• Completion of the world’s first transcontinental railroad was celebrated at Promontory where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads met on May 10, 1869. It is now known as Golden Spike National Historic Site.
• Salt Lake City was originally named Great Salt Lake City. Great was dropped from the name in 1868.
• The name Utah comes from the Native American Ute tribe and means people of the mountains.
• Utah was acquired by the United States in 1848 in the treaty ending the Mexico War.
• Utah has the highest literacy rate in the nation.
• Rainbow Bridge is nature’s abstract sculpture carved of solid sandstone, is the world’s largest natural-rock span. It stands 278 feet wide and 309 feet high.
• The Great Salt Lake covers 2,100 square miles, with an average depth of 13 feet. The deepest point is 34 feet.
• The Great Salt Lake, which is about 75 miles wide, covers more than a million acres.
• The Uinta mountain range is named after the Ute Indians. The Uinta’s are the only east-west axis mountains in North America.
• The Wasatch mountain range is named after a Ute Indian name meaning “mountain pass” or “low place in a high mountain”.
• The average snowfall in the mountains near Salt Lake City is 500 inches.
• Because of the state’s inland location Utah’s snow is unusually dry. Earning it the reputation of having the world’s greatest powder. 13 Alpine ski resorts operate in Utah.
• Annual precipitation varies from less than five inches in Utah’s arid Great Salt Lake Desert to more than 60 inches in the northern mountain ranges.
• During World War II Alta ski center became involved in the war effort when paratroopers from the 10th Mountain Regiment trained on its slopes.
• Utah has five national parks: Arches, Canyonlands, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef.
• Utah has seven national monuments: Cedar Breaks, Natural Bridges, Dinosaur, Rainbow Bridge, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Timpanogas Cave and Hovenweep.
• Utah has two national recreation areas: Flaming Gorge and Glen Canyon
• Utah has six national forests: Ashley, Dixie, Fishlake, Manti La-Sal, Uinta and Wasatch-Cache.
• The Escalante River is generally considered to be the last major river to be “discovered” in the contiguous United States.
• Kanab is called “Park Central” because it is located only minutes away from a grand array of 3 national parks, 3 national monuments, 1 national recreation area and 2 state parks. Two national forests and the Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas also surround Kanab.
• Beaver is the birthplace of two very famous individuals of the past, Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of television and Butch Cassidy, the notorious western outlaw.
• There have been over 800 film and television shows shot in Utah.
• More westerns have been filmed in Kane County, Utah than anywhere else outside of California.
• The first Lone Ranger was filmed around Kanab in 1938.
• Ridley Scott once said of Moab: “I have seen more wonderful and varied scenery in a single day in Moab than any other day I have ever scouted.”
• The only DreamWorks film to shoot in Utah (so far) is Galaxy Quest.
• The Heber Valley Railroad has been filmed in over 30 motion pictures over the past 20 years.
• The Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission, the longest continuous-running film commission in the world, was set up to assist director John Ford.
• Clint Eastwood starred in two Utah films: Outlaw Josey Wales and The Eiger Sanction.
• The first full-length feature movie to film in southwest Utah was The Vanishing American in 1925 and the first in the Moab area was Wagon Master in 1949.
• Touched by an Angel filmed in Utah for nine seasons; its pilot was filmed in North Carolina.
• Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep considered the roles for Thelma & Louise which was filmed in Utah. They turned it down for Death Becomes Her.
• Gunsmoke filmed episodes each season on location in Johnson Canyon just outside of Kanab, UT.