Utah, The Beehive State

Utah, The Beehive State

by Sandra Merville Hart

Utah’s nickname is the Beehive State. It earned this nickname from the Mormons, who arrived there in 1847. The Mormons believe in working hard much as bees do.

The Ute were Native American tribes who lived in Utah and Colorado. Ute means “land of the sun.” The word is also interpreted as “high -up.” This is how Utah got its name.

The early history of Utah

The Ute, Shoshone, and Paiute were living in Utah when two Spanish explorers, Silvestre Velez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Dominguez, made maps of the area in the late 1700s.

In 1847, a religious group called the Mormons built the first permanent white settlement in the Salt Lake Valley.

First Transcontinental Railroad

The Union Pacific Railroad met the Central Pacific Railroad at Promontory Summit on May 10, 1869. A golden spike was driven into the ground where the two railroads joined to form the first railroad that joined the east to the west.

Utah becomes a state

Utah became the 45th state on January 4, 1896.

Arches National Park

delicate-arch-4625_960_720Over 1,000,000 tourists visit the Arches National Park in Utah every year.

The park has over 2,000 sandstone arches, which are large red rock semi-circles.  Delicate Arch is the park’s most famous arch. The opening under the arch is 64 feet in height.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon National Park is a wonderful place to visit. Because Bryce Canyon National Park is dark at night, visitors can see about 7,500 stars without a telescope.

bryce-canyon-1867563_960_720Oddly shaped pillars of rock inside the park are known as “Hoodoos.” These can be as short as an adult human to as tall as a ten-story building.

The best place to watch the sun rise is at Inspiration Point. The hoodoos turn red, pink, orange, and yellow in the rising sun.

Dinosaur National Monument

Dinosaur National Monument has a wall containing about 1,500 dinosaur bones, located in Quarry Exhibit Hall. Fossils of several different dinosaurs are embedded in the wall.

Other fun facts about Utah

Find fossils at U-Dig Fossils west of Delta.

Four corners is the only place where four states meet—Utah, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Great Salt Lake is so salty that it’s difficult to sink. You float!

The state capital is Salt Lake City.

The state bird is the California gull.

The state flower is the Sego lily.



50 States Our America: Time for Kids, Time Inc. Books, 2017.

Balkan, Gabrielle. The 50 States, Wide Eyed Editions, 2015.

Cheney, Lynne. Our 50 States: A Family Adventure Across America, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2006.

Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About The 50 States, HarperCollins Publishers, 2001.

Fast Facts About the 50 States. Children’s Press, 2010.

Keenan, Sheila. Greetings from the 50 States, Scholastic Inc., 2008.


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