The United States is obviously a captivating place, and with plenty of Utah facts contributing to its unique charm, you’re bound to learn some lots of interesting information today!
It is America’s 43rd state, home to remarkable wildlife and history. Whether you live in Salt Lake State or want to expand your general knowledge, these interesting facts about Utah offer a notable outlook.
The state has plenty of information to provide, and what you learn will enrich your curious mind, school project, or reasons to move there or visit.
From the state’s Natural Sandstone Arches to its country-like size, you will learn some things you could have never imagined!
26 Utah Facts: Fun Facts About Utah To Read Now
1. It Is The Beehive State
As far as Utah facts go, the state isn’t a top honey exporter by any means and only ranks a humble 24th in the industry, but it is officially ‘The Beehive State’ nonetheless.
Latter-day Mormon Saints discovered the state’s land; the only sweetener they could find here was honey.
They imported honeybees from the East, eventually populating the area and providing the community with the honey they needed.
Thus, the nickname was born to honor the Saints and their bees. Their holy Bible and the Book of Mormon have strong imagery of bees and their sense of community, contributing to the nickname they gave the state.
Based on the same religious history, the other well-known state name is ‘The Mormon State.’
Read next: Fun Facts About Nevada
2. The State Is Named After Native Americans
As for important Utah facts, you’ll want to know how the state was named. There are two accepted theories behind it.
The more commonly accepted one is that the state was named in honor of the Native American Ute tribe, derived from the Apache word “yuttahih,” which means “higher up” or “mountain.”
The second theory is that the word is from Spanish settlers in the region who called the indigenous people “Yutas.”
Either way, the state was named after the indigenous Native Americans known as the Ute tribe.
Today, the state remains home to eight federally recognized tribes with a level of autonomy in their governance. The native tribes in Utah also spread across Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada.
3 .The Capitol Is The Great Salt Lake City
We can continue the list of state nicknames, as the state is also widely known as ‘Salt Lake State’ after its city capital.
The name is the only 3-word capital in the United States, but it was once even longer! The original title was ‘Great Salt Lake City’ but officially dropped a word in 1868.
The city was named after the nearby largest saltwater lake in the northern hemisphere, which is called, as you can guess, Great Salt Lake.
4. It Is Home Some Of The Most Visited National Parks
Zion, the second-most visited national park in the US, contributes to the interesting facts about Utah due to its rich 229 square-mile landscape of red cliffs towering up to 2,000 feet above the sweeping canyons – which feature in the Godfather movies and The Musketeers.
Hands down, Zion National Park is a fantastic natural landmark in Utah everybody should see once.
Arches National Park is in Eastern Utah, where you’ll find unique red-rock formations and more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches – the most known being the Delicate Arch. That’s not all! The Beehive State is home to 43 state parks covering 95,000 acres.
Still, the state has other fantastic parks, such as Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef. In fact, many people venture on Utah’s Mighty 5 road trip, where they experience all the parks in one trip. Incredible, right?
5. It Is A Four Corners State
One of the must-know Utah facts is that the state forms part of the Four Corners.
Four Corners is the meeting point of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado, which is found in the rugged and rural Colorado Plateau.
The boundary was defined in 1861, and a monument indicates where the four borders meet.
The boundary was created during the American Civil War so that the US Congress could make Colorado a state. Today, the Four Corners region is mostly home to Native American people.
Read next: Fun Facts About Idaho
6. The State Hosts The Sundance Film Festival
Every year, Park City hosts this well-known film festival. Sundance Film Festival was once called the Utah or US Film Festival, but the more famous name was introduced in 1984 when the Sundance Institute took over management.
It is one of the most renowned film festivals in the world, where independent films, documentaries, short films, and other cinematic works screen and compete for awards in film categories.
7. The State Is 84,899 Square Miles
The state is the 13th largest in America, covering 84,899 square miles of land.
The size makes the state slightly larger than the country Greece! The state’s geography comprises gorgeous mountains, steep plateaus, miles of desert, and brilliant canyons.
As of 2021, 3.338 million called the state home, making it the 30th most populous state. Its size-to-population ratio makes population density extremely low.
