Located in the interior of the western part of the United States of America is the federal state of Utah, which is relatively sparsely populated. It joined the Union on January 4, 1896, becoming the 45th US state. The name Utah comes from the Ute Indian language and means “people of the mountains”. It borders the states of Wyoming, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. Utah is one of the so-called “four corners” states, because the borders of 4 states meet in the south, hence the name “Four Cornes”.
The territory of the state of Utah is relatively high, in the east you will find the high Rocky Mountains with eternally snowy peaks and in the northeast the Uinta Mountains. The highest mountain is Kings Peak, reaching a height of 4,126 meters above sea level. From north to south stretches the Wasatch Ridge with peaks exceeding 3,500 meters in height. Thanks to the year-round abundance of snow, many ski resorts and winter sports centers have been established here. On average, up to 12.5 meters of snow falls over a year. The landscape has the character of plateaus and basins.
To the west stretches the Great Basin with stony semi-deserts and the Great Salt Lake. The south is covered by the Colorado Plateau and the Mojave Desert also extends here. Large watercourses flow through the valleys, such as the Colorado, Jordan, and Green River. Numerous lakes have also formed here, in addition to the Great Salt Lake, it is also Bonneville, Utah Lake, Sevir, Rush Lake and the Little Salt Lake. Utah has a continental climate, but southwestern Utah is the lowest and warmest region of Utah. About 88% of Utah’s population lives in a belt of urban settlement called the Wasatch Front. The rest of the territory is practically uninhabited.
In Utah, with an area of 219,887 km², around 2.5 million inhabitants live today, the population density is thus only 10.5 inhabitants per square kilometer. According to TRACKAAH, approximately 90% of the population is white, less than 1% black, 1.5% Native American, and almost 2% Asian. The Hispanic population, regardless of race, represents almost 11% of the population. The original Indian population lives mainly on reservations. Much of eastern Utah is part of the Uintah and Ouray Indian Reservation, where even the Navajo live. Utah is among the states with a fairly homogeneous religious focus. About 62% of the population subscribes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has been here since ancient times and has a great influence on the culture and daily life of the local people.
Today, the state’s economy is led by mining of minerals and ores, oil, coal, uranium and natural gas. The metallurgical, engineering, rocket, chemical, electrotechnical and food industries are also significant. Agriculture is focused on the cultivation of wheat, corn, barley and cattle breeding. Large state revenues also come from tourism, especially in national parks.
National parks are among Utah’s biggest tourist attractions, for example Bryce Canyon National Park (NP), Zion NP, Arches NP, Canyonlands NP and Capitol Reef NP. A very popular place attracting tourists is the Dinosaur National Monument in the northeast of the country. Over many millennia, a wild landscape full of canyons and other strange formations has formed here. Also worth mentioning is the Bingham Canyon Copper Mine – a copper mine that is referred to as “The Richest Hole in the World”. It is said to be the largest pit ever dug by humans.
The original inhabitants of Utah were numerous Native American tribes. The first white people to enter the territory of the state were the Spanish missionaries who reached Lake Utah during their expedition in 1776. From the beginning of the 19th century, more and more white hunters and settlers came here, and the native Indian population was pushed out. Mormons began to settle here in the middle of the 19th century. Mormons wanted to find a country where their church could function without problems and violence. In 1849, they even had an effort to create their own state called Deseret, but this intention encountered resistance from the American government and was rejected. In 1851, the Utaž territory was created, but it was much larger than the area of today’s state. The state acquired its present form only in 1868.
Widespread disputes, disagreements, and clashes began to arise between Mormons and the US government. The Mormons were considered an unreliable and un-American community that espoused strange beliefs, polygamy, and strict religious rules. In 1857, the clashes culminated in the Meadows Mountains Massacre, where Mormons massacred about 120 immigrants from Arkansas. The bloody Utah War followed, which ended in 1858 with the surrender of the Mormons.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the capital and largest city of Utah is Salt Lake City with approximately 200,000 inhabitants. However, the entire agglomeration has more than 2 million inhabitants. It was founded in 1847 and became the seat of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 2002, it became famous for hosting the Winter Olympic Games. Other cities of interest include West Valley City, Provo, Sandy, Orem, Ogden, West Jordan, Layton, Taylorsville and St. George.