Emigration Canyon, Utah

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Emigration Canyon, Utah
Metro Township
Given Township Status8 January, 1997
Incorporated as a Metro Township2017
 • MayorJoe Smolka
 • Total18.22 sq mi (47.19 km2)
 • Land18.22 sq mi (47.19 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
 • Total1,568
 • Estimate 
 • Density87.38/sq mi (33.74/km2)
FIPS code49-22875
Emigration Canyon
Emigration Canyon, Utah - 17 May 2020.jpg
Emigration Canyon 2020
Emigration Canyon, Utah is located in Utah
Emigration Canyon, Utah
Emigration Canyon, Utah is located in the United States
Emigration Canyon, Utah
LocationSalt Lake County, Utah, USA
Coordinates40°46′N 111°46′W / 40.767°N 111.767°W / 40.767; -111.767Coordinates: 40°46′N 111°46′W / 40.767°N 111.767°W / 40.767; -111.767
Area25 acres (10 ha) (landmarked area)
NRHP reference No.66000737
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 15, 1966[3]
Designated NHLJanuary 20, 1961[4]

Emigration Canyon is a metro township and canyon in Salt Lake County, Utah, United States, located east of Salt Lake City in the Wasatch Range. Beginning at the southern end of the University of Utah, the canyon itself heads east and northeast between Salt Lake City and Morgan County. The boundaries of the metro township do not extend to the county line, nor do they encompass all of Emigration Canyon, as parts of it are within Salt Lake City. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,568.

A portion of Emigration Canyon, located in This Is the Place Heritage Park, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961 for the canyon's significance in the Mormon migration of the 19th century.[5]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)1,592[2]1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[6]


Emigration Canyon was significant in early Utah history as the original route used by pioneers entering the area. It was part of the Hastings Cutoff route used by the Donner Party in 1846 and where the Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. As Brigham Young looked over the canyon, he declared, "This is the right place. Drive on." These words have become famous in Utah history. The event is commemorated with This Is The Place Heritage Park at the mouth of the canyon. Throughout Emigration Canyon, there are several historic markers designating camps, trail markers, and milestones where the Mormon Pioneers passed while on their way to the Salt Lake Valley. One example of these milestones is called Lost Creek Camp.

The township of Emigration Canyon was formed on January 8, 1997.

In 2015, the township's residents voted to incorporate and become a metro township.

Local attractions[edit]

Hogle Zoo, the main zoo in the Salt Lake City area, also lies at the mouth of the canyon but is within Salt Lake City limits. Emigration Canyon is home to Camp Kostopulos, established in 1967 by the Kostopulos Dream Foundation as a summer camp for disabled children, teens, and adults. It is adjacent to the historic Ruth's Diner, established in 1930.


Emigration Canyon is one of the most accessible canyon rides from Salt Lake City. With a length of 7.7 miles and an average grade of 5 percent, there are approximately 1,300 feet of elevation gain from the mouth to the top, which cyclists often refer to as "Little Mountain". There is a good shoulder to ride in, and locals are used to bicycling traffic. There are restrooms located at the bottom of the canyon and the top, but these may be closed during the winter months.

Proposed development[edit]

Much of Emigration Canyon is protected within the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.[7] With its proximity to Salt Lake City, unprotected areas have been of interest to property developers; since 2001, the Utah Open Lands Conservation Association has raised funds to preserve numerous parcels of land in the canyon, totaling over 260 acres (110 ha) as of 2016.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  3. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  4. ^ "Emigration Canyon". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2008-04-01.
  5. ^ "NHL nomination for Emigration Canyon". National Park Service. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  6. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  7. ^ "Unita-Wasatch-Cache National Forest". United States Forest Service. U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. Retrieved 2017-12-28.
  8. ^ "Owl Meadow Saved!". Utah Open Lands Conservation Association. 2016-09-26. Retrieved 2017-12-27.

External links[edit]