8. It Has The Bonneville Salt Flats
A salt pan is an area covered in salt and other minerals that glows a beautiful white color under the sun, and one of the largest and most famous of this natural occurrence is the Bonneville Salt Flats in Tooele County.
This salt pan is 12 miles long, 5 miles wide, and 5 feet thick. It is believed to have 147 million tons of salt, almost as heavy as 165 Golden Gate Bridges!
9. The State Is The Place Of The Latter-Day Saints
Utah facts would be incomplete without the history of the Church of Jesus Christ, also known as the Latter-Day Saints.
In 1847, Brigham Young made Utah’s first Mormon settlement when he arrived in Salt Lake Valley with 148 Mormons.
Between 1847 and 1880, around 70,000 Mormon people immigrated to the land of Utah before it was a state.
They moved there to practice their faith free from the violence and legal regulations they faced in Missouri, Illinois, and other American lands.
Today, their history remains monumental, and their LDS Church still stands. The Mormon state has the largest Mormon population, with 5,229 congregations. About 68.55% of Utah’s population is Mormon.
10. The Sego Lily Is The State Flower
The sacred plant of Native Americans is the Sego Lily and is the state’s official plant.
The plant blooms in desert conditions and is a stunning three-petaled waxy flower.
Mormon pioneers ate Sego Lilys to survive when they moved to the land in 1848. It became the official flower on March 18th, 1911, symbolizing peace and freedom.
11. The Dutch Oven Is A Utah Tradition
This bit of Utah information is significant to people who live in the state. It is so special that the Dutch oven is the official state cooking pot – the only state to have one!
The Mormon pioneers who moved to the West brought their Dutch ovens along with them.
This beloved cooking pot is extremely versatile and can be used for baking, stewing, frying, and roasting. Dutch ovens have been passed down through generations, contributing to the Utahan cuisine.
12. It Has The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
This monument marks the entrance of the Grand Staircase, Kaiparowits Plateau, and the Escalante Canyons.
This remote area has vivid sandstone cliffs, sweeping slot canyons, countless slick rock formations, stunning arches, and numerous waterfalls.
If you decide to visit or hike this outback land, ensure you are fully equipped to deal with the far-from-civilization wilderness.
13. The State Has Plenty Of Wildlife
The Beehive state is covered with over 600 species of wildlife. Rocky Mountain Elk is the state animal that belongs to the deer family and roams the state’s mountain ranges.
Besides common sightings of lizards, snakes, and squirrels, the state is home to deer, bison, antelope, foxes, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, ringtails, and 430 bird species.
The state also has six national forests, including the Fishlake National Forest with The Trembling Giant, a collection of 47,000 aspen trees with one root system.
This makes the aspen trees one organism weighing around 6.5 million pounds. The Trembling Giant is among the oldest living organisms at around 80,000 years old!
14. The State Has The Uinta Mountains
The Uinta Mountains in Northern Utah have Kings Peak, the highest peak reaching 13,528 feet.
Mirror Lake Highway passes through the mountains and is one of the highest-rising highways in America!
The Uinta Mountains also have around 2,000 small lakes and around 400 miles of rivers and streams.
15. It Is Home Of The Inventor Philo T. Farnsworth
One of the most fascinating Utah facts is that Philo Farnsworth created the first prototype of the all-electronic television in 1927.
This first contribution to this life-changing invention happened in the Beehive State.
The device was an entirely fully functional all-electronic image-pickup appliance at the shocking age of 21!
16. There Are Many Dinosaur Fossils Found In Utah
The Beehive state is a significant contributor to the world’s dinosaur fossils.
The most recent discovery was in 2023, where a beaked dinosaur was found, and helped fill in a historical gap of evolution.
The find included a skull, spine, and libs. The state is home to an extensive variety of dinosaur fossils, including the Allosaurus, Utah Raptor, Brachiosaurus, Parasaurolophus, and Stegosaurus.
17. Utah State University Is Impressive
One of the proudest Utah fun facts is this prestigious United States university.
