City Cast

The History of the Jordan River

Terina Ria
Terina Ria
Posted on October 31
The Jordan River. (@jordanrivernaturecenter/Instagram)

The Jordan River. (@jordanrivernaturecenter/Instagram)

Do you know the history behind the Jordan River? It’s a 50-mile long waterway that flows from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake. It has long been a place of gathering and refuge for Indigenous tribes. After settlers came in 1847, it was used largely for waste disposal. Over the last few decades, conservationists have worked on restoring the river, as it provides a habitat to many species of wildlife and a space of recreation for Salt Lakers.

Fun Facts

  • Pia Okwai is the Shoshoni name for the Jordan River.
  • During the construction of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Salt Lake City Temple, giant granite blocks were transported to the city by being floated up the river.
  • The Jordan River Parkway (the system of trails along the river) was created in 1971, mostly for flood control.
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