Map of Utah, major cities, states and capitals

Utah state flag
Utah State Flag

Utah state flower
Sego lily — State Flower


Utah is a landlocked state in the western United States. Utah is the home of the Great Salt Lake, the largest (by surface area) salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere.

Date first visited by Europeans: The southern part of Utah was explored by Francisco V�squez de Coronado in 1540, who was looking for the legendary cities of Cibola.

Date admitted to US: 1896

Capital: Salt Lake City

Largest City: Salt Lake City

Terrain: Utah is in the convergence of three different geological regions, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin and the Colorado Plateau. The Southeastern portion of the state lies in the Colorado Plateau, which is made of deserts at a high elevation with highly eroded rock formations.

The Wasatch Range runs through the middle of the state, and is a part of the Rocky Mountain range. A vast majority of the state’s population lives within 15 miles of the Wasatch Range in various valleys, thanks to the drainage of the mountains providing fresh water.

The Great Basin covers Western Utah, which is noted for its arid climate and basin and range topography. Basin and range topography refers to landscapes marked by many small valleys separated by small ranges that vary greatly in height from the basins.

Utah is also home to the Great Salt Lake, which is the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere. Despite the salinity of its waters, the Great Salt Lake is home to many species of brine shrimp and home to many birds.

Area: 84, 899 sq mi

Area Rank: 13th

Population: 2, 949,902

Population rank: 33th

Electoral Votes: 6

Brigham Young led an expedition of Mormon settlers into Utah following the murder of the founder of the Mormon faith, Joseph Smith. The settlers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. In the following years, more than 70,000 Mormons settled in Utah. To this day, Utah is over 60% Mormon, and the Salt Lake City Temple is an important site for the Mormon faith. The state was originally named ‘Deseret’ from a word from the Book of Mormon meaning honey bee.

The so-called Utah War started in 1857, when the Mormon settlers learned of plans to move U.S. troops into Utah to pacify the Mormons, who were seen as un-Christian and un-American due to their practice of polygamy, or a man marrying multiple women. The Mormons made up their own militia and did successfully manage to impede the U.S. troops. No battles took place before negotiations in 1858 ended the conflict, but some non-Mormon civilians had died. Most notable was the Mountain Meadows Massacre of 1857, where 120 non-Mormon men, women and children were killed, presumably for the goods they were travelling with, or because they were thought to be spies.

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