What makes Utah famous?
Utah is a landlocked state in the Western United States region. With its naturally beautiful landscape, this state is one of the most visited in the United States.
Utah is a state like no other. It has the world’s rarest animals, rich cultural life and so much more.
Today, we’ve put together all the interesting Utah facts you wouldn’t want to miss.
Be it the state’s history, geography, politics, wildlife, or economy, you’ll find it all here.
While at it, you’ll find answers to some of the most common misconceptions.
Here are facts about Utah you would love to know.
Utah Facts – Politics And Government
- Utah boasts six votes in the electoral college.
- Taking the recent elections (2016&2020) into consideration, Utah is a safe red state.
- The Utah state government is divided into three branches: the executive, legislature, and judiciary.
- The governor is the head of the executive thus is the topmost elected official in the state. The current governor is Spencer Cox.
- Before he was elected the governor of Utah, Spencer Cox served as the lieutenant governor.
- Every January, all members of the Utah legislature meet for a 45-day session. 
- The Utah Supreme Court is the top court in the state. The governor elects all of its five Justices. The judges are then subjected to retention elections.
- Utah is one of the easiest states for citizens to vote in, according to a 2020 study.
- Utah is divided into 29 counties.
Utah Facts – History, And Culture
- Approximately a thousand years before the European settlers, the Fremont and ancestral Puebloans inhabited present-day Utah.
- These early inhabitants spoke the Uto-Aztecan languages. 
- The Native Americans who lived in this territory in the 18th century included the Ute, Navajo, Shoshone, Paiute, and the Goshute.
- In 1540, Francisco Vasquez de Coronado led the Spanish exploration of Southern Utah in search of the mythical Cibola, Seven Cities of Gold.
- The Dominguez-Escalante expedition of 1776 explored Northern Utah up to Lake Utah.
- Known as Alta California, this region was part of the Mexican territory during Mexican independence.
- Provo, Utah, got its name from a Canadian fur trader, Etienne Provo. The city of Ogden got its name from a Canadian fur trader, too. He was known as Peter Skene Ogden.
- Jimm Bridger is the first English-speaking European to see the Great Salt Lake.
- Utah was granted statehood in 1896.
- The state derived its name from the Ute Native Americans in the territory.
- Utah is home to seven national monuments and scenic landmarks. 
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Utah Facts – Geography
- Utah neighbors Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado.
- Utah is popular as the “crossroads of the west” due to its central location in the intermountain west. 
- This state is the 13th largest state by area —219,887 km².
- Utah is divided into three geographical areas—Basin and Ridge region, Colorado Plateau, Rocky Mountains.
- Utah climate varies depending on the topography of the area.
- The Rocky Mountains region, which runs from Northeastern Utah via the state’s center, is home to Utah’s highest point, Kings Peak—13,528 feet above sea level.
- In Southern Utah, most of the region forms part of the Colorado plateau.
- Canyons, Mountains, and valleys are in the Colorado plateau.
- Monument Valley, Bryce Canyons, and Zion Canyons are known for their red rock pillars.
- The Basin and Ridge region lies in western Utah with mountains and salt flats.
- Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah meet at Four Corners. This region is the only place in the United States where four states meet.
- Utah’s Great Salt Lake is saltier than all the world’s oceans. 
- Only Nevada is drier than Utah in the entire United States.
Utah Facts – Demographics
- Utah has a population of over 3,337,975.
- This state is the 30th most populous state in the country.
- Residents of Utah are called Utahn.
- It’s the 11th least densely populated state in the United States of America.
- Over 88% of the state population are whites.
- Great Salt Lake City is the capital city of Utah, and it’s the most populous city in the state. The salt lake city population is over 201,
- Fillmore, Utah, was named after President Millard Fillmore. This city was Utah’s capital until Great Salt Lake City took over as the territorial capital.
- Mormons make up approximately 62% of the state’s population. 
- Marmon militia killed about 120 unarmed settlers in the Utah War.
- Utah gave up polygamy to achieve statehood. 
Utah Facts – Economy
- Industries key to Utah’s economy includes agriculture, mining, petroleum production, Finance, Information Technology, tourism, and manufacturing.
- Wasatch Front, Salt Lake City, is the chief contributor to the gross state product.
- Barley and Corn are produced in this state despite its dry land state.
- Livestock and livestock products form the main source of agricultural income.
- Utah is home to five national parks, including Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Zion, and Capitol Reef.
- The state is home to six national forests, two national recreation areas, several state parks, and national monuments.
- Northern Utah houses most ski resorts in this state.
- Utah’s skiing is well-known globally because of the establishment of the Alta Ski area.
- Park City houses the United States Ski Team.
- Deer Valley in Park City is one of the top resorts in North America.
- Utah Olympic Park and Utah Olympic oval still operate today.
- Bryce National has the largest concentration of hoodoos in the world. 
- Arches National Park has one of the longest arches globally, the Landscape Arch.
- Utah’s main cultural attractions include Salt Lake’s Temple Square, Shakespearean festival (in Cedar City), and Sundance film festival (Park City).
- Lake Powell, Bonneville Salt Flats, monument valley, and the Great Salt Lake make up the rest of Utah’s attraction sites.
- Bingham Canyon mine is one of the largest open-pit mines in the world.
- Utah has several historic mining towns, namely, Eureka, Mercur, Silver Reef, Spring Canyon, and Castle Gate.
- The state’s mineral resources include zinc, molybdenum, copper, gold, Beryllium, and silver.
- Fossil fuels mined in this state include natural gas, petroleum, and coal.
Utah Facts – Plants And Animals Life
- Utah is home to different habitats such as deserts, wetlands, and forests.
- The official state flower is the sego lily.
