Portal:Utah

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The Utah Portal

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Utah is a western state of the United States, in the Rocky Mountain region. The name Utah is derived from the Southern Ute word for "higher up." In addition to the Ute Tribe, the Paiute, Navajo, Shoshone, and Goshute nations also inhabit portions of the state.

Utah had a population of 2,389,039 in 2004, according to a Census Bureau estimate. About 85% of Utah's population resides in the valleys and on the western slope of the Wasatch Mountains in northern and central Utah. Residents are called Utahns. The state is generally rugged and arid, and has spectacular natural scenery. It is a popular summer and winter tourist destination. Salt Lake City, the ski resorts in the Wasatch Range, and the national parks of the south are the most popular destinations.

Utah's capital is Salt Lake City, a vibrant metropolitan city. The small community of Fillmore, in Millard County, was designated as the territorial capital in 1854, four years after Utah Territory was organized. In 1856, the capital was moved back to Salt Lake City, which became the capital of the state when Utah was admitted to the Union in 1896. Salt Lake City hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, which gave a significant boost to the state's tourist industry (especially the ski resorts).

Salt Lake City, Utah is also the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which approximately 60% of Utah residents are members. The LDS Church has a strong cultural influence on the state, resulting in Utah being one of just two states where gambling is illegal.

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Salt Lake City in 1913
Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Downtown Salt Lake City, Utah in 1913, looking east along 200 South from West Temple Street. To the far left is the Salt Lake Temple. The very white building right of the Temple is Hotel Utah, about one year old at the time. Just visible on the right side of the photo is the Salt Lake City and County Building clocktower. The Wasatch Mountains are in the background.

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Great Salt Lake, is the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere, the fourth largest terminal lake in the world, and the 33rd largest lake on Earth. In an average year the lake covers an area of around 1,700 square miles (4,400 km²), but the lake's size fluctuates substantially due to its shallowness. For instance, in 1963 it reached its lowest recorded level at 950 square miles (1,529 km²), but in 1987 the surface area was at the historic high of 3,300 square miles(5,311 km²).

The lake is the largest remnant of Lake Bonneville, a pluvial lake which covered much of western Utah in prehistoric times. Great Salt Lake is endorheic (has no outlet besides evaporation), and thus has very high salinity, far saltier than sea water. The Jordan, Weber, and Bear rivers (the three major tributaries) deposit around 1.1 million tons of minerals in the lake each year, and the balance of evaporated water is mineral-free, concentrating the lake further. Because of its unusually high salt concentration, most people can easily float in the lake as a result of the higher density of the water, particularly in the saltier north arm of the lake, Gunnison Bay. The lake's shallow, warm waters cause frequent, sometimes heavy lake-effect snows during late fall, early winter, and spring.

Although it has been called "America's Dead Sea", the lake provides habitat for millions of shorebirds and waterfowl, including the largest staging population of Wilson's Phalarope in the world. In addition to native birds and brine shrimp, the lake is also home, oddly enough, to a Chilean flamingo named Pink Floyd.

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J. Willard Marriott (September 17, 1900-August 13, 1985) was an American entrepreneur and businessman. He was the founder of Marriott International, the parent company of one of the world's largest hospitality, hotel chains and food services company. His company rose from a small root beer stand in Washington D.C. in 1927 to a chain of family restaurants by 1932, to his first motel in 1957. By the time he died, the Marriott company operated 1,400 restaurants and 143 hotels and resorts worldwide, earned USD $4.5 billion in revenue annually with 154,600 employees. The company's interests even extended to a line of cruise ships and theme parks

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Kings Peak - the sharp peak on the right

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Rocky Mountain Elk
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Attractions: Arches National ParkBonneville Salt FlatsBryce Canyon National ParkCanyonlands National ParkCapitol Reef National ParkGreat Salt LakeHogle ZooLake PowellMonument ValleySki AreasState parksTemple SquareZion National Park

Cities: American ForkBountifulClearfieldCottonwood HeightsDraperLaytonLehiLoganMidvaleMurrayPleasant GroveOgdenOremProvoRivertonRoySpanish ForkSalt Lake CitySt. GeorgeSandySouth JordanTaylorsvilleTooeleWest JordanWest Valley City

Culture: MusicSundance Film FestivalUtah Shakespearean FestivalUtah Symphony Orchestra

Education: Higher Education

Geography: Cache ValleyCanyonlands DesertColorado PlateauDixieFour CornersGreat BasinGreat Salt Lake DesertMojave DesertRiversRegionsUinta MountainsWasatch FrontWasatch BackWasatch Range

Government: ConstitutionEconomyJudicial systemLegislaturePoliticsJon Huntsman, Jr.State Capitol

History: Fremont cultureAncient Pueblo PeoplesShoshoneGoshuteUtePaiuteNavajoMormon pioneersUtah TerritoryUtah WarUtah Constitution

People: UtahnsGovernors of UtahMayors of Salt Lake City

Religion: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsLutheran Church - Missouri SynodCatholic Church

Sports: BYU CougarsReal Salt LakeSalt Lake BeesUtah BlazeUtah JazzUtah UtesUtah State AggiesWeber State Wildcats

Statistics: Population

Transportation: Commuter railInterstate 15Interstate 70Interstate 80Interstate 84State Route 150Light railSalt Lake City International AirportU.S. Route 6U.S. Route 89U.S. Route 191State Route 12State Route 24List of state highways in Utah

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Coordinates: 39°18′N 111°36′W / 39.3°N 111.6°W / 39.3; -111.6