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Utah State University Greats

A Great, Pretty Place

An aerial view of Logan City       Located in the city of Logan in northern Utah's Cache Valley, Utah State is 80 miles northeast of Salt Lake City and is within a day’s driving distance of six national parks.
Utah State University is a special place — a major research university where a human touch still prevails. You’ve arrived at a setting described by the legendary mountain man Jim Bridger as “the most beautiful valley in the Rocky Mountains.”

The university’s stellar faculty, staff and students continually strive to make new discoveries and opportunities for themselves, and USU’s reputation as a national center for academic excellence has continued with increasing momentum.
Located in the city of Logan in northern Utah’s Cache Valley, Utah State is 80 miles northeast of Salt Lake City and is within a day’s driving distance of six national parks. The surrounding area, including ski resorts, lakes, rivers and mountains, makes Utah State one of the finest recreational environments in the nation.
“Logan is a vibrant college town and a great place to live for multiple reasons,” said Jay Nielson, Logan City’s community development director. “We have a great combination of waterways, traditional streets, urban forests, good buildings and nice neighborhoods — and we are surrounded by breathtaking mountains.”
The Cache Valley area has recently appeared on several “best places” lists:
  • No. 1 safest U.S. Metropolitan Area for 2007, according to City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America.
  •  One of Top 10 of the nation’s “Most Secure places to Live” by Farmers Insurance Group, 2007.
  •  One of the Top 50 “Cities for Overall Economic Vitality” by the Wall Street Journal, 2007.
  •  No. 3 on Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Retire Young,” 2007.
  •  No. 12 on Forbes Magazine’s “Best Small Places for Business and Careers,” 2007.
  •  No. 3 in an MSN real estate article listing “Low- Cost Locales Where Jobs are Plenty,” 2007.
  •  One of 15 “Great Cities for Job Seekers” by CareerBuilder.com. Taking the No. 2 spot, Logan has an unemployment rate of 2 percent.
  •  No. 5 in the Top 5 Real Estate Markets for College Towns from a 2008 report by College Real Estate LLC, a Texas-based company established in 2004.
  •  If Norman Rockwell and Daniel Boone built a town together, it would be Logan. The May/ June 2008 issue of Where To Retire magazine features Logan as an “undiscovered haven.”
Julie Hollist, director of the Cache Valley Visitors Bureau, said Logan provides a well-rounded, integrated experience that is multi-faceted. She said the area has multiple offerings, especially in the areas of the arts and outdoors.
“Logan is an incredible resource for those who enjoy the arts,” Hollist said. “We have an internationally renowned opera, several local and visiting performing artists throughout the year, an incredible chamber music group and several art galleries.”
Hollist said that in just five minutes one can be fishing, hiking, biking, canoeing or rock climbing in the surrounding mountains. She also mentioned several sporting events held in the Logan area each year that attract national attention including LOTOJA Bike Race, Wasatch Back Relay Race and Top of Utah Marathon.
Nielson believes many people live in the Logan area because of its beautiful, natural setting. Logan canyon is a spectacular natural resource, just minutes from campus, and is a backyard playground for all. It is a place of legend, history, recreation and more, and it is the subject of a new book published in 2007 by Utah State University faculty member and Journalism and Communication Department Head Michael S. Sweeney.
“Last Unspoiled Place — Utah’s Logan Canyon” is Sweeney’s tribute to the geologic wonder he was drawn to from his fi rst visit to Logan. The book was published by National Geographic.
Sweeney thinks Logan Canyon is truly a unique place.
“I have lived in many states and have seen places that are beautiful and wild,” he said. “But if you think of those places — Yellowstone, for instance — they are commercialized or crowded. There are traffic jams and difficulties getting a room or campsite reservation.”
Logan Canyon’s beauty rivals that of Yellowstone, Sweeney said, but it doesn’t have the commercial development and the crowds. The highway makes the canyon easily accessible, and soon a visitor can become lost in the canyon’s wonders.
“You can drive a few minutes into the canyon, then park the car and get into a quiet area of almost pure wilderness,” Sweeney said. “It’s a unique place, unspoiled, and it’s a place to restore the soul.”
Not a bad thing to have in your backyard.
Writer: Maren Cartwright, 435-797-1355,
April 2008

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