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State Facts


Utah was the 45th state to enter the United States (January 4, 1896). Today with a population of approximately 2,233,169 (est. 2000), Utah ranks as the 34th most populous state in the United States. 76% percent (2000) of the population lives along the Wasatch front, where resources are most plentiful (Salt Lake, Davis, Utah and Weber Counties).

State Name
The state of Utah is named after the Utes, an American Indian tribe.

Land area---84,916 sq. mi.; 65% is owned by the federal government.

Highest and Lowest Point
Kings Peak, 13,528 ft. (Uinta Mountains, Duchesne Co. - NE part of state)
Beaver Dam Wash, 2,350 ft. (Near St. George, Washington Co. SW part of state)

Great Salt Lake
Area 1,060,000 acres
Average elevation 4,200 ft.
Highest elevation (1986) 4,211.85 ft.
Lowest elevation (1963) 4,191 ft.

The web link below allows access to information about specific cities or locations in Utah, such as elevation, longitude/latitude, roads, zip codes, phone prefixes and related historical information. Satellite images and other geographic information can also be obtained.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Alice the Elephant: Alice was supposedly the first elephant to calve in North America. She first arrived in Salt Lake City around 1918 and resided in the Liberty Park Zoo. She was later moved to Hogle Zoo when that facility opened.

American Fork:

American Fork



Physical Geography of Utah

Camp Floyd: The camp was built by troops sent to Utah by President Buchanen as a response to reports of rebellion in the territory. This event would come to be known as the "Utah War." The camp was completed on November 9, 1858 and named after the Secretary of War at that time, John B. Floyd. The camp was located in Cedar Valley near the present-day community of Fairfield. Its name was changed to Camp Crittenden in 1860, and the site was abandoned in 1861 after the start of the U. S. Civil War.

Camp Floyd

CCC in Utah: The Civilian Conservation Corps was created in 1933 by President Roosevelt as one of his New Deal programs that would help lift the country out of its economic depression. The program ran from 1933 to 1942 and employed more than 22,000 Utah citizens that would have otherwise been out of work. The program also pumped over $52,000,000.00 into the Utah economy. In its nine year run the CCC had 116 camps in the state and these camps performed a variety of tasks. They built roads, bridges, canals and reservoirs. They also worked on soil erosion and fire suppression. For more information

Civilian Conservation Corps

The Civilian Conservation Corps Was A Boon To Utah

Coon Chicken Inn: The Coon Chicken Inn was a national restaurant chain. The Salt Lake City restaurant was located on Highland Drive and 2900 South. It was opened in 1924 by M. L. Graham and his wife, Adelaide. The restaurant closed in the 1950s. Today, the physical decor of the restaurant would be considered highly offensive.

Donner Party: The Donner Party was originally part of a larger wagon train that crossed the plains in 1846. The wagon train broke into two groups near Fort Bridger and the group led by Jacob Donner and James Reed took the southern route that had been promoted by Lansford Hastings but had never actually been used by wagons. The Hastings route went across the Wasatch Mountains and south of the Great Salt Lake. It proved to be extremely difficult and a number of animals and wagons were lost. By the time the Donner Party reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains they were too exhausted to make the crossing and were caught by early winter snowstorms. Thirty-five people died before rescue parties could arrive in the early months of 1847.

The Donner Party

Emigration Canyon:

Pinecrest Inn: The Pinecrest Inn was built around 1914--1915 in response to people's demands for comfortable accommodations when visiting the canyon and deciding to stay over night. The area was a popular weekend and holiday retreat for the people of Salt Lake during the early 1900s. The inn was described as having all the modern conveniences of the day. It had about 75 rooms, steam heat, and electric lighting. It also had a large ballroom that was very popular with the inn's guests. The inn was declared a fire hazard in 1949 and sold for salvage according to a Salt Lake Tribune article, dated Feb. 27, 1949. Today, a new Pinecrest Inn sits in the canyon. It was built in 1914 by Wilbur S. Henderson as a private residence and was later converted to a bed and breakfast inn.

