1. Great Skiing
We’re famous for our amazing powder and easy access to ski resorts. There’s no disputing the fact that we have the best skiing in the country.
2. Green Jello
The world was introduced to our supposed fascination with green jello during the Olympics, when we even offered a collectible Green Jello pin. In reality, many Utahns don’t touch the stuff.
3. Old Westerns
Director John Ford filmed many Westerns in Utah (mostly in and around Kanab). Subsequent TV shows such as Gunsmoke also cemented Utah in the minds of most Americans and introduced them to Utah’s desert landscape. While many other non-Western movies and tv shows have been filmed in Utah since, people think of our state when they see an old John Wayne flick.
4. The Mormon Church
Ask anyone outside the state what they know about Utah, and they’ll tell you that Utahns are Mormons. That’s not exactly true...only about 60% of us are LDS, statewide (the percentage is even lower in Salt Lake County).
5. Delicate Arch
One of the most photographed icons of Utah, Delicate Arch certainly is gorgeous. Of course, Utah has hundreds of natural sandstone arches, and many are just as stunning.
6. Nice People
Utahns are well-known for their kindness. We’re friendly, welcoming and happy to help people whenever we can.
7. Fry Sauce
The rest of the world thinks that fry sauce is...weird. When introduced to the mayo/ketchup concoction, some are disgusted; others are immediate converts.
8. Breathtaking Mountains
As visitors circle the Salt Lake Valley on approach to the Salt Lake International Airport, they’re often stunned at our mountains. It’s easy for Utahns to forget just how breathtaking they are...but those from flat states are impressed at their immense presence and proximity to our cities.
Utah IS a desert...but it includes three other biomes: alpine, wetlands and forests. People from other states need to come to Utah and enjoy some camping and fishing in the High Uintas, or check out the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge!
10. The 2002 Winter Olympics
Yes, we hosted the 2002 games, and we’re proud of it! Not only did we show the world that Utah is a beautiful state, we continue to make use of our Olympic facilities. Utahns skate, ski, snowshoe and more right alongside current and future Olympians who train here.
Some people think that every Utahn is a polygamist! We know this isn’t true, and the LDS Church is quick to point out that it does not condone the practice. However...Utah's early history absolutely includes plenty of polygamy, and there are still a small number of polygamists in our state.
12. Confusing Liquor Laws
Utah does have some strict, often confusing liquor laws, but recent legislation has made it a little easier to get a drink in Utah - at least you don’t have to buy a membership at bars now!
13. Poor Air Quality
Unfortunately, Utah is becoming well-known for its bad air quality. This time of year, the Wasatch Front’s air is so bad that people with lung conditions, the elderly and small children are actually warned to avoid being outside. Hopefully, this is one stereotype that Utah can work to reverse.
14. The Great Salt Lake
People who visit Utah often want to see the Great Salt Lake (the largest salt water lake in the Western hemisphere). It’s definitely cool, but Utahns don’t really swim in it much. Often, the lake is stinky and infested with bugs -- not exactly our best tourist attraction.
15. Dangerous Slot Canyons
Utah’s beautiful slot canyons have long been favorite hiking destinations for people all over the world. They became famous across the country when Aron Ralston wandered off to a remote spot all alone, got his arm stuck in a crevice, cut part of it off to free himself, then wrote a book (and later sold the movie rights). While some of our slots are remote and dangerous (and should never be hiked alone), many are suitable for family hikes.
16. National Parks
Utah has five national parks, and all offer stunning scenery and plentiful recreation activities. People come from all over the world to visit!
17. Vast Wilderness
Utah’s beauty includes some sweeping vistas that showcase just the vastness of our state. Look out of Dead Horse Point and you can’t help but feel very small.
18. Plentiful Wildlife
Of course, there’s never a guarantee that you’ll land that rainbow trout or capture the perfect photo of that moose, but Utah does have a reputation for plentiful wildlife. Spend some time in Utah’s outdoors and you’re sure to see a host of beautiful creatures.