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Utah

Clouds over sandstone cliffs. Bryce Canyon National Park
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Worldwide //  North America //  United States //  Utah
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From Andrew Harper:

From its barren salt flats to its crystalline mountain streams, Utah is a study in contradictions. On one hand, the state retains much of the isolationist, monolithic flavor born when Brigham Young established a home base here with his Mormon pilgrims in the 19th Century. And while the church is no longer ready to face off against the federal government over the issue of polygamy, as it did in 1857, the Mormons still dominate the state’s culture and politics. On the other hand, Utah is a beacon of cosmopolitanism and diversity. Salt Lake City has become the industrial banking center of the United States, hosts a substantial arts scene and has even, to the surprise of many, been touted as a gay-friendly metropolis. But the Beehive State’s diversity is still, first and foremost, geographic: From the snowcapped peaks of Winter Olympic-host ski resorts to the stunning sandstone of the southern national parks like Arches and Bryce Canyon to the mountain-biking mecca of Moab, Utah is an outdoor lover's promised land.  Nature and culture converge each January in the renowned Sundance Film Festival. 

- Andrew Harper

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