Emigration Canyon Railroad Served SLC Builders' Needs

John D. Fitzgerald: Mr. Fitzgerald was born in Price, Utah in 1906 and died in Florida at the age of 82. His first published work was titled Papa Married a Marmon. However, he is best known for his series of children's books titled The Great Brain.

Five Largest Cities in Utah: Current Population of Five Largest Cities: The five largest Utah cities and their populations are as follows: Salt Lake City---181,743, West Valley City---108,896, Provo---105,166, Sandy---88,418, Orem---84,324.

Ghost Towns: We normally think of ghost towns as communities that sprang up overnight when lucky prospectors discovered rich ore deposits and then faded away when the market prices fell or the mineral deposits played out. However, this isn't the case for all Utah ghost towns. The town of Iosepa in Tooele County is an interesting example. It was established in 1889 by Mormon converts from the Hawaiian Islands. 1200 acres were purchased in Skull Valley and the Church built homes, a school, and a chapel. The citizens did their best to make Iosepa a success but they had difficulty adapting to the harsh conditions. Water was scarce and farm production was inconsistent at best. Iosepa was also hit by cases of leprosy, which took a number of its residents. The town held few opportunities for young people and many left looking for work in larger cities and towns. Unable to hold onto its residents the town finally collapsed in 1917.


The Virgin River Doused Cotton Mission Settlers' Hopes

When the Fabulous Horn Silver Mine Caved In

Gilgal Gardens: Gilgal Gardens is located at 452 South 800 East in Salt Lake City. The garden was the creation of Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. and expresses his religious and philosophical beliefs. Mr. Child began the garden in 1945 and continued working on and creating new sculptures for it until 1963. Recently, Salt Lake purchased the garden and made it a city park.

Governors of Utah:

Utah's State Governors

The Territorial Governors of Utah

Granite Paper Mill: The mill is located at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon and was built between 1880--1882 by the Mormon church. It was an attempt by the church to end dependence on outside sources for paper. The mill began producing paper in 1883 and could produce up to five tons in a single day. In 1892 the mill was leased to the Granite Paper Mills Company but burned down a year later without ever having reached its full potential. The building never operated as paper mill again, but in 1927 it was partially rebuilt and used for dances up into the 1940s.

Joe Hill: Joe Hill was a Swedish immigrant who came to the United States in 1902. He worked various jobs upon his arrival and became an active member in the labor movement of the early 20th century. He joined the IWW and wrote a number of songs that described the harsh reality of the American laborer. In 1913 he arrived in Utah and began working in the mines of Park City. In 1914 he was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to death for the murder of John A. Morrison. His case stirred emotions and caused heated debates but all efforts to save his life were unsuccessful. He died on November 19, 1915.

Socialist Women and Joe Hill

Joe Hill

A Page from Police History

Johnston's Army: Albert Sydney Johnston commanded the forces that made up the Utah Expedition. In 1857 President Buchanen sent 2,500 troops to the Utah Territory after receiving reports from territorial officials that a rebellion had broken out. The army spent the winter near Fort Bridger and was reinforced by another 3,000 men. The troops entered Salt Lake City on June 26, 1858 and traveled on to a site in Cedar Valley where they established Camp Floyd. Earlier, an agreement had been reached between Mormon leaders and federal officials, which allowed for the creation of this camp and accepted the presence of federal troops in the territory. The outbreak of the Civil War forced the reassignment of the troops and the abandonment of the camp.

Albert Sydney Johnston

Kearns/St. Anne's Orphanage:The Building was constructed through a $50,000 donation made by Mrs. Jennie Kearns in 1899. The building was designed by Carl M. Neuhausen and completed in 1900. It replaced an earlier building that had opened in 1891. The building served as an orphanage until 1953 and then reopened as St. Ann's school in 1955.

