However, there is no documentary evidence of his presence in the region. According to another version, the first visitors to the tribes were Spanish priests Dominguez and Escalante in 1776 when they explored the route from New Mexico to California.

Utah lands were also explored at different times by E. Provo, J. Smith, and others. But they did not arouse much interest for colonizers until the fur trade gained momentum. However, the fur trade in Utah ended quite quickly, even before it could properly begin, as the suppliers of soft fur suddenly disappeared.

On July 24, 1847, after a year and a half of traveling, a Mormon settlement was founded near Great Salt Lake led by Brigham Young. At that time, these lands belonged to Mexico. But in 1848, the territory became American, and the leader of the “Latter-day Saints” was elected governor.

From obtaining statehood, Utah was separated by a protracted conflict between the US government and Mormons due to diametrically opposed views on the institution of the family. The thing is that people who came with Young practiced polygamy, while monogamy was legalized in America. There was no full-scale war then, but there were casualties on both sides.

During the Civil War, the Mormon Salt Lake City was the base for Patrick Connor’s regiment. With the appearance of the military, life in the region changed dramatically – active development of mineral deposits began. Miners flocked to Utah, and as a result, settlers with different religious views appeared.

Thanks to such a peculiar cultural assimilation, on January 4, 1896, Utah finally became part of the United States and was declared a state. But not before the new Mormon leader issued a manifesto prohibiting harems.

Interesting Facts about Utah

fossilized dinosaur remains1. Utah and Colorado are where archaeologists find the largest number of fossilized dinosaur remains.

2. It is said that it’s impossible to drown in the Great Salt Lake. The brine (saltwater) in the lake pushes everything to the surface. This salt flat is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

3. One of Utah’s military bases was where the crew of a military aircraft that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima underwent training.

4. The first American shopping center opened in this state. It was called “Zion” and belonged to the Mormon Church for a long time.

5. In one of Utah’s parks, there is an interesting natural formation called Rainbow Bridge. It is an arch formed from sandstone, measuring 85 meters in width and 95 meters in height.

6. The largest Holi festival, known as the “Festival of Colors,” is held annually in the state.

7. Statistical data suggests that people in Utah are more literate and compassionate than other Americans.

8. According to legend, somewhere in this region, there are the Seven Lost Cities of Cibola, which hide immense treasures in their ruins.

9. Utah has a federal law that gives birds the right to fly over all highways. However, it is strictly prohibited for people to walk around the city with a violin in a paper bag and throw snowballs at targets.

Some celebrities born in Utah:

  1. James Woods, a brilliant actor born in Utah, is one Oscar short of an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). He has won three Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe. He is best known for his roles in “Once Upon a Time in America,” “The Specialist,” and “Salvador.” His nomination for an Oscar as Best Actor for “Salvador” in 1987 lost to Paul Newman for “The Color of Money.”
  2. Jewel – Singer-songwriter known for her folk and pop music, with hits like “You Were Meant for Me” and “Foolish Games.”Ryan Gosling
  3. Ryan Gosling – Actor and musician known for his roles in films like “La La Land,” “The Notebook,” and “Blade Runner 2049.”
  4. Amy Adams – Oscar-nominated actress known for her roles in films such as “Arrival,” “American Hustle,” and “Enchanted.”
  5. Katherine Heigl – Actress and producer known for her roles in “Grey’s Anatomy,” “27 Dresses,” and “Knocked Up.”
  6. Taryn Manning – Actress and singer known for her roles in “Orange Is the New Black” and “Hustle & Flow.”
  7. Wilford Brimley – Actor known for his roles in films like “Cocoon,” “The Natural,” and “The Firm.”

Major Cities in Utah

The capital of the state, Salt Lake City, is unique as it consists of three words, each of which contains four letters. This city, often referred to as SLC by Americans, holds records in Utah for both area and population. Altogether, it is home to 1.3 million people, including suburbs.

Other major cities in the state include:

  • West Valley City: 186.4 thousand people
  • Provo: 112.5 thousand people
  • West Jordan: 103.7 thousand people
  • Orem: 88.3 thousand people

On the map of Utah, there is also the tiny town of Scofield Town, where only 23 people live.

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