Statehood: January 4, 1896
Nickname: The Beehive State
Located in the Rocky Mountain Region of the United States, Utah is a land of snow-covered peaks, natural rock formations, and beautifully colored canyons. Utah's geography is characterized by three major land areas; the Rocky Mountains, the Basin and Ridge Region, and the Colorado Plateau.
Rocky Mountains: Running north to south through the United States, the Rocky Mountians are an imposing presence in many of the western states. In Utah, two ranges of the Rockies extend through the northeast corner of the state; the Uinta Range and the Wasatch Range.
The Uinta Range extends from Colorado in the east almost all of the way to Salt Lake City in north central Utah. It is the only range of the Rocky Mountains that runs east and west. Lakes and flat-bottomed canyons, formed by glacial activity, are interspersed with mountains that reach over 13,000 feet above sea level. Kings Peak, the highest point (13,528 feet above sea level) in Utah, is found in the Uinta Range.
The Wasatch Range stretches from Mount Nebo in north central Utah northward into Idaho. On the west, the mountains range from 6,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level.
Basin and Ridge Region: One of the driest areas of the United States, the Basin and Ridge Region covers parts of several states, including Utah. The Basin and Ridge Region of Utah, which spreads over the western part of the state, is covered by small mountains and basins except on the east and west edges where the mountains are higher. Great Salt Lake is located in the northeastern corner of the Basin and Ridge Region with the Great Salt Lake Desert to the west and southwest of the lake. About 4,000 acres of hard flat salt beds are found in the center of the Great Salt Lake Desert; Bonneville Salt Flats. The Bonneville Salt Flats are named after the ancient sea that covered the area, Lake Bonneville.
"Utah's Dixie" is located in the extreme southwestern corner of the Basin and Ridge Region. This area is the warmest and the lowest part of the state.
Colorado Plateau: The Colorado Plateau covers most of the southern and eastern areas of Utah. The area is characterized by broad high country cut by deep canyons and valleys. The western part of the region is comprised of high plateaus such as Aquarius, Fish Lake, and Markagunt. These plateaus are more than 11,000 feet above sea level. Famous Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks Canyon, and Zion Canyon are found in the Colorado Plateau area. The Colorado River passes through Utah in the east with the Henry Mountains on the west banks of the river and the Abajo and La Sal mountains to the east of the river.
Utah's southeastern corner meets the corners of Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado. Referred to as "Four Corners," this is the only place in the United States where four states meet.
High Colorado plateau cut by brilliantly colored canyons in the southeast; broad, flat, desert like Great Basin of the west; the Great Salt Lake anad Bonneville Salt Flats in the northwest; Middle Rockies in the northeast running east-west; valleys and plateaus of the Wasatch Front.
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Land Area: 82,143 square miles - ranked 13th in total area
Number of counties: 29
Although the land in Utah is not particularly well-suited to farming overall, the original settlers of the state, the Mormons, were determined to use the land for agriculture. They also hoped that the difficulties of successfully farming this arid land would discourage others from settling in the area. Major crops grown today in Utah include hay, corn, barley and wheat, but the majority of the state’s agricultural income comes from livestock including sheep, cattle, dairying and poultry.
Utah is a leading producer of copper, gold, silver, lead, zinc, and molybdenum. The state also has rich oil shale deposits and low-sulfur coal.
Close to iron, coal and limestone, Provo has become a steel center.
Utah has become a center for aerospace research and the production of missiles, spacecraft, computer hardware and software, and electronic systems.
Most recently, tourism has become another leading industry in Utah, with Salt Lake City hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics.
More about Utah
Salt Lake City is the largest city in the state. It is a great regional center, world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the processing point for products of an irrigated farm region that is rich in minerals.
Major industries include tourism; medical research; food processing; silver, lead, copper, zinc, and iron smelting; the manufacture of computers and electronic equipment; oil refining; and warehousing.
The city's outlying suburbs grew rapidly in the 1980s.
Home to the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association, the city hosted the 2002 Winter Olympic games.
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