Utah is a state steeped in history and wild beauty. It is known for white-capped mountains, deep canyons, wild rivers, green forests, mystical geological formations, and magnificent night skies. Residents and visitors find themselves in a state filled with outdoor adventure and exploration opportunities — every area has a signature attraction and something to offer.
Walk in the Footsteps of Jurassic Giants
Utah’s story begins in the age of dinosaurs. Utah has more dinosaur species records than any other state, according to Utah.com, with an abundance of fossils, museums, and archeological dig sites. Utah offers the “most complete record of prehistoric life of any geographic area on the planet,” as well as having the world’s largest collections of mounted dinosaur skeletons interspersed among actual discovery sites.
- Dinosaur Diamond Prehistoric Highway (Salt Lake City to Moab)
- Natural History Museum of Utah (Salt Lake City)
- Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry (San Rafael Steel, Emery County)
- George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park (Ogden)
- Utah Field House of Natural History Park Museum (Vernal)
- Dinosaur National Monument (Jensen)
Learn About and Appreciate Indigenous History and Culture
From 200 BC to AD 1500, Ancestral Puebloan and Fremont cultures flourished throughout southern Utah. Known as the Basket Maker period, archeologists have found remnants of an innovative culture that settled in the sandstone canyons and later constructed dwellings higher in the cliff sides for additional protection. Puebloan ruins can be pretty complex, and some, according to Smithsonian Magazine, also include sophisticated astronomical observatories.
The ancient civilization’s descendants are today’s Pueblo Indians, including the Hopi and the Zuni. Other Native American cultures that are part of Utah’s heritage include Ute, Paiute, Goshute, Shoshone, and Navajo.
Puebloan structures and petroglyphs are still visible and can be found on recreational trails including the Anasazi Trailhead in Ivins, UT.
A Confluence of Heritage and History
Spanish priests ventured into the Utah area around the time of the American Revolution. Other transient groups, such as trappers, mountain men, and traders, soon followed on their heels. In 1847, Brigham Young and Latter-day Saint (Mormon) pioneers established their first settlement in Salt Lake Valley and ventured out across the region.
Utah is a wild and wonderful place. Its mix of folklore and scientific discoveries offers a unique story and experience for every resident and visitor.