Background: View from Treehouse children's museum, Ogden Utah.
Photo by Zau

Living in Utah

Utah - Life Elevated

History, Geography, Homes, and State Resources of Utah

Utah USA Map
Utah USA Map

Depending on the place you are coming from and the region you plan on settling down in, relocating to Utah can be a simple sidestep in changing your residency or it can be the medium for culture shock. In any case, you’ll be locating in one of the more picturesque states in the nation and there's lots of opportunity to participate in outdoor activities. To the north, there’s plenty of skiing. South in the Canyon Country, there's opportunity for breathtaking climbing and hiking. However if native beauty isn’t your thing, there are lots of other reasons for living in Utah.

Although it’s correct that the state of Utah has the largest Morman or Latter-day Saint (LDS) population, moving here does not require you to conform or convert your life style. The LDS member percentage in Utah is around 60 percent, while just 41 percent actually claim to be active in going to church. Salt Lake City, the state capital, has a thriving LGBT membership with many LGBT-friendly establishments, giving the city a cultural oasis status which many transferees to the state are often pleasantly surprised to learn.

Climate

Utah has a dry, continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The average temperature in July is in the low 70s F. In winter the average temperature is slightly below freezing except in the southwest. Daily temperatures vary widely: when Salt Lake City has July highs of 90 °F or above, nighttime temperatures range from the mid-50s to the mid-60s F.

Demography

  • Utah Geography, Facts and History
  • Utah Facts & Trivia
  • Utah Flags
  • Famous People from Utah
  • Utah Timeline
  • utah Official Song
  • Education

    Utah Colleges. Utah's 31 colleges and universities give 139,681 full-time students a choice for all types of students. Explore them below to begin your college search. These college lists and rankings are objective and data-driven. Whether you are looking for a public or private school, a traditional campus, or an online campus,  This University list offers a comprehensive guide to higher education in the state.

    Economy

    Utah has a largely mixed economy including industries like agriculture, finance, tourism, mining, manufacturing, information technology, and petroleum production. Most of Utah's gross state product is produced along the Wasatch Front, containing the state capital Salt Lake City.

    Flora and Fauna

    Botanists have recognized more than 4,000 floral species in Utah's six major life zones. Common trees and shrubs include four species of pine and three of juniper; aspen, cottonwood, maple, hawthorn, and chokecherry also flourish, along with the Utah oak, Joshua tree, and blue spruce (the state tree). Among Utah's wildflowers are sweet William and Indian paintbrush; the sego lily is the state flower. In 2003, 24 plant species were classified as threatened or endangered in Utah, including five species (San Rafael, Siler pincushion, Wright fishhook, Uinta Basin hookless, and Winkler) of cactus, dwarf bear-poppy, five species (Shivwitz, Deseret, Holmgren, heliotrope, and Welsh's) of milk-vetch, and autumn buttercup.

    Mule deer are the most common of Utah's large mammals; other mammals include pronghorn antelope, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, lynx, grizzly and black bears, and white- and black-tailed jackrabbits. Among native bird species are the great horned owl, plain titmouse, and water ouzel; the golden eagle and great white pelican are rare species; and the sea gull (the state bird) is a spring and summer visitor from the California coast. The pygmy rattler is found in southwest Utah, and the Mormon cricket is unique to the state.

    In 2003, 23 animal species were listed as threatened or endangered in Utah. Among them were the bald eagle, Utah prairie dog, three species (bonytail, humpback, and Virgin River) chub, whooping crane, two species of sucker, southwestern willow flycatcher, and woundfin. Many birds and fish have been killed or imperiled by the inundation of freshwater marshes with salt water from the flooding Great Salt Lake.

  • Utah Birds (California Gull)
  • Utah Official State Flower (Sego lily)
  • Utah Official State Tree (Quaking Aspen)
  • Government

    Utah State Capitol
    Utah State Capitol
    The Utah State Capitol is the house of government for the state of Utah. The building houses the chambers and offices of the Utah State Legislature, the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, the State Auditor and their staffs. The capitol is the main building of the Utah State Capitol Complex, which is located on Capitol Hill, overlooking downtown Salt Lake City. The Neoclassical revival, Corinthian style building was designed by architect Richard K.A. Kletting, and built between 1912 and 1916. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

    The chief executive officers, all elected for four-year terms, include the governor, lieutenant governor (who also serves as secretary of state), attorney general, treasurer, and auditor. The governor must be at least 30 years old, a qualified voter, and must have been a state resident and citizen for at least five years. The governor and lieutenant governor are jointly elected and limited to serving three consecutive terms.

