Utah is known for its high quality of life, low crime and beautiful landscape. Utah is more affordable than neighboring state Colorado but offers similar climate and access to stunning mountains. Utah is home to five national parks: Zion, Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands and Arches. If you have only seen pictures of these stunning rock formations, then you are probably already excited to see them in person. Utah’s beautiful national parks are not to be missed.
- Narrow streets can make moving tricky. Many downtown Salt Lake City neighborhoods have narrow, hilly streets which could prove difficult for some moving companies or big moving trucks. Be sure you understand your new street’s limitations so you do not have unwelcome surprises on moving day. Many downtown homes lack indoor garages, making on-street parking crowded and cumbersome.
- Salt Lake City houses off-campus students. The University of Utah in Salt Lake City only has very limited on-campus housing, meaning that the vast majority of the school’s students live in the surrounding neighborhoods. Fraternity and sorority housing is located just off campus in a section called “Greek Row.” If you are moving to Salt Lake City, keep this in mind when choosing exactly where you want to live.
- Weber State University in Ogden has limited on-campus housing. However, the fact that the university has satellite campuses located throughout Davis County means that there are no specific areas of the city where a high concentration of students live. Many live as far south as Farmington and as far north as North Ogden. The layout of streets in Ogden and the high percentage of homes with driveways and garages also makes street unloading of moving trucks a far simpler prospect.
- Moving permits aren’t required in Utah. However, check with your new town to make sure your moving truck can be parked on the street.
- Beware of snow. Snow accumulation may hinder your move if you are moving to Utah during the winter. Plan for snow delays between the months of November and February.
- July is typically the hottest month. Plan accordingly by staying hydrated and starting early.
- If you can, move on a Sunday. Sundays in Utah offer the lightest amount of roadway and pedestrian traffic, making this the optimum day to complete your move.
Change your address online. To make your move from California to Utah easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives to your new home with you.
Cities and Metro Areas
Snyderville is considered to be the place in Utah with the second best set of public schools. This is a cozy, homely neighbourhood home to 6,200 who pride themselves on the community atmosphere they have collectively established. However, Fruit Heights is a far more accessible and affordable place to live in Utah and is a realistic prospect for many families looking to relocate to Utah. Other great places to live in Utah include Salt Lake City, Provo, Ogden and West Jordan.
Cost of Living
Like many other housing markets around the country, the Utah housing market has reached new heights during the pandemic as a result of a perfect storm of low inventory, high demand, and interest rates near historic lows. However, as the Federal Reserve Bank started using its economic power to fight back against inflation, which has reached a forty-year high, by increasing interest rates, the Utah housing market is beginning to show signs of a significant slowing down.
Property prices still remain high. According to data collected in September 2022, the latest available at the time of writing, the median sale price for a house in Utah stood at $533,500, representing a 5.6% increase compared to September 2021.
Highways and Public Transport
Traffic, even in populous areas like Salt Lake City, is relatively light by Southern California standards. There are certainly plenty of traffic jams during rush hour on weekdays but when compared with the gridlock to Los Angeles or other California cities, you will find it refreshingly easy on your time and gas mileage.
Utah’s grid systems make it surprisingly simple to navigate almost any city in the state after moving to Utah. If you’re not familiar with the grid system, it might take some getting used to, but once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll wonder how you ever got around elsewhere without it.
Public transportation is plentiful, starting with the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), which is a robust transit system that extends from the city of Provo, 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, all the way to Ogden, which lies 40 miles north of Salt Lake City. There’s also an extensive light rail system operated by the UTA, which includes TRAX. TRAX can take you to stations throughout Salt Lake City. The FrontRunner commuter train serves the area from just north of Ogden to Salt Lake City. Expansions further south to Provo are currently in development.
Utah has a dry, continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The average temperature in July is in the low 70s Fahrenheit. Salt Lake City sees an average of 60 inches of snow per year but there are areas of Utah that rarely, if ever, see snow. These areas lie on the southern end of the state near the Arizona and Nevada borders. During July, the hottest month of the year, temperatures statewide average between 85 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Utah is also known for sometimes wild temperature fluctuations due in part to its high elevation.
Utah has one of the highest literacy rates in the nation and has a number of quality educational institutions, from kindergarten all the way through graduate schools. What follows are some of the most renowned schools and colleges. Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to Utah.
Top 5 Best Elementary Schools (with 100 or more students)
Fox Hills Magnet School (Salt Lake City, UT)
Morningside Magnet School (Salt Lake City, UT)
Cleveland Elementary (Cleveland, UT)
Canyon Crest School (Provo, UT)
Bonneville School (Salt Lake City, UT)
Top 5 Best Middle Schools (with 100 or more students)
Mapleton School (Mapleton, UT)
Westside School (Springville, UT)
John Hancock Charter School (Pleasant Grove, UT)
Renaissance Academy (Lehi, UT)
Salt Lake Arts Academy (Salt Lake City, UT)
Top 5 Best High Schools (with 100 or more students)
Castle Valley Center (Price, UT)
Intech Collegiate High School (North Logan, UT)
Gunnison Valley High (Gunnison, UT)
Piute High (Junction, UT)
Kanab High (Kanab, UT)
Utah is also home to several notable higher education schools as well. Brigham Young University (also known as BYU) is located in Provo and is the third-biggest private university in the country. It’s also the country’s largest religious university, with 98 percent of students belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Salt Lake City is also home to the University of Utah, a public university that recently ranked 124th in a listing of the best colleges in the country. Its campus is where you’ll find the famous Huntsman Cancer Institute, a research center and hospital.
Want to take care of important (mandatory) tasks before moving to Utah? Many of the items required for a move to Utah can be found online.
Utah Government Resources