Utah is one of the smaller states in the USA, and is located in the western part of the country. Utah is perhaps best known as the state where the Mormon Church has a strong stronghold, but the state is also very famous for its amazing nature and many national parks.
See cities in Utah by population.
Facts about Utah
- Inhabitants: 2.9 million
- Density: 13.2 per km²
- Capital: Salt Lake City
- Largest city: Salt Lake City
- Area: 219,887 km²
- Highest mountain: Kings Peak
- Time Zone: UTC-7 (Summer Time UTC-6)
- Nevada– in the west
- Arizona– in the south
- New Mexico– in the Southeast
- Colorado– in the east
- Wyoming– in the Northeast
- Idaho– in the north
Things to do in Utah
Thanks to Utah’s mountainous terrain, there are several wonderful ski resorts in the state. After Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, more and more people have flocked to Utah to practice winter sports, and the ski facilities are of a very high standard. The most and best ski resorts are in the areas surrounding the cities of Salt Lake City, Park City, Ogden and Provo. There are also several fine ski resorts in southern Utah, including those used during the Olympics.
Temple Square in Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is the largest city in Utah, and also a seat of the Mormon Church. One of the city’s main attractions is Temple Square, where several buildings connected to the church are located and you can learn more about the history of religion in the state. In the center of the area is the magnificent building Salt Lake Temple, which was built in the middle of the 19th century. Read more about Temple Square on the official tourist page.
Canyonlands National Park
Utah has, as previously mentioned, several fantastic national parks. One of the most visited and famous is Canyonlands National Park, where vast canyons occupy the landscape. If you don’t want to drive through the park, there are opportunities for both hiking and cycling in the unparalleled landscape, and the views you are offered over the vast landscape, shaped by millennia of natural forces, are absolutely magical. Read more at www.nps.gov.
Rent a car in Utah
To best experience Utah in all its natural beauty, it is recommended to rent a car. With a rental car, it is easy to easily get around to all corners of the state, and if you want to discover the many beautiful national parks, a rental car is the ideal means of transport.
In Utah, there are both rental car offices and pick-up locations in all major cities and at the major airports. It is best to book the car before departure, to ensure that the car is in place on arrival.
In Utah, there are five major national parks that are widely known. These go together under the name “The Mighty 5”, and consist of Canyonlands National Park, Arches National Park, Capitol Reef National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park.
Each national park has its own unique setting, from Canyonland’s vast canyons to Arches’ magical natural arches. In Capitol Reef, for example, there is a breathtaking desert landscape with mountain formations in different colors, and Bryce Canyon and Zion are as far away from civilization as you can get in Utah. On starry nights you can view the entire starry sky here, and it is an incomparable feeling to experience these fantastic national parks.
Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
In the area of northern Arizona on the border with Utah, where the Colorado River cuts through a narrow and deep canyon, the massive Glen Canyon Dam was built. We can find it near the smaller town of Page. The dam was completed here in 1963 and got its name from the original canyon, which provided the builders with absolutely ideal conditions for the construction of this extensive water structure.
The dam’s dam rises to a respectable height of 213 meters above the original river level. Thanks to the damming of the Colorado River, Lake Powell was created here, which is named after war veteran John Wesley Powell. He was also a well-known explorer of the American Southwest and in 1869 undertook the first scientific expedition on wooden ships. Its goal was to map the flow of the Colorado River in places that had not yet been explored.
The dam only reached its maximum water level in 1980, i.e. 17 years after its creation. Today, the lake reaches a length of an amazing 298 km, and the indented coast with bays of various sizes measures a total of 3,136 km. The main task of the dam is to regulate the flow of water in the Colorado River, so that spring floods do not occur and a constant year-round supply of water to the downstream areas is ensured. The water from Lake Powell is used to irrigate the entire large area and the energy of the water mass is used to generate electricity. The plant’s 8 generators have a maximum capacity of 1.32 gigawatts, making it the main supplier of energy to the entire Southwestern United States.
The dam is open to the public and tours are held several times a day. However, it tends to be quite busy during the main tourist season, so it’s a good idea to book a tour in advance. The guide will introduce you to the history and present of the dam and will be happy to answer all your inquisitive questions. The tour route also leads to the already mentioned power plant. If you are lucky, you can look up to the crown of the dam itself or into its interior.
At the time when the construction of the dam was just beginning (1957 – 1959), a metal bridge was built across the gorge, the steel arch of which is located at a height of 213 meters. In total, the bridge is 388 meters long and its construction cost 5 million dollars. Today it is the second tallest steel arch bridge in the US. A Visitor Center was built directly above the dam, where you can study information about the construction of the dam or view an exhibit of a plaster model of the entire area around Lake Powell.
Glen Canyon can be reached via Wigway 89, which is one of the most important routes connecting the area of northern Arizona and southern Utah. Every year, thousands of tourists stop here during their wanderings through Arizona.