The state of Utah relies heavily on income from tourists and travelers visiting the state’s parks and ski resorts, and thus the need to “brand” Utah and create an impression of the state throughout the world has led to several state slogans, the most famous of which being “The Greatest Snow on Earth”, which has been in use in Utah officially since 1975 (although the slogan was in unofficial use as early as 1962) and now adorns nearly 50 percent of the state’s license plates. In 2001, Utah Governor Mike Leavitt approved a new state slogan, “Utah! Where Ideas Connect”, which lasted until March 10, 2006, when the Utah Travel Council and the office of Governor Jon Huntsman announced that “Life Elevated” would be the new state slogan.
Utah is the setting of or the filming location for many books, films, television series, music videos, and video games. A selective list of each appears below.
Harry Turtledove’s Southern Victory Series, which is set in a North America where the South won the Civil War, mentions Utah several times. The state’s Mormon population rebels against the United States in an attempt to create the Nation of Deseret throughout the series, which results in battles in and around Salt Lake City, Provo, and other locations.
In Around the World in Eighty Days, the characters pass through Utah by train.
The children’s series The Great Brain is set in a fictional town that is based on Price.
Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang is set in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona. The characters’ ultimate goal is the destruction of the Glen Canyon Dam.
Much of Walter M. Miller, Jr.’s post-apocalyptic novel A Canticle for Leibowitz is set near or directly within Utah. The “hero” of the first part of the novel, the novice Brother Francis Gerard, is from Utah.
In the second of four books based on the video game Doom much of the story takes place in Salt Lake City.
Jack Kerouac’s semi-autobiographical novel On the Road (arguably the most defining work of the post-WWII Beat Generation) describes traveling through Utah as part of a number of spontaneous road trips taken by the book’s main characters. Additionally, the character of Dean Moriarty (like his real life counterpart Neal Cassady) was born in Salt Lake City. While many of the names and details of Kerouac’s experiences are changed, the characters and road trips in the novel are based heavily on road trips taken by Kerouac and his friends across mid-20th century America.
Will Hobbs’ 1999 young adult novel, The Maze, takes place in Canyonlands National Park in Southern Utah.
Mark Twain’s book Roughing It (describes meeting with Brigham Young.)
In Dean Koontz’s book Dark Rivers of the Heart the two main characters travel through Utah while being sought after by a secret government agency. One scene takes place in Cedar City.
Utah’s Monument Valley has been location to several productions, such as 127 Hours (2010), Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes (2001), and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).
The Donny & Marie Show and The Osmond Family Show were primarily filmed at the former Osmond Studios in Orem.
In the Doctor Who episode “Dalek”, Utah was the base of operations for the character Henry van Statten. In the episode “The Impossible Astronaut,” the Doctor mysteriously summons his former companions Amy Pond and Rory Williams to Monument Valley.
In Blood & Oil, a young couple move to the fictional oil boomtown, Rock Springs, ND. The entire series is filmed in and around Park City.
In Prison Break, D. B. Cooper buried his money under a silo in the Utah desert somewhere near Tooele. Much of the first half of the second season involves the characters attempting to reach Utah and recovering the money.
In The Visitor, the main character’s spaceship was shot down and crash-landed in the mountains east of Salt Lake City.
Everwood was filmed in Park City, Ogden, and South Salt Lake.
Regular production for Touched by an Angel was based in Salt Lake City, but it was filmed in many Utah locations, including some scenes in Ogden.
The CBS series Promised Land was filmed in a closed set in Salt Lake City.
Big Love, an HBO television drama about a polygamous family, was set in Sandy.
In an episode of The Simpsons, Bart and his girlfriend drive to Utah to get married because of the state’s marriage laws. In another episode, the Simpsons attend the Sundance Film Festival in Park City.
In an episode of the Nickelodeon sitcom Drake & Josh, after accidentally killing his sister Megan’s rare Cuban hamster, Josh Peck’s character packs to move to Utah because “Nothing bad ever happens in Utah.”
“The Stand”, a 1994 TV mini-series, was filmed at multiple locations in Weber, Salt Lake and Tooele counties. The scene where the deaf character (Nick) meets the slow-witted character (Tom Cullen) was filmed on Historic 25th Street in Ogden.
Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert was filmed in Salt Lake City at EnergySolutions Arena on October 26 and 27, 2007.
Top Gear Series 12, episode 2 features hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May driving to Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in a Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, a Dodge Challenger SRT-8, and a Cadillac CTS-V.
In the Futurama episode “Mars University”, the Professor mentions Utah while describing the colonization of Mars: “In those days Mars was a dreary, uninhabitable wasteland, much like Utah. But unlike Utah, Mars was eventually made liveable…”
The TLC reality series Sister Wives, which made its debut in 2010, documents the life of a polygamous family in Lehi.
In 2011 an episode of Travel Channel’s television series Ghost Adventures was aired that took place at the Tooele Hospital.
An episode of The Aquabats Super Show was filmed in Lagoon Amusement Park in Farmington.
An episode of “I Love Jenni” was filmed in Utah for the Sundance Film Festival in Park City.
Jon Bon Jovi – “Blaze of Glory” was shot in or around Moab.
Metallica – “King Nothing” and parts of “I Disappear” were filmed in Monument Valley.
The Killers – “Human” was shot in Goblin Valley.
The Offspring – “Gotta Get Away” was filmed at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.
Tiffany – “I Think We’re Alone Now” was filmed at the Ogden Mall.
Chelsea Grin – “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was filmed in the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Demi Lovato – “Skyscraper” was filmed in the Bonneville Salt Flats.
Paramore – “Daydreaming” beginning scenes were filmed in Spanish Fork and Benjamin, Utah County.
Imagine Dragons – “On Top of the World” was mostly filmed inside the BYU Broadcasting Building in Provo, UT.
Splinter Cell: Conviction’s Insurgency Pack features a level that takes place at a fictional experimental pharmaceutical company in Salt Lake City.
Resistance 2 features a level in Bryce Canyon.
Amped 3 features a level at the Snowbird Ski Resort.
Downhill Domination has six bike racing courses in Moab and Salt Lake City.
Shaun White Snowboarding features Park City Mountain Resort.
Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun features a level in Provo (NOD campaign).
EA Sports BIG’s Freekstyle game has a level called “Monumental Motoplex” in Monument Valley.
Test Drive Off-Road Wide Open features a level in Moab.
Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus features a level in a fictional Utah town called “Mesa City”.
Fallout: New Vegas features a downloadable add-on, titled Honest Hearts, which takes place in Utah’s Zion National Park.
The Last of Us shows the central area of Salt Lake City (Interstate highway, Salt Lake Temple, and the fictional Saint Mary’s Hospital).