Thomas Kearns


Hospitals and Health Crazes Engrossed Utahns in the late 1800s

Jobs in 1900

Mines: American Fork: American Fork is located in Utah County. Mining began in this area in 1868. The American Fork Mining District was established in 1870 and between the years 1870 and 1876 mining operations in the district produced four million dollars worth of minerals. Silver, lead, and gold deposits were all mined in the district.

Park City: Park City is located in Summit County. The first mining claim recorded in the Park City mining district was the Young American lode in 1869. Park City was incorporated in 1884 after its growth was given a significant push by the development of the Ontario mine. Other mines in the area were the Pinon, the Walker, and the Buckeye. Hard times in the mining industry had reduced economic activity in Park City to a trickle by the 1950s but by the 1960s Park City began to thrive again as it developed into a resort community.

Ophir: Soldiers from Colonel Patrick Connor's command were the first to see the potential mining wealth in this Tooele County location in the late 1860's. After the first mineral deposits were discovered numerous mining claims were established, such as the Silveropolis, Chloride Point, the Antelope, and the Shamrock. Mining wealth brought rapid growth in the 1870s and 80s but as the mining business slowed the town's promising future faded.


Mining and Railroads

Mining Districts:

Geology of Utah

Silver in the Beehive State

Mine Disasters:

Scofield: The Scofield Mine disaster occurred on May 1, 1900. The official death toll was listed at 200 but it was believed to be higher. The explosion in Winter Quarters Number 4 mine was the result of igniting coal dust. The Pleasant Valley Coal Company provided financial assistance to victim's families.

The Scofield Mine Disaster In 1900 Was Utah's Worst

Castle Gate: The Castle Gate Mine disaster occurred on March 8, 1924. 172 people were killed in the Utah Fuel Company's Number 2 mine. Two explosions were caused by open flames in worker headlamps and coal dust, which had not been adequately watered down.

Castle Gate Mine Disaster

Dream Mine: The Dream Mine was founded by John H. Koyle and is located in Utah County. As a young man, Mr. Koyle became known as someone who could see into the future. In 1894 he had the vision that would lead him to develop the Dream Mine. He believed that a life form not of this earth had come to him and instructed him to open a mine in a mountain to the east of his home. The financial success of the mine was to be spread to others and not used for his own benefit. In his vision he also received all the information necessary to operate the mine. Over time, Mr. Koyle was able to gather enough people who believed in his vision that in 1909 he formed the Koyle Mining Company. His work with the mine caused a conflict with the LDS Church, of which he was a member. He was removed from positions of authority and eventually excommunicated. He died in 1949 without experiencing any success with his work in the mine.

Dream Mine

Mormon Mint/Coins: The mint was located in Salt Lake City on the northeast corner of South Temple and Main. It first started producing coins in November 1848. The coins were made from gold that had been brought to Utah from California by members of the Mormon Battalion and other members of the church. The dies were made by John Kay and the stamps were engraved by Robert Campbell. Production stopped in December of 1848 because of equipment problems. Replacement parts arrived and production began again in September 1849 and ran through 1851. The coins were made into $2.50, 5.00, 10.00, and 20.00 denominations. Coins were also produced in 1860. They were made of gold and worth $5.00 a piece. In 1861 Governor Cummings issued an order stopping all future production of coins in the territory.

Coins and Currency

Spanish Doubloons & Mormon Gold Mormon Coins Supplant The Bartering System

Ophir: Soldiers from Colonel Patrick Connor's command were the first to see the potential mining wealth in this Tooele County location in the late 1860s. After the first mineral deposits were discovered numerous mining claims were established, such as the Silveropolis, Chloride Point, the Antelope, and the Shamrock. Mining wealth brought rapid growth in the 1870s and 80s but as the mining business slowed the town's promising future faded.

