The State of Utah is located in the western part of the United States and it is partly of the Rocky Mountains. It was the 45th state admitted to the Union on January 4, 1896. Utah ranks of 13th in size among the states.
Its great variety of landscapes includes high wooded mountains, lakes, valley oases, barren salt flats, deserts, and a wild plateau country with strange rock formations and rainbow colored canyons. The name "Utah" is derived from the Ute Indian language, meaning "people of the mountains".
Utah includes portions of three major natural regions, or physiographic provinces, of the western United States: the Middle Rocky Mountains, the Basin and Range province, and the Colorado Plateau. The Middle Rocky Mountains form part of the Rocky Mountain system, and the Basin and Range province and the Colorado Plateau form part of the Intermontane Plateaus.
The state is a center of transportation, information technology and research, government services and mining as well as a major tourist destination for outdoor recreation. Utah is ranked the top state in the nation for Economic Dynamism, in eastern Utah petroleum production is a major industry. Near Salt Lake City, petroleum refining is done by a number of oil companies. In central Utah, coal production accounts for much of the mining activity.
Utah’s arid climate provided too little rainfall for crops to mature, and irrigation became a dominant characteristic of Utah agriculture early on. Farmland in Utah is chiefly concentrated in the area west of the Wasatch Front, where soils are fertile and streams and rivers from the mountains provide water for irrigation.
Tourism is a major industry in Utah and is well known for its year-round outdoor and recreational activities among other attractions. With five national parks like Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion; Utah has the third most national parks of any state after Alaska and California.
In addition, Utah features seven national monuments, two national recreation areas, six national forests, ski resorts and golf courses, and numerous state parks and monuments. Also Utah is well known for its winter activities and has seen an increase in tourism since the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Utah features many cultural attractions such as Temple Square, the Sundance Film Festival, and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Other attractions include Monument Valley, the Great Salt Lake, the Bonneville Salt Flats, and Lake Powell.
Whether you come to ski or snowboard "The Greatest Snow on Earth," to mountain bike Slickrock in Moab, to take a summer whitewater rafting splash down Cataract Canyon, or to visit the Old West with a tour of outlaw hideouts and stickups, Utah has adventure waiting.
In the valleys and plateaus of Utah the summers are hot and dry and the winters, also dry, range from mild in the south to cold in the north. In the mountains of northeastern Utah the temperatures throughout the year are lower than elsewhere in the state and precipitation is more abundant.
The eastern half of the state lies in the rain shadow of the Wasatch Mountains. The primary source of precipitation for the state is the Pacific Ocean, with the state usually lying in the path of large Pacific storms from mid October through April, although northern Utah often sees these large storms earlier and later. In summer, the state, especially southern and eastern Utah, lies in the path of monsoon moisture from the Gulf of California.
Utah's temperatures are extreme, with cold temperatures in winter due to its elevation, and very hot summers statewide. Average January high temperatures range from around -1 °C in some northern valleys to 13 °C in St. George.
However, the low humidity and high elevation typically leads to large temperature variations, leading to cool nights most summer days. Utah has few days of thunderstorms. Tornadoes are uncommon in Utah, with an average of two striking the state yearly, rarely higher than F1 intensity.