    Voters must be US citizens, at least 18 years old, and have been residents of the state 30 days prior to election day. Restrictions apply to those convicted of certain crimes and to those judged by the court as mentally incompetent to vote.

  • State of Utah Official Website
  • Attractions

    Utah is one of the nation's great outdoor states, with incredible national and state parks, top-rated ski resorts, and natural wonders like you won't find anywhere else in the world. A road trip through Utah is one the best ways to see the sites, and scenic drives are everywhere throughout the state. For cultural highlights or nearby skiing, Salt Lake City is the place to go. If you're looking for outdoor adventures, from hiking, mountain biking, and camping to ATV motorcycle riding and off-road pursuits, be sure to check out Moab and St. George. Keep in mind, Utah's elevation varies considerably, and while it's hot and sunny in some areas, it may be snowing in others. Some parks have only limited accessibility in winter, and some towns almost shut down during this season. But most of the best places to visit are open year-round.
  • Utah office of Tourism
  • Amusement Parks

    Boondocks Fun Center, Kaysville-Draper
    Cherry Hill Resort, Kaysville
    Lagoon Amusement Park, Farmington

    National Parks

    Arches National Park, Moab, UT
    Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon, UT
    California National Historic Trail, Various States CA,CO,ID,KS,MO,NE,NV,OR,UT,WY
    Canyonlands National Park, Moab, UT
    Capitol Reef National Park, Torrey, UT
    Cedar Breaks National Monument, Cedar City, UT
    Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, AZ,UT
    Golden Spike National Historic Site, Brigham City, UT
    Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, Various States IL,IA,NE,UT,WY
    Natural Bridges National Monument, Blanding, UT
    Old Spanish National Historic Trail, AZ,CA,CO,NV,NM,UT
    Pony Express National Historic Trail, Various States CA,CO,KS,MO,NE,NV,UT,WY
    Rainbow Bridge National Monument, Rainbow Bridge National Monument, UT
    Timpanogos Cave National Monument, American Fork, UT
    Zion National Park, Springdale, UT

    National Forests

    Manti-La Sal National Forest - 1,269,984 acres
      Including the La Sal and Abajo mountains of eastern Utah, elevations in this forest reach 12,721 feet on Mount Peale. The Dark Canyon Wilderness is the only wilderness area in the forest.
    Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest - 2,492,404 acres
      There are nine wilderness areas in the forest, which occupies part of the Wasatch and Uinta mountains. Mount Nebo and Mount Timpanogos are located in wilderness areas at the edge of the Wasatch Front
    Ashley National Forest - 1,378,424 acres
      Ashley National Forest manages the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and the High Uintas Wilderness. Kings Peak at 13,528 feet is the highest point in Utah and is located in the Uinta Mountains
    Dixie National Forest - 1,885,655 acres
      Straddling the divide between the Great Basin and Colorado River, Dixie National Forest has elevations ranging from 2,800 feet near St. George to 11,322 feet on Boulder Mountain. Ashdown Gorge, Box-Death Hollow, Cottonwood Forest, and Pine Valley Mountain wilderness areas are in the forest
    Fishlake National Forest - 1,452,969 acres
      Located in south central Utah, Fishlake National Forest is named for Fish Lake, the state's largest natural mountain lake. The forest's Tushar Mountains reach their highest point at 12,174 feet on Delano Peak.

    Sports

    Utah is the second-least populous U.S. state to have a major professional sports league franchise, after the Las Vegas Golden Knights joined the National Hockey League in 2017. The Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association play at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. The team moved to the city from New Orleans in 1979 and has been one of the most consistently successful teams in the league (although they have yet to win a championship). Salt Lake City was previously host to the Utah Stars, who competed in the ABA from 1970–76 and won 1 championship, and to the Utah Starzz of the WNBA from 1997 to 2003.

    Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer was founded in 2005 and play their home matches at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy. RSL remains the only Utah major league sports team to have won a national championship

  • Utah Sports
  • Taxes

    Utah Tax Facts
    • State income tax: 5% flat rate
    • Sales tax: 5.95% - 8.60%
    • Property tax: 0.67% average effective rate
    • Gas tax: 29.41 cents per gallon of regular gasoline and diesel

    Transportation

    Aviation

    Salt Lake City International Airport
    Salt Lake City International Airport Photo by Mark Stevens
    Utah Airports. Salt Lake City International Airport is the only international airport in the state and serves as one of the hubs for Delta Air Lines. The airport has consistently ranked first in on-time departures and had the fewest cancellations among U.S. airports. The airport has non-stop service to over 100 destinations throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as well as to Amsterdam, London and Paris. Canyonlands Field (near Moab), Cedar City Regional Airport, Ogden-Hinckley Airport, Provo Municipal Airport, St. George Regional Airport, and Vernal Regional Airport all provide limited commercial air service. A new regional airport at St. George opened on January 12, 2011. SkyWest Airlines is also headquartered in St. George and maintains a hub at Salt Lake City.

    Rail

    TRAX, a light rail system in the Salt Lake Valley, consists of three lines. The Blue Line (formerly Salt Lake/Sandy Line) begins in the suburb of Draper and ends in Downtown Salt Lake City. The Red Line (Mid-Jordan/University Line) begins in the Daybreak Community of South Jordan, a southwestern valley suburb, and ends at the University of Utah. The Green Line begins in West Valley City, passes through downtown Salt Lake City, and ends at Salt Lake City International Airport.

    The Utah Transit Authority (UTA), which operates TRAX, also operates a bus system that stretches across the Wasatch Front, west into Grantsville, and east into Park City. In addition, UTA provides winter service to the ski resorts east of Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Provo. Several bus companies also provide access to the ski resorts in winter, and local bus companies also serve the cities of Cedar City, Logan, Park City, and St. George. A commuter rail line known as FrontRunner, also operated by UTA, runs between Pleasant View and Provo via Salt Lake City.

    Amtrak's California Zephyr, with one train in each direction daily, runs east–west through Utah with stops in Green River, Helper, Provo, and Salt Lake City.

    Roads

    I-15 and I-80 are the main interstate highways in the state, where they intersect and briefly merge near downtown Salt Lake City. I-15 runs north-to-south, entering from Arizona near St. George, paralleling the Wasatch Front, and crossing into Idaho near Portage. I-80 spans northern Utah east-to-west, entering from Nevada at Wendover, crossing the Wasatch Mountains east of Salt Lake City, and entering Wyoming near Evanston. I-84 West enters from Idaho near Snowville (from Boise) and merges with I-15 from Tremonton to Ogden, then heads southeast through the Wasatch Mountains before terminating at I-80 near Echo Junction.

    I-70 splits from I-15 at Cove Fort in central Utah and heads east through mountains and rugged desert terrain, providing quick access to the many national parks and national monuments of southern Utah, and has been noted for its beauty. The 103 mile stretch from Salina to Green River is the country's longest stretch of interstate without services.

    Utah Housing

    The median home value in Utah is $320,900. Utah home values have gone up 13.0% over the past year and predictions are they will rise 7.8% within the next year. The median list price per square foot in Utah is $191. The median price of homes currently listed in Utah is $354,900. The median rent price in Utah is $1,500.
    Utah Association of Realtors
    Utah Division of Real Estate
    Utah Real Estate Listings

    Utah Cities & Towns

    There are 29 counties in the state of Utah. There were originally seven counties established under the provisional State of Deseret in 1849: Davis, Iron, Sanpete, Salt Lake, Tooele, Utah, and Weber. There are 243 incorporated municipalities in the state. A municipality is called a town if the population is under 1,000 people, and a city if the population is over 1,000 people. The largest city is the capital city of Salt Lake City with a population of 186,440, while the former coal mining town of Scofield is the smallest town with 24 people.
  • Utah Cities and Towns

  • Mountain range outside of the Great Salt Lake Desert in Utah. Photo by Gebirgszug nahe der Große Salzwüste

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