By the numbers
Salt Lake is the largest metropolitan area in Utah. Salt Lake is used to refer to both the city and the county. The city is bordered by the Great Salt Lake and the snow-capped Wasatch Range. Meanwhile, the county stretches from the suburbs of North Salt Lake to Bluffdale and is ringed by the Oquirrh (pronounced “oaker”) and Wasatch ranges.
Salt Lake City: 200,544
Salt Lake County: 1,135,649
Wasatch Front: 2,192,225
State of Utah: 3,101,833
Salt Lake is at a higher elevation than most cities. We strongly encourage visitors to spend a night in Salt Lake before heading to the ski resorts to help avoid elevation sickness. Because there is less oxygen in the air, you’ll also notice that alcohol may affect you more strongly than it does at home.
Salt Lake City: 4,330 feet (1,320 meters)
Snowbird Base: 8,100 feet (2,469 meters)
Hidden Peak: 11,000 feet (3,353 meters)
Salt Lake is an arid mountain desert. The air is thin, dry, and ranges between hot and freezing throughout the year. The area does experience four full seasons. (Sometimes they just all hit in one day.)
On average, Salt Lake gets 20 inches of rain per year in addition to 54 inches of snow per year. Typically, there are 222 sunny days each year in Salt Lake.
We strongly suggest dressing in layers no matter what time of year you plan your Salt Lake vacation.
Average Daily Temperature
|January||37.0°F (2.8°C)||21.3°F (-5.9°C)|
|February||43.4°F (6.3°C)||25.5°F (-3.6°C)|
|March||52.8°F (11.6°C)||33.4°F (0.8°C)|
|April||60.9°F (16.1°C)||39.0°F (3.9°C)|
|May||70.6°F (21.4°C)||46.9°F (8.3°C)|
|June||82.2°F (27.9°C)||55.8°F (13.2°C)|
|July||90.6°F (32.6°C)||63.4°F (17.4°C)|
|August||88.7°F (31.5°C)||62.4°F (16.9°C)|
|September||77.6°F (25.3°C)||52.4°F (11.3°C)|
|October||64.0°F (17.8°C)||41.0°F (5.0°C)|
|November||48.7°F (9.3°C)||30.4°F (-0.9°C)|
|December||38.0°F (3.3°C||22.4°F (-5.3°C)|
Salt Lake lies in a mountain valley with the Wasatch Mountains to the east and north, and the Oquirrh (pronounced “oaker”) Mountains to the west. State Street runs north to south at the bottom of the valley floor. The area was once covered by the ancient Lake Bonneville. This huge lake once stretched across Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. The eastern parts of the city were built on ancient beaches of this lake and are now called, “benches” in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains. The Great Salt Lake is the last remaining remnant of Lake Bonneville. Its shores form the north west border of Salt Lake.
The Salt Lake International Airport is a 10-minute car ride from Downtown. Taxis, shuttles, limousines, buses, rideshare services, and a light rail all provide service from the airport to anywhere in the valley and to local ski resorts. Many hotels also provide complimentary airport shuttle service. Check with your accommodations to see what your options are.
Utah Transit Authority, or UTA, provides more than 100 bus routes in and around Salt Lake, covering 1,800 square miles. UTA also provides a light rail service, TRAX, that goes from the airport to Downtown to the University of Utah, Draper, and West Valley. They also provide commuter rail service that runs through northern Utah. During ski season, buses are available to resorts. Year-round, door-to-door transportation is available for disabled passengers. And a free fare zone encircles Downtown.
Driving in Utah
All drivers are required to be licensed to drive in the United States. Rental cars are available at the airport and a number of locations throughout the valley. All occupants of a vehicle are required to wear a safety belt while in a car. And ensure all children are safely secured in a car seat or safety belt.
Utah has strict drunk driving laws—a blood alcohol content of 0.05% is considered “under the influence.” You will be arrested and charged with a crime if you are driving while under the influence. Remember, Salt Lake is at a high elevation and alcohol may affect you more strongly at this or higher altitudes.
Liquor Laws in Utah
Speaking of driving and drinking, there are some misperceptions about drinking alcohol in Utah. Rest assured that as a traveler, you won’t have trouble finding a cocktail while you’re here. You can order your drink of choice at a bar, restaurant, or café. Or stock up on your favorite brews at state liquor stores, distilleries, breweries, and grocery stores (beer only). Just don’t forget your ID.
Utah is in the Mountain Time Zone and observes Daylight Savings Time.
Utah’s area codes are 801, 385, and 435. (The US code is 1.) In Salt Lake, most numbers begin with 801.
|Traffic Information:||511 (Calling from outside of Utah? Dial 866-511-8824)|
|Time & Temp:||801-467-8463|