By | Jan 4, 2010

On January 4, 1896 Utah was admitted as the 45th State of the United States. This was after its seventh attempt. The first was in 1849.

The lands of Utah is thought to have been inhabited by man for 12,000 years, but it wasn’t until around 1776 that the first Spanish explorers arrived. Next came the mountain men and in 1847 the Mormans arriving in search of a religious sanctuary.

The name Utah comes from the Native American tribe, the Utes. Ute means people of the mountain. The highest peaks on average are higher than any other state’s.

Utah has a land area of 84,916 square miles with 65% of it owned by the Federal Government. There are five national parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion), only Alaska and California has more. There are also seven national monuments, two national recreation areas and six national forests.

The largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere is in Utah. It has the natural name, The Great Salt Lake. The lake is around 1,700 square miles, but it varies in size depending upon weather conditions. It reached it smallest size in 1963 at 950 square miles, but had grown to 3,300 square miles when it reached its largest recorded surface area in 1987.

West of the Great Salt Lake is the Great Salt Lake Desert. The desert along with the Great Salt Lake, Utah Lake and a few smaller lakes once were all part of a larger lake that existed until about 14,000 years ago. The ancient lake is called Lake Bonneville.


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