Orchards: The planting of fruit trees and the creation of orchards first began with the arrival of the Mormon pioneers. These men and women planted a variety of fruit trees in order to determine what would grow best for their location. Initially, fruit production was for home consumption only and very little ever made its way into the settlements for sale. It wasn't until the late 1800s and early 1900s that efforts were made to create a system that would turn the growing of fruit into a commercially successful industry. The creation of the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station at Utah State University and the State Board of Horticulture are two examples of these efforts. They worked with farmers to improve production technology and set quality standards for fruit sent to market. Due to these efforts Utah saw a dramatic increase in fruit production in the years prior to World War I. The success farmers experienced created problems, however. Overproduction caused a decrease in demand and the industry went into a decline. Orchards disappeared from the Utah landscape and it would take years for the industry to rebound. Counties along the Wasatch Front are the leading fruit producers in the state and cherries, apples, and peaches are the most popular crops harvested.

Park City: Park City is located in Summit County. The first mining claim recorded in the Park City mining district was the Young American lode in 1869. Park City was incorporated in 1884 after its growth was given a significant push by the development of the Ontario mine. Other mines in the area were the Pinon, the Walker, and the Buckeye. Hard times in the mining industry had reduced economic activity in Park City to a trickle by the 1950s but by the 1960s Park City began to thrive again as it developed into a resort community.

Park City

History of Park City

Pioneer Trails:

Trails, Utah Historic

Mormon Trail Series

Mormon Trail Exhibit

Pony Express Riders: The Pony Express began in April 1860 with the intention of carrying mail from Missouri to California in ten days. There were 190 stations along the route and riders rode between 75 and 125 miles. It ended in October 1861 because of heavy financial losses and the completion of a telegraph line to California. A list of riders can be found in the Pony Express Riders Subject File at Utah State Historical Society.

The Pony Express Added A Colorful Chapter In Utah History

Pony Express in Utah

Road Names:
Redwood Road: There are a number of stories surrounding Redwood Road and how it received its name. The most credible appears to be that Redwood road was at first used as a surveying line to lay out plots for the west side of the valley. Redwood stakes were used by the Territorial Surveyor to mark the line.

Everett Ruess: Everett Ruess was a young artist that disappeared in Southern Utah in 1934. He had made a number of trips alone through the area using the surrounding environment as inspiration for his art. However, something happened on his last trip and a mystery was born. His burro was discovered in early 1935 and a possible campsite has also been uncovered.

Everett Ruess

Salt Content and Water Level of the Great Salt Lake: The salt content of the lake varies according to how much water there is. The average elevation of the lake is 4,200 feet. It reached it highest recorded elevation in 1986 at 4,211.85 feet and its lowest in 1963 at 4,191 feet.

Great Salt Lake

State Symbols:

State Symbols

Snow Levels: Snow totals will vary according to the location but in some areas of the Wasatch Mountains the total can reach 40 to 50 feet.

Tallest Building in Salt Lake City: The tallest building in Salt Lake City is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church Office Building.

Tallest Peak: The tallest peak in Utah is Kings Peak, 13,528 feet. It is located in Duchesne County and is part of the Uinta Mountains.


Theater in Utah

Salt Lake Theatre: The theater was built in 1861 on the northeast corner of
State Street and First South. The main architect was William H. Folsom. The
theater served a number of different functions in the community. Stage
productions, political conventions, and formal dances were all held inside its
walls. The building was demolished in 1928.

Grand Theater: The theater was located at 121 East 2nd South. The name was
later changed to the Hippodrome. Fire destroyed the building in the 1920s.

Women's Suffrage: The Utah Territorial Legislature granted women the right to vote in 1870. However, in 1887 that right was taken away with the passage of the Edmunds-Tucker act by the U.S. Congress. Utah women were very active in the suffrage movement and in 1889 they formed their own organization which had ties to the National Woman Suffrage Association. In the mid 1890's with statehood on the horizon Utah women began to see positive results from their efforts. In 1894 they were able to pressure both the Democratic and Republican parties into taking favorable positions in their party platforms concerning suffrage. In 1895 they set their sights on the Constitutional Convention. Many of the leading women in the movement had connections to important religious and community leaders and with their support they were able to convince enough of the convention delegates to include a section in the Utah Constitution returning the right to vote to the women of Utah.