It covers a whopping 400 acres over 29 campuses and had a significant enrollment of 27,943 students in 2022. The institute offers 114 undergraduate degrees, 90 master’s degrees, and 42 doctorates.
If you’re not able to study on its massive acreage, they were also voted the #1 Online University in 2021!
18. The First KFC Opened In The Salt Lake State
This one tidbit in Utah facts might seem like it belongs under the state of Kentucky – but apparently not!
The first Kentucky Fried Chicken opened its doors in Salt Lake on September 24, 1952. The 11 herbs and spices recipe it started with remains the same today.
The name was chosen because it helped people quickly identify that their chicken was Southern fried, not for location reasons.
19. The State Has The Greatest Snow On Earth
Fancy a ski trip? One of the Utah fun facts is that the state has the perfect snow-water content and climate conditions – tested by the University of Utah to prove that the snow is the greatest in all the land.
Your skis and snowboards glide on the upper layers of snow without any scraping.
You can find this powdery goodness at Park City, Snowbird, Deer Valley, Cottonwood Canyons, Powder Mountain, and more, which are popular destinations for winter sports lovers.
The best time to ski is on Golden Winter Day, held every year on January 13th.
Pssst: It’s even on their license plate.
20. The State Has The Youngest Population
A shocking addition to Utah facts is just how young most of the population is!
If you’re looking to move interstate as a younger person, you’ll find many peers in the state, as the median age is 31.3. The oldest median age is 45,1!
As for children, 27.6% of Utahans are under 18.
21. The State Has The World’s Largest Mormon Church
After a long history and a large population of Mormons, it is no surprise that the world’s largest Mormon church is in the Mormon State!
Salt Lake Temple is 253,015 square feet in floor area and looks like a castle! The church has been around since April 6th, 1893, 40 years to build.
This means the Latter-Day church was in existence before Utah became the 45th state!
22. It Has Little Hollywood
As for fun Utah facts, Knab has a ‘Little Hollywood’ due to the hundreds of movies and series that have been recorded in the city, especially Western ones!
Some of the most known are The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, and Planet of the Apes. You can also visit the Little Hollywood Museum.
23. Gambling Is Outlawed
If you’re looking for fun facts about Utah that aren’t all that amusing for gamblers, the Beehive state doesn’t allow any gambling!
Gambling in all forms is illegal, including online, and incurs a Class B misdemeanor if you do.
Gambling is outlawed due to the state’s history and cultural background.
24. The State Consumes The Most Jell-O
The best of the fun facts about Utah is that they’re the number one Jell-O consumer in America!
This is because one of the few sweet treats Mormons can indulge in is Jell-O. This gelatin snack is also officially the state snack!
25. It Is Where The Traffic Light Was First Implemented
Lester Farnsworth Wire made the first-ever functional traffic light. The first traffic light was invented in 1868, but it was unsuccessful and blew up!
The roads in the state were wild and unruly, so as the head of the Traffic Bureau, Lester had to make a plan, and he placed his modernized invention on Main Street, Salt Lake, in 1912.
The traffic light was a success and grew in popularity.
26. It Is The Only State with The letter ‘U’
To wrap up our investigation of intriguing Utah facts, it will be easy for this state to last in your memory because it is the only one to start with the peculiar letter ‘U.’
This linguistic rarity is a fitting indication of the state’s exceptional uniqueness.
Quick Fun Facts About Utah
Julianne Hough, Derek Hough, Chrissy Teigen, Jewel, Amanda Righetti, and Butch Cassidy are a few famous (and infamous) people from Utah.
Remains of the world’s largest raptor, Utahraptor, have been found in Grand County, Utah.
Utah’s tallest mountain is Kings Peak, standing at an impressive 13,528 feet above sea level.
On the other hand, the lowest point in Utah is Beaver Dam Wash, at 2,350 feet above sea level.
Utah borders Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Nevada. And it touches a tiny corner of New Mexico, too.
That’s it for today! I sincerely hope you had a good time reading these fun facts about Utah! Wanna help me out? Be sure to share this article on your social media. Oh, and if you know some fun Utah facts, please drop them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!