In 1869, Utah was the place where the first railroad to cross the United States came together. Railroad builders started in the east and west, and aimed for the middle. They met — and the railroad tracks came together just right!
Why is there a salty lake here, nowhere near the ocean? At one time, there was an ocean here; all of it evaporated except for this lake. That's also why there is salt at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
This desert state in the west has three spectacular national parks, the Great Salt Lake (which is salty even though it isn't the ocean), the Bonneville Salt Flats, where cars race for speed records, and the Four Corners point, where you can stand on four states — all at once! Look at the map to see which four!
Bonneville was picked as the best place to get car speed records because it is so flat — and the dried-out salty ground doesn't really have anything to slow a car down. Vrroom!
Utah is the thirty-fifth largest state in population and has a little over 2.1 million people. Salt Lake City, the capital and largest city, has 174,000 people.