Area: 764 square
miles; population: 725,956 (1990); county seat: Salt Lake City (also
the state capital); origin of county name: from the Great Salt Lake;
principal cities/towns: Salt Lake City (159,936), West Valley City (86,976),
Sandy (75,058), West Jordan (42,892), Murray (31,282), Kearns (17,000),
Midvale (11,886); economy: wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing,
services, transportation and communications, finance, mining, construction,
tourism, agriculture; points of interest: State Capitol building, Temple
Square, Beehive House, Pioneer Trail State Park, Utah Museum of Natural
History, Fort Douglas, Hogle Zoo, Liberty Park, *Delta Center, Salt Palace
Complex, Great Salt Lake, Wheeler Historic Farm, Bingham copper mine,
LDS Church Museum of History and Art, Salt Lake Art Center, Utah State
Historical Society, ski resorts at Alta, Brighton, Snowbird, and Solitude.
The fertile Salt
Lake Valley lies between the Wasatch Mountains on the east and the Oquirrhs on the west. The active Wasatch Fault runs through the eastern part
of the county. The Jordan River flows north through the valley to Great
Salt Lake, and canyon streams provide culinary and agricultural water
and in pioneer times powered mills.
white settlement of the area, prehistoric Indian groups and the historic
Northern Shoshone and Ute Indians used the area for hunting, fishing,
and gathering seasonal foods. The first white men known to see the valley
were trappers associated with William H. Ashley in 1824-25.