Utah Facts
Utah Facts

50 Interesting Utah Facts

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published August 20, 2016Updated July 12, 2024

What do you think of when you hear the word "Utah"? The red rocks of beautiful Moab? Or the best skiing on earth? The Great Salt Lake? Explore Be-Utah-aFul Utah facts.

  • The snow density in Utah's famous Cottonwood Canyons is 8.5%, which is the perfect "body" for a perfect ski powder day.[18]
  • According to historical data, January 13 is the golden winter day, perfect for skiing in Utah. This day has the highest likelihood of receiving snowfall.[20]
  • In Utah, it is illegal to hire trombone players to play on the street to advertise an auction. Additionally, it is illegal to fish while on horseback and to hunt whales. In Salt Lake City it is illegal to walk down the street carrying a paper bag containing a violin.[23]
  • Utah has the highest literacy rate in the United States.[10]
  • A remnant of the prehistoric Lake Bonneville, Utah Lake is 23 miles (37 km) long and covers 150 square miles (390 square km). Over a quarter of a million people live near the freshwater lake.[19]
  • Plastic Surgery Facts
    Utah has the highest percentage of plastic surgeons per capita than any other state
  • Utah ranks #6 for number of plastic surgeons per capita.[13]
  • Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah all meet at four corners. This is the only place in the United States where four states come together.[10]
  • According to Webster’s, “Utahans” is the grammatically correct way to refer to residents of Utah; however, most people from Utah stubbornly refer to themselves as “Utahns.”[4]
  • The name “Utah” is derived from the name of the Ute Native American tribe. The name means “people of the mountains.”[10]
  • Utah is the second-driest state in the United States after Nevada. On average, Utah has about 300 sunny days a year.[10]
  • Because it is centrally located in the Intermountain West, Utah is often called the “Crossroads of the West.” Its geography has three major land areas: the Rocky Mountains, the Basin and Ridge Region, and the Colorado Plateau.[10]
  • Utah is home to the largest open-pit mine in the world, Brigham Canyon.[5]
  • In 1824, Jim Bridger was the first Caucasian person to see the Great Salt Lake. He initially thought he had found the Pacific Ocean because it was so salty, but soon realized it was a giant salt lake. In the 1830s, thousands of people travelling from the East made stops in the Great Salt Lake region, which was then known as Lake Youta.[14]
  • Utah Wedding Fact
    More Utahans are married than the citizens in any other U.S. state
  • A higher percentage of Utahans are married than in any other state in the United States. According to the 2012 American Community Survey, 57% of Utah’s women (15 years and older) are married, down from 69% in 1950.[16]
  • During the Utah War (1857–1858), over 120 unarmed settlers, including women and children, were murdered by a group of Mormon militiamen. The militia initially claimed Native Americans killed the settlers. Scholars still debate whether the Mormon leader, Brigham Young, ordered the massacre or if the responsibility lies with local leaders in southern Utah.[14]
  • The state of Utah could fit inside California two times with a little left over. Only half of Utah could fit in Virginia.[10]
  • Approximately 82% of Utahans are of European descent. Hispanics or Latinos are the next largest ethic group in the state, making up almost 12% of the population. Utah has smaller populations of Asians, African Americans, and Native Americans.[10]
  • Utah restaurants and bars have a unique partition that separates restaurant bartenders who are preparing drinks from the customers who order them. Their aim is to prevent excessive drinking by keeping alcohol out of sight. These partitions are called “Zion Curtains” by locals.[10]
  • In Utah there is a town called “Levan.” Levan is “navel” backwards—and Levan is in the center, or is the “navel,” of Utah.[5]
  • Utah couples marry at a younger age than in any other state in the country. The median age for a first marriage in Utah is 26.2 for the groom and 24.1 for the bride. The average for the rest of the United States is 29.1 for the groom and 27.1 for the bride.[16]
  • Approximately 62% of Utahans are Mormons, or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Utah is the most homogeneous state in the United States in terms of religion.[10]
  • Utah’s divorce rate is slightly higher than the U.S. average and has been that way for decades. However, while Utahans are more likely than their national counterparts to divorce, they are also more likely to marry or remarry.[16]
  • Utah's Arches National Park has the highest concentration of natural stone arches in the world, at over over 2,000 documented arches.[3]
  • Arches National Park Fact
    The opening beneath the Delicate Arch is 46 feet high and 32 feet wide, which is the largest free-standing arch in the park

