Beginning in the early 20th century, with the establishment of such national parks as Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, Utah became known for its natural beauty. Southern Utah became a popular filming spot for arid, rugged scenes featured in the popular mid-century western film genre. From such films, most US residents recognize such natural landmarks as Delicate Arch and "the Mittens" of Monument Valley.
Utah's skiing has become world-renowned. The dry, powdery snow of the Wasatch Range is considered some of the best skiing in the world (the state license plate claims "the Greatest Snow on Earth"). Salt Lake City won the bid for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. With five national parks (Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion), Utah has the third most national parks of any state after Alaska and California.
In addition, Utah features seven national monuments (Cedar Breaks, Dinosaur, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Hovenweep, Natural Bridges, Rainbow Bridge, and Timpanogos Cave), two national recreation areas (Flaming Gorge and Glen Canyon), and seven national forests (Ashley, Caribou-Targhee, Dixie, Fishlake, Manti-La Sal, Sawtooth, and Uinta-Wasatch-Cache).
Are you a sports fanatic? When you move, you might be interested to know Utah is the least populous U.S. state to have a major professional sports league franchise. The Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association play at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City. In the area of higher education, Utah is home to University of Utah, Brigham Young University, and Weber State University, among others.
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.