Interesting Utah History + Stunning Park and Monument Photos

State Flag of Utah

State Flag of Utah
State Flag of Utah | Source

Things to do in Utah

If you are searching for a vacation destination which has unimaginable beauty and plenty of open spaces, then perhaps you should put the State of Utah on your bucket list.

While Utah is the thirteenth largest of the fifty states in the United States of America, it has the third most national parks following those in Alaska and California.

There are, in fact, five national parks within the confines of the state with numerous state parks and other attractions which will keep one happily engaged for quite some time.

My mother, niece and I had two weeks of vacation to see what we could of this western state and even though we had seen some photos and read about many of the places we would ultimately visit...our senses were at times overwhelmed with wonder at the differing sites.

Location of Utah in the United States

A markerUtah -
Utah, USA
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Utah photos

Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon National Park | Source
Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands National Park | Source

Where to go in Utah

Click on the highlighted links below to journey to those specific areas in Utah and see much more information, numerous photos plus videos regarding each fantastic location.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Zion National Park

Capitol Reef National Park

Arches National Park

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Goblin Valley State Park

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

Spectacular Scenery in Utah National Parks

The Great White Throne in Zion National Park

The Great White Throne in Zion National Park
The Great White Throne in Zion National Park | Source

Place of Wonder

Undoubtedly the native Indian tribes who lived in these parts...long before Europeans came to settle in these lands...were also impressed with the natural wonders. Tribes included the Anasazi and Freemont.

The Navajo, Soshute, Paiute, Shoshone and Ute people had plenty of land to roam, secure food by tending crops as well as and fishing and hunting.

While much of the state has a semi-arid to desert climate, there are also creeks and rivers that emerge from the hills and mountainous rocky formations that would also have provided moisture and shelter to the native Indians.

Living and taking from the land what they needed for subsistence, the native Americans could not have helped but notice the wondrous scenery which varied from area to area...long before Utah became the 45th State of the U.S. in 1896.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park | Source

Utah photos

Capitol Reef National Park
Capitol Reef National Park | Source
Cedar Breaks National Monument
Cedar Breaks National Monument | Source
Landscape Arch in Arches National Park
Landscape Arch in Arches National Park | Source

Utah Facts

While Utah may have been slow with regard to European settlement, trappers and fur traders lead the charge on discovering the bounty that was there all of which the native Indians knew.

Mormon settlement of parts of Utah took place with Brigham Young leading the way back in 1847. A good percentage of people living in Utah still adhere to the Mormon religion.

Early mining done by the Mormons was primarily for stones to build buildings, coal to help heat and iron to forge tools and other necessary items. As time progressed mining of gold, silver, copper and uranium also took place. Copper mining is still done today and is an important industry in Utah.

Other dates of note were when the last link of the First Transcontinental Telegraph was completed in 1861 in the Salt Lake City area.

In 1869, just north of Salt Lake at Promontory Point, the First Transcontinental Railroad was completed.

Those two events truly helped in moving people from eastern parts of the country to the west. Communication and transportation became faster and easier.

No longer would settlers have to rely solely upon wagon trains and stage coaches to move their possessions cross country and loved ones could transmit information of importance by telegraph instead of waiting interminably for the slow written forms of communication transported by pony express back in that time.

Extreme hiking in Zion..."perhaps one of the most coveted hikes in the world" and only allowed by permit.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower

President Dwight D. Eisenhower
President Dwight D. Eisenhower | Source

Utah Travel

Obviously with the Transcontinental Telegraph and the Transcontinental Railroad, more people were discovering Utah.

But what really opened it up especially with regard to tourism was the development of the Interstate Highway System of which President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a major proponent back in the mid-1950's.

Prior to becoming the 34th President of the U.S.(from 1953 to 1961), Eisenhower was the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War 2 and came to know the importance of the German Autobahn as it related to the easier transportation of troops and supplies.

While rarely needed for emergencies in the U.S., occasionally the Interstate Highways come into use for those reasons. Evacuations from impending hurricanes is one such use.

Primarily the Interstate Highways are utilized by companies transporting goods all across our land as well as people driving to places of work or planning visits to friends and families. Naturally for those taking vacations, it makes getting from one place to another much easier and faster.

Utah tourism definitely became more popular when travel to and from Utah became easier for most Americans who wished to take their automobiles out on the road for vacation purposes.

Goblin Valley State Park in Utah

Goblin Valley State Park in Utah ~ Do you see all the people playing and climbing on those rocks?  It is another one of Utah's wonderlands!
Goblin Valley State Park in Utah ~ Do you see all the people playing and climbing on those rocks? It is another one of Utah's wonderlands! | Source

Utah Parks

The things to see in Utah are seemingly endless. Over 70% of the land in Utah is set aside and federally owned or managed. This includes the national parks, state parks and other sites of interest.

Since about 80% of all the people who have settled in Utah live near Salt Lake, that leaves many other places in the state that are unpopulated or sparsely populated.

Utah is a hikers dream location! Be sure and take comfortable hiking shoes, some sunscreen, plenty of water and be prepared to enjoy yourself.

While many of the parks feature rocky formations...amazingly each has a distinctive look and feel to the place. So if planning a vacation trip to Utah, be sure and see as many of the different parks as time allows.

We saw petrified sand dunes, bee hives in rocks which smelled of honey, petroglyphs, stone arches that number the greatest in the world and unusual rock formations that must be seen to be believed!

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park

Escalante Petrified Forest State Park ~ Yes...there is petrified wood found there!
Escalante Petrified Forest State Park ~ Yes...there is petrified wood found there! | Source

Have you been to Utah or would you consider taking a vacation there?

  • I have been there and/or live in Utah.
  • Yes...I would enjoy vacationing there someday.
  • I prefer a different kind of vacation but thanks for showing me these sites.
See results without voting

From this writer...

To read Peggy W's bio and have access to many more of her hubs on many subjects, CLICK HERE.

Utah Attractions

Are you a snow skier or one who enjoys snowboarding?

One of the places in Utah that many people flock to in the winter are the ski areas located in Park City and Alta. They are up in the mountains above Salt Lake City and would definitely have been put to good use during the Winter Olympic Games in 2002.

My mother, niece and I saw those locations during the summer. The cooler mountain breezes can be a nice respite from the heat of summer-time temperatures. the scenery is impressive.

Hope you enjoyed this brief look at what the State of Utah has to offer. I'll be adding more hubs in the future. Click on the individual links above if you wish to learn more about those specific locations and see more photos and videos related to those beautiful sites.

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5 out of 5 stars from 7 ratings of Utah Attractions

Experience the Mighty 5: Utah's National Parks

© 2012 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 51 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 17 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi poetryman6969,

Much of the State of Utah is in the wild as is common with national parks and state parks. It is wondrous to be able to explore these places in person. Hope you get to explore it someday.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 17 months ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Patricia,

I am sure that you would love visiting Utah just as we did. It is a nature lover's paradise as so much of the state is set aside for parks, etc. Hope you get to see it someday. Thanks for the votes, shares, etc.

poetryman6969 profile image

poetryman6969 17 months ago

I see some wild looking territory. I think I would enjoy a close up and personal look at it some day.

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 17 months ago from sunny Florida

Truly would love to visit here. Your photos make this seem like a state I would love to visit. It is amazing to me that so much splendor resides within our boundaries.

Angels are on the way to you Peggy.

Voted up+++ and shared and pinned to Awesome HubPages

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Paul,

That must have been some trip driving from Chicago to San Francisco with college buddies! Nice that you have gotten to spend some time in Utah. It is a fabulous state filled to the brim with natural wonders. :)

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