  • About 13% of Utah’s children live in households headed by a woman with no husband present, which is lower than the national average of 25%.[16]
  • With 31% of the population under the age of 18, Utah has the youngest population in the United States. It also has the highest birth rate in the nation.[10]
  • Utah is home to the United States' first department store, Zions Co-operative Mercantile Institution. Today it is known as ZCMI.[5]
  • Lagoon—located in Farmington, Utah—is the oldest operating amusement park in the American West, and its original roller coaster, named “Old Woodie,” is the 3rd oldest in the nation.[5]
  • Utah ranks 6th in the United States for drug overdoses.[17]
  • Utah is home to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. This 39-acre center for LDS (Mormon) missionaries can house 3,700 missionaries and gives instruction in 55 languages. Over 600,000 missionaries worldwide have come to the MTC for training.[1]
  • Polygamy was practiced in Utah until it was banned in 1890 as a condition of being granted statehood. Today there are roughly 40,000 polygamous marriages in the state of Utah, mostly among breakaway Mormon fundamentalist groups.[22]
  • On May 10, 1869, the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed at Promontory Summit, Utah. The event was billed as the “Wedding of the Rails.”[5]
  • In Utah there is a town called “Levan.” Levan is “navel” backwards—and Levan is in the center, or is the “navel,” of Utah[5]
  • Utah Snow Facts
    Utah claims to have the "Greatest Snow on Earth"
  • Because of the state of Utah’s high elevation and desert-like climate, its snow is dry and powdery. Hence, Utah claims to have the “Greatest Snow on Earth.”[10]
  • Walter Frederick Morrison, the man credited with inventing the Frisbee, was born in Richfield, Utah. He said he got the idea for the “Pluto Platter” after throwing cake tins on the beach.[6]
  • Utah is the only state to have a cooking pot among its state symbols. The Dutch oven was approved as a state symbol by the legislature in 1997.[5]
  • Utah is home to 25 colleges and universities. Two universities, Brigham Young University and the University of Utah are traditionally rivals in several athletic fields. Their annual college game is nicknamed the “Holy War,” mainly because the LDS church owns BYU, while the U is a secular university.[7]
  • One of the most unique places in Utah is the Bonneville Salt Flats, named after the ancient sea that covered the area. Stretching over 30,000 acres, the white salt is millions of years old. Thousands of tourists, filmmakers, and land speed racers make it famous throughout the world.[10]
  • Two dates appear on Utah’s state seal: 1847, the date Mormon settlers arrived in Utah, and 1896, the year Utah became the 45th state. Also on the seal are sego lilies, which stand for peace and are the state flower.[10]
  • Kanab, Utah, is also known as “Little Hollywood” because over 100 movies (mostly Westerns) and many T.V. series have been filmed there since 1924. Famous movies include Stage CoachThe Lone RangerGunsmokePlanet of the ApesThe Outlaw Josey Wales, and Sergeants 3.[8]
  • Approximately 75 million years ago, Utah was part of a landmass called Laramidia. This land mass was hot, swampy, and full of dinosaurs, which makes Utah one of the best places in the U.S. to find dinosaur fossils. In fact, the world’s largest raptor lived in Utah. Known as the “Utahraptor,” it measured over 23 feet long, making it larger than any other known raptor.[10]
  • The Mormon Pioneer National Historic trail commemorates the role Utah played in the westward expansion of the United States as Mormons traveled from Illinois to Utah in the 1800s.[2]
  • The Cottonwood Canyons in Utah is one of the snowiest places on earth, with Alta receiving 551 inches of snow annually.[18]
  • Rubber Chicken
    Another reason to love Utah
  • Salt Lake City, UT, is home to the nation’s leading manufacturer of rubber chickens.[5]
  • Utah is home to the Great Salt Lake, which is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere.[5]
  • The most generous state in America is Utah, which ranks first for highest percentage of population who donate time, donated income, volunteer rate, and volunteers per capita.[21]
  • Over 2/3 of Utah land is owned by the United States' federal government.[5]
  • The highest peak in Utah is King's Peak, at 13,528 feet above sea level. Known as the "crown of the Uinta Mountains," most people take two days to hike to the summit.[11]
  • In 2014, 1,039 people dressed as angels, wise men, and other religious figures broke the Guinness World Record for the largest live nativity scene. Also in attendance in the Provo, Utah, park event were a camel, a donkey, and some sheep.[12]
  • Famous people with Utah connections include Post Malone, Robert Redford, Katherine Heigl, Mike LookinLand (from the Brady Bunch), The Osmonds, Jewel, David Archuleta, James Wood, Derek Hough, Roseann Barr, Brandon Sanderson, Chrissy Teigen, Ken Jennings, and The Real Housewives of Salt Lake.[15]
  • Utahans consume more than twice as much Jell-O as the national average.  In fact, Jell-O is Utah’s state snack.[9]
  • Utah Symbols
    State BirdCalifornia Gull
    State TreeColorado Blue Spruce
    State FlowerSego Lily
    State FishBonneville Cutthroat Trout
    State FruitCherry
    State AnimalElk
    State FossilAllosaurus
    State InsectHoney Bee
    State RockCoal
    State GemTopa

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