Martha Hughes Cannon, America's First Woman State Senator

Women's Suffrage in Utah

Woman Suffrage Dominated Politics in Utah

Ruth May Fox, Forgotten Suffragist


Glossary of Utah Terms


| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

Compiled from Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, Utah Place Names by John VanCott, and A History of Utah's American Indians, edited by Forrest Cuch.

Bryce Canyon National Park Bryce  Park was established in 1928 by President Hoover and is named for Ebenezer Bryce, a pioneer cattleman who homesteaded in the area.

Deseret deseret The provisional state created in 1849 by Brigham Young. The U. S. Congress eliminated it by creating the Territory of Utah in September 1850. The term comes from The Book of Mormon, an LDS religious text, and means honeybee.

DuchesneDuchesneA town near the junction of the Strawberry and Duchesne rivers that was settled in 1904. There are several ideas on where the name originated. Some people believe the name came from the French trapper Du Chasne, while others think it is for the French nun, Rose Du Chesne. Others believe it came from the name of an early Indian chief.

GoshuteGoshuteAmerican Indian tribe that lives in western Utah and is part of the larger Shoshonean-speaking groups. Variant spelling: Gosiute.

HeberHeberA town in Wasatch county that was initially settled in 1858. Most of the settlers were converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from England, where Heber C. Kimball was a missionary for the LDS church. The town was named in honor of him.

Hurricane Hurricane  A town in southern Utah located at the junction of U-59, U-9, and the Virgin River that was settled in 1906.

Kanab Kanab  A town in southern Utah that was settled in 1864, then evacuated in 1866 due to troubles with the American Indians, and resettled in 1871. The name comes from a Paiute word meaning willow.

Lehi Lehi A city in Utah County just off of I-15. It is home to the Lehi Roller Mills where scenes from the movie Footloose (1984) were filmed. The town is named after a prophet in The Book of Mormon, a book of scripture used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lucin Lucin  A small railroad community that was located on the west side of the Great Salt Lake. The name comes from a local fossil bivalve, lucina subanta.

Moab Moab  A town in Grand County near Arches National Park. It was settled in 1855 by Mormon colonists, vacated due to troubles with the American Indians, and resettled in 1876.

Mormon Mormon  Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are often referred to as Mormons, due to their belief in The Book of Mormon. Accordingly, Mormon was a prophet who compiled The Book of Mormon, a book of scripture used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Navajo Navajo  American Indian tribe living primarily in the Four Corners Region. They traditionally refer to themselves as the Dine, which means the People.

Nephi Nephi A city 38 miles (61 kilometers) south of Provo named after a prophet from The Book of Mormon, a book of scripture used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The area was settled in 1851 and had earlier names of Salt Creek and Little Chicago.

Northwestern Shoshone Shoshone American Indian tribe who live in northern Utah and southern Idaho. Variant spelling: Shoshoni.

Ogden Ogden  An industrial city 35 miles (56 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City near the confluence of the Weber and Ogden Rivers. Miles Goodyear, a mountain man and trapper, built a trading post and small fort there in 1844 called Fort Buenaventura. The city is also known as Junction City, due to the fact that it was the junction for the transfer of freight and passengers between the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroads after the completion of the transcontinental line.

Oquirrh Mountains Oquirrh Mountain Range in Utah with a north-south orientation at the south end of the Great Salt Lake. The name comes from the Goshute Indians and has many meanings including Wooded Mountain, Cave Mountain, West Mountain, and Shining Mountain.

Orem OremCity in Utah County named for Walter C. Orem, president of the Salt Lake and Utah Electric Interurban Railroad.

Paiute Paiute American Indian tribe who live in southern Utah, southeastern California, northern Arizona, and southern Nevada

Panguitch Panguitch City near the Sevier River that was settled in 1866, vacated due to problems with the American Indians, and resettled in 1871. The name comes from the Paiute Indian word meaning water and fish.