- Utah’s official state animal is the rocky mountain Elk, and the official state insect is the honeybee.
- Around 80 percent of animals in this still depend on wetlands at some point in their lives. The wetlands are a source of food, shelter, and water for most of these animals.
- Utah’s Central basin and Range ecoregion have 18 species of spring snails.
- Clams (invertebrates) are also found in this state.
- The plants in the southwestern region of Utah (Mojave Desert) include Creosote bush, rare Yucca, sage, and cacti.
- The animals in this desert area include roadrunners, Gila monsters, snakes, desert tortoises, kit foxes, kangaroo rats, bats, and scorpions.
- The Great Basin Desert is one of the largest deserts in the US. It is home to dunes, alkaline flats, salt lakes, lifeless playas, sagebrush steppes, and rare marsh areas.
- Other Utah’s animals include pronghorn antelope, mule deer, lizards, Bighorn sheep, coyotes, gray fox, hawks, eagles, burrowing owls, sage grouse, pygmy rabbits, and mountain lions.
Famous Locations in Utah
- Bryce Canyon National Park–located in southwestern Utah, is famous for the amphitheaters, canyons, and limestone rock.
- Arches National Park is known for its scenic Landscape Arch and the fiery furnace.
- Moab –located between the Canyonlands National Park and the Arches National Park, is a convenient place especially for travelers interested in visiting both places.
- Park City is popular for the yearly Sundance film festival and other outdoor activities, including skiing and snowboarding.
- Zion National Park –Utah’s first national park. It boasts scenic Canyon Overlook Trail, Watchman Trail, Observation Point Trail, and the Pa’rus Trail.
- Capitol Reef National Park has scenic views such as the water pocket fold.
- Salt Lake City is famous for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It also has museums, a live music scene, and several professional sports teams.
- Monument Valley’s red landscape is something you wouldn’t want to miss. It has Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which houses the elements of Navajo history.
- Grand Staircase-Escalante National monument is one of Utah’s best places to visit.
Famous People From Utah
- Florence Ellinwood Allen is a National Women’s Hall of Famer. She was the first woman to serve on a state Supreme Court and second woman United States’s federal judge.
- Simon Bamberger lived and died in Salt Lake City. He was the first non-Mormon, and Democratic governor of Utah and was also the first and the only jew governor to date.
- Lorraine Day (born La Raine Johnson) was an actress in well-known films such as The Correspondent.
- Bruce Wayne Bastian lived in Utah. With Alan Ashton, they founded WordPerfect Company.
- Elizabeth Ann Gilmour, born in 1987, is an American safety Activist. She was abducted when young.
- Ezra Taft Benson served as the United States Secretary of Agriculture and the 13th President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- Edwin Jack “Jake” Barn (born in Richfield, Utah) is an astronaut and the former US. Senator. He was the first member of Congress in space.
Common Misconceptions About Utah
There are numerous misconceptions about Utah and its people that require clearing up. Here are some of the most common ones.
Everyone in Utah is a Mormon
Yes, there are Mormons in Utah, and their population is large. But Mormons now constitute less than 50% of the population in Salt Lake City.
It is impossible to get a cup of coffee in Utah.
The subscribers to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don’t take coffee, but the rest of Utahns do. There are several coffee shops, too.
You can’t shop on Sunday
Yes, most Christians observe Sunday as a worship day, but business goes on. Resorts, restaurants, malls, shops, etc. open on Sunday.
There is no alcohol in Utah
The fact is you will not find any private liquor stores in Utah. But beer and spirits are very much available.
Weird Laws in Utah
Many of the laws below were passed a long time ago, but they still exist in many Utah cities, but many of them go unenforced. It is easier to pass laws than to revoke them, so some very strange laws remain on the books. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.
Here are some of our favorites.
- On all highways, birds have the right of way in Utah.
- Horseback fishing is illegal in Utah.
- The husband is responsible for every criminal act his wife commits while in his presence in Utah.
- Not drinking milk is illegal.
- Throwing snowballs in Provo will result in a $50 fine.
- It is illegal to carry a violin down the street in a paper bag in Salt Lake City.
As you can see, Utah is indeed a picturesque state. Its mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, national parks, and national monuments collectively give you an adventurous experience.
There are other fun facts about Utah and you can watch them here.
Utah Facts And Stats
|Capital||Salt Lake City|
|Governor||Spencer Cox ( Republican Party)|
|Date Of Admission||January 4, 1896|
|U.S. Senators||Mike Lee ( R-UT)|
Mitt Romney (R-UT)
|US House of Representatives||4 (of 435 Seats)|
|State Nickname||The Beehive State|
|State Song||Utah, This is the Place by Sam and Gary Francis|
|State Flower||Sego Lily|
|State Fish||Bonneville Cutthroat trout|
|State Bird||California Seagull|
|State Tree||Quaking Aspen|
|State Sport||Skiing and Snowboarding|
|Neighbor States||NevadaArizonaNew Mexico ColoradoWyomingIdaho|
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 5 interesting facts about Utah?
- The state drew its name from Ute (Native American tribe), meaning people of the mountains.
- The Great Salt Lake is the nation’s largest lake west of Mississippi.
- 2002 World Olympics was held in Utah.
- Mountains near Salt Lake City receive an annual average snowfall of 500 inches.
- Kings Peak is Utah’s highest point at 13,528 feet above sea level.
What are 3 facts about Utah?
- Utah is the driest of any state in the country except Nevada.
- There are more plastic surgeons per capita in Salt Lake City than in any city globally.
- Utah is the only state with a cooking pot among its symbols.
What is Utah famous for?
- Park City Mountain is the largest ski resort in the state.
- Utah’s five national parks, namely Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Zion, Arches, and Capitol Reef.
- Scenic drives through petrified sand dunes and forests.