Salt Lake City, Capital Of Utah

Nicknamed "The Crossroads of the West," Salt Lake City is a large city situated in Salt Lake County in the US State of Utah. Salt Lake City serves as the state's capital and is its largest and most populous city. The city is at the heart of the "Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area" and is further located within a larger metropolis that is referred to as the "Salt Lake City-Ogden-Provo Combined Statistical Area." Salt Lake City is home to the world headquarters of the LDS Church and also serves as the country's industrial banking center. The city serves as a prominent tourist spot that offers many outdoor recreation activities for visitors. 

Geography Of Salt Lake City

Downtown city skyline of Salt Lake City, Utah at dusk
Downtown city skyline of Salt Lake City, Utah, at dusk. 

Salt Lake City covers a total area of 286 sq. km and is located in the northwestern corner of the Salt Lake Valley at an elevation of 1,319m above sea level. The city is surrounded by the Oquirrh Mountains in the west, the high Wasatch Range in the east, and the Great Salt Lake in the northwest. The mountains surrounding the city contain many narrow canyons such as Emigration Canyon, Millcreek Canyon, Parleys Canyon, etc. The city's highest point is the Grandview Peak, which rises to an elevation of 2,868m, while the city's lowest point is located close to the Jordan River and the Great Salt Lake at an elevation of 1,280m. Salt Lake City contains several neighborhoods, of which the eastern neighborhoods are considered to be affluent, whereas the western neighborhoods are considered to be ethnically diverse and are inhabited by the working class. Sugar House, Yalecrest, the Avenues, and Federal Heights are some of the city's affluent eastern neighborhoods, while Glendale, Poplar Grove, Rose Park, etc., are some of the city's western neighborhoods. 

Climate Of Salt Lake City

According to the Köppen climate classification, Salt Lake City experiences a cold semi-arid climate, having hot, dry summers and very cold winters. The hot summer season in the city lasts from June to September, with average high temperatures ranging between 33.3°C and 18.8°C. The cold winter season lasts from the end of November to the end of February, with average low temperatures ranging between -5°C and 2.7°C. The principal source of rainfall in the city is from the massive thunderstorms that move into the city from the Pacific Ocean along the fast-flowing jet stream, mainly from October to May. The city receives an average snowfall of 60 inches from November to April. It is to be noted that the adjacent Great Salt Lake also dramatically affects the climate of Salt Lake City, primarily through lake-effect snowfalls. It has been recorded that approximately 10% of the city's annual precipitation and a yearly 6 to 8 lake-effect snowfalls are due to this lake effect. 

Brief History Of Salt Lake City

The Eagle Gate Monument in Salt Lake City, Utah
The Eagle Gate Monument in Salt Lake City, Utah. The monument was erected in 1859 and commemorates the entrance to Brigham Young's property. Editorial credit: Oscity / Shutterstock.com

Salt Lake City was initially inhabited by the indigenous Weber Ute, Shoshone, and Paiute tribes for thousands of years before the members of the LDS Church settled it. According to the Government of the United States, the land belonged to the public domain. In 1825, an American mountain man named James Felix Bridger became the first to explore the Salt Lake area. In 1843 and 1845, the Great Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Valley were surveyed by Captain John Charles Fremont. In July 1847, a group of permanent settlers named the Latter-day Saints arrived here, searching for a secluded area for practicing their religion. It is believed that a group of Mormons led by Brigham Young founded the present-day city. Due to its closeness to the Great Salt Lake, the city was initially named "Great Salt Lake City." After the Utah Territory was established, the "Great Salt Lake City" became the territorial capital, and its name was shortened to "Salt Lake City." 

The Population And Economy Of Salt Lake City

As per the latest US Census, Salt Lake City has a population of 197,756 inhabitants. The city has a population density of 701.84 inhabitants per sq. km. The largest ethnic groups in Salt Lake City are the non-Hispanic White, which accounts for 64.8% of the city's population, followed by other races at 12.4%, Hispanic White at 8.05%, Asians at 5.3%, and Two or more races at 2.59%. About 88.7% of the city's residents were US citizens, and the average car ownership in the city was two cars per household. The most prominent industries in Salt Lake City are the University of Utah, Westminster College, and the LDS Business College. 

The economy of Salt Lake City employs about 111,000 people in various large industries, including Educational Services, Health Care & Social Assistance, Retail Trade, Utilities, Transportation, and Professional & Business Services. The city's median household income is $60,676, and the median property value is $314,500. Two Fortune 1000 companies, namely Zions Bancorporation and Questar Corporation, are headquartered in the city. The city served as the host for the 2002 Winter Olympics, and since then, tourism has significantly increased in Salt Lake City. Recreational tourism in the Wasatch Mountains is also one of the city's significant economic activities.   

Tourist Attractions In Salt Lake City

Temple Square

Aerial view of Temple Square in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah
Aerial view of Temple Square, including Salt Lake Temple and the LDS Church Office Building in downtown Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Located at the center of Salt Lake City, Temple Square is a complex that covers an area of 0.04 sq. km and is owned by the LDS Church. Temple Square contains two visitor centers in addition to the Salt Lake Temple, Seagull Monument, Salt Lake Tabernacle, and the Salt Lake Assembly Hall. In recognition of the Mormon achievement in Utah's settlement, the Temple Square was designated a National Historic Landmark District on January 29, 1964. 

Liberty Park

The Tracy Aviary In Liberty Park, Salt Lake City, Utah
The Tracy Aviary at Liberty Park provides educational fun activities for kids to learn about our diverse aviary ecosystems. Editorial credit: M Outdoors / Shutterstock.com

Established in 1881, Liberty Park is one of the oldest parks in Salt Lake City. This well-known public urban park covers an area of 0.40 sq. km and contains a small pond with two islands and the Tracy Aviary. The Liberty Park is a popular location for several recreational activities like jogging, cycling, rollerblading, playing, picnicking, etc. On December 11, 1980, Liberty Park was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

Natural History Museum Of Utah

Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah
Natural History Museum of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah. Editorial credit: Uladzik Kryhin / Shutterstock.com

Located on the University of Utah's campus, the Natural History Museum of Utah is one of the popular attractions in Salt Lake City. It displays various interesting exhibits and more than 5,000 artifacts with particular emphasis on Utah and the Intermountain Region. The museum features the paleontological discoveries in Utah and preserved artifacts from the prehistoric people who lived in the region. 

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