Utah [ju: ʹtɑ:], abbreviated UT, state of the western United
States; 219,900 km2, 3.2 million inhabitants (2018).Utah is one of
the Mountain States. Most of the state's land is in federal or state
ownership. The capital is Salt Lake City.
Utah. State Map.
The western part of Utah is part of the Great Basin, a flat desert landscape
that forms the bottom of the now dehydrated Lake Bonneville, of which Stora
Saltsjön is a remnant.
Utah. The Bonneville Salt Desert is a remnant of
dehydrated Lake Bonneville.
To the east of the Great Basin, the Wasatch Mountains extend in a north –
south direction. In the northeast, they have a detour in the Uinta Mountains
with Utah's highest peak Kings Peak (4 123 m above sea level). To the south and
east of this mountain range lies the Colorado Plateau with deeply cut valleys in
Utah has a dry continental climate. The annual rainfall is around 300 mm. The
average temperature is a few minus degrees in January and about 25 °C in July.
Utah's population has increased faster in recent decades than the population
of the United States as a whole. More than 90 percent of the population is white
and 1-2 percent are Native Americans, including foreign and Navajo Indians. The
latter are mainly found in the Four Corner area in the southeast.
About 3/4 of the state's residents live in a 150 km long and relatively
narrow zone between Ogden in the north and Provo in the south. The Mormon Church
comprises about 65 percent of the population, but a maximum of 40 percent of
them are considered active members.
Utah has limited agriculture. Only a few percent of the area is cultivated,
half of which is irrigated. Barley, potatoes and fruits are important crops, as
are herbaceous plants.
Utah. Pumpkin cultivation northeast of Salt Lake
City. In the background you can see the Wasatch Mountains.
Animal products (meat and dairy products) have the greatest economic
Utah is mineral rich, and copper, iron and alloy metals are extracted. In the
eastern parts of the state there is a significant oil and natural gas
industry. The uranium resources are significant. The manufacturing industry
includes smelters, metal and instrument industries as well as aerospace-oriented
industries. Furthermore, biomedical technology is being invested. Trade plays a
big role, and the transport network is well developed.
Tourism is an important industry with Salt Lake City and the various national
parks as attractive destinations.
Tourism and gastronomy
Tourism as a source of income is becoming increasingly important for the
state's economy. Salt Lake City is the state's premier destination and attracts
visitors both as the center of the many winter sports in the Wasatch Mountains
east of the city and as the main location of the Mormon Church. There is the
great Mormon temple, the tabernacle, and a host of other interesting buildings.
Utah. Salt Lake City Temple inaugurated in 1893.
In other parts of Utah, too, there are many memorials from the Mormon
colonization. Another historical memory is The Golden Spike, ie. the site near
Promontory just northeast of Stora Saltsjön where the last rail nail was struck
in 1869, and thus joined the western and eastern United States by rail. Of
historical interest are also the remains of Native American cultures in
southeastern Utah. This part also exhibits a peculiar nature with fantastic land
formations, and it constitutes the state's perhaps most attractive
destination. Here are several notable national parks, such as the Arches,
Canyonlands and Capitol Reef, a number of national monuments and the large Glen
Canyon recreation area around the dammed Colorado River.
Utah. Delicato Arch, one of many rock formations in
the Arches National Park, located in the eastern part of the state.
Further west are the Bryce Canyon National Parks and the well-visited Zion.
With limiting areas suitable for cultivation and claimed a livestock care
area, Utah is a state where you eat a lot of meat, primarily beef but also lamb
and sheep. Mushroom smothered Swiss steak (roast beef with mushroom
sauce) and roast beef hash (beef pan on leftovers of beef) are
some examples. Other traditions that affected the food supply are the Spanish
colonization and the ties with Mexico, which express themselves in the presence
of many prayer dishes and flavors with chili. The Mormons' lifestyle with a
self-sufficient household with preserved knowledge of preservation and home
slaughter leaves its mark. Homemade sausages are the base for sausage and
rice casserole, home smoked bacon in green beans with mushrooms and
bacon. Meats on the wild and a number of recipes for lamb dishes are
reminiscent of the Basque minority that remains in Utah. Preserved fruit, fruit
pies and fruit cakes often end the meal.
The area, which has been visited by Spanish traders since the 18th century,
was formally annexed by Mexico in 1821 and joined the United States in 1848. The
year before, 147 Mormons, led by Brigham Young, had founded a settlement near
Stora Saltsjön. After another tens of thousands of Mormons flocked to it, a
state called Deseret was founded. However, an application to become a state was
rejected by the United States government, which instead established the
territory of Utah in 1850.
Relations with the government remained strained because of the Mormon
Church's demand for political control and continued polygamy, culminating in
1857 when Utah was occupied by federal troops. Immigration of non-Mormons was
promoted by the discovery of gold and silver deposits and by the construction of
the transcontinental railroad, whose eastern and western parts met at Promontory
in 1869. In 1890, the Mormon Church abandoned its political claims and banned
polygamy, and Utah was admitted as a state in 1896. Agriculture and mining were
long central sources of income, but since 1945 the industry has also developed.
Politically, Utah has usually been dominated by Republicans.