Parleys CanyonParleys  A canyon that extends from southeast Salt Lake City to Parleys Park at the summit. It was initially named Big Canyon in 1847. In 1849 Parley P. Pratt, an early pioneer, built a toll road up the canyon that was called The Golden Pass. The name was eventually changed to Parleys Canyon. Interstate 80 passes through this canyon.

Promontory Summit Promontory The location of an early railroad construction camp where the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroads joined in 1869. The name is from the promontory that projects into the Great Salt Lake. Today the Golden Spike National Historic Monument at the site commemorates the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

Provo ProvoA city in Utah County founded in 1850. The area was first known as Fort Utah and then the name was changed to Fort Provo, being named after the French-Canadian trapper, Etienne Provost.

Soldier Hollow Soldier  A recreational area in the Heber Valley. The name probably comes from Captain James H. Simpson and his company of road surveyors and other soldiers who camped in the area in 1849.

Stake stakeA group of congregations in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, similar to a diocese.

Timpanogos, Mount Timpanogos A high mountain peak in the Wasatch Mountain Range, standing at 11,750 feet (3,581 meters).

Tooele Tooele A city in Tooele County that was settled in 1851 and is located approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) south west of Salt Lake City.

Trappers Loop  trappers  A highway that connects the Ogden Valley and Mt. Green in northern Utah. The road follows the trail the trappers used and is named for the many fur trappers that spent time in the area in the early 1800s.

Uinta Mountains UintaA mountain range in Utah that is unusual due to its east-west orientation. It also is home to Utah's highest mountain peak, Kings Peak, at 13,528 feet (4,123 meters). The name comes from the Ute Indians who live in the area.

Uintah UintahA town and a county in northeastern Utah. The county was one of the original eight counties organized in 1850 and the town was settled in 1850 at the mouth of Weber Canyon. Early maps usually attached an "H" to the end of the word, however, it was left off of Major Powell's publication as being unnecessary for the pronunciation.

Utah Utah Western State settled by Mormon pioneers in July 1847. The word Utah was taken from the native Ute Indians. The state of Utah was admitted as part of the United States on January 4, 1896.

Ute Ute  American Indian tribe the state of Utah takes its name from. The Northern Utes were mainly hunters and gatherers and lived in the eastern Great Basin and the western Rocky Mountains. The Southern Utes settled in the Four Corners region.

Vernal Vernal  Town in Uintah County that was settled in 1876. Trappers and mountain men had previously explored the area. The name refers to a beautiful spring or pertaining to youth.

Ward ward  A geographical division of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, like a congregation.

Wasatch Wasatch County in Utah that was established in 1862 and mountain Range extending from Idaho to central Utah.  The word Wasatch comes from an Ute Indian word meaning "mountain pass" or "low place in a high mountain."

Weber Weber A canyon, county, and river share this name.  Some people claim the name comes from a Dutch sea captain, John H. Weber, a trapper with General Ashley who was killed near the river shortly after his arrival to the area in 1823.  Others believe the area was named for Pauline Weaver, an Arizona frontiersman, who was in the area.

Zion National Park Zion  President Taft set part of Zion Canyon aside and named it the Mukuntuweap National Monument in 1909.  President Wilson later enlarged the area and changed the name to Zion.  It was established as a national park in 1919.


Utah State Symbols and Motto


Animal - Rocky Mountain Elk
Bird - California Seagull
Cooking Pot - Dutch Oven
Emblem - Beehive
Fish - Bonneville Cutthroat Trout
Flag and Seal
Flower - Sego Lily
Folk Dance - Square Dance
Fossil - Allosaurus
Fruit - Cherry
Gem - Topaz
Grass - Indian Ricegrass
Hymn - "Utah, We Love Thee " by Evan Stephen
Insect - Honey Bee
Mineral - Copper
Motto - "Industry"
Rock - Coal
Song - "Utah, This is the Place" by Sam and Gary Francis
Star and Astronomical symbol - Dubhe and Beehive Cluster
Tartan - Utah centennial tartan
Tree - Quaking aspen
Vegetable - Spanish Sweet Onion
Historic Vegetable - Sugar Beet


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