brown and black concrete building
a snow covered mountain range under a blue sky
aerial view of road in the middle of snow covered ground

Is Salt Lake City in United States Safe?

Salt Lake City is generally safe for tourists, with low violent crime rates. However, be cautious of petty crimes like theft. The city experiences minimal political tensions or civil unrest. Natural disasters like earthquakes pose a moderate risk. Public transportation is reliable and safe. Respecting local customs, like avoiding alcohol in some areas, is advisable for a smooth cultural experience.

Download Vigilios

Your Pocket-Sized Travel Safety Guide

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store

Safety & Security

Salt Lake City is generally considered a safe travel destination within the United States. However, as with any major city, it's important to exercise caution and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

  • Petty Crime: While violent crime rates are relatively low, petty crimes such as theft and pickpocketing can occur, especially in crowded areas or tourist hotspots. Remain vigilant and keep valuables secure.

  • Scams: Be wary of common scams targeting tourists, such as overcharging for services or goods, fake tour operators, or individuals posing as officials demanding payment.

  • Civil Unrest: Salt Lake City is generally peaceful, but it's advisable to avoid any large gatherings or protests that may arise, as they can potentially turn disruptive or violent.

  • Terrorism: The risk of terrorist attacks in Salt Lake City is considered low, but travelers should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to authorities.

  • Outdoor Safety: When exploring the city's natural surroundings, exercise caution and follow safety guidelines, especially in areas prone to wildlife encounters or outdoor hazards.

It's recommended to familiarize yourself with local laws and customs, avoid isolated or poorly lit areas at night, and keep emergency contacts and important documents readily available. By taking reasonable precautions, travelers can enjoy a safe and memorable experience in Salt Lake City.

Health & Medical

Salt Lake City is generally a safe and healthy destination for travelers. However, there are a few health considerations to keep in mind:

  • Air Quality: Salt Lake City can experience periods of poor air quality due to its geographic location and weather patterns. Those with respiratory issues may want to monitor air quality reports.

  • Altitude Sickness: With an elevation of around 4,300 feet, some visitors may experience mild altitude sickness symptoms like headaches or shortness of breath until they acclimatize. Drink plenty of water and avoid strenuous activity initially.

  • Outdoor Activities: For outdoor enthusiasts, be prepared for the risks associated with hiking, skiing, etc. Use proper gear, stay on marked trails, and heed weather advisories.

  • Vaccinations: Routine vaccinations should be up-to-date, but no additional vaccines are typically recommended for Salt Lake City.

  • Medical Facilities: The city has excellent medical facilities, including the University of Utah Hospital and Intermountain Healthcare hospitals, should you require medical attention.

While no major health concerns exist, taking basic precautions like staying hydrated, using sun protection, and being prepared for the altitude can help ensure a comfortable and healthy visit to Salt Lake City.

Natural Disasters

Salt Lake City, located in the western United States, experiences a relatively low risk of natural disasters compared to other regions. However, travelers should be aware of the following potential hazards:

  • Earthquakes: Salt Lake City lies along the Wasatch Fault, making it susceptible to earthquakes. While major quakes are infrequent, minor tremors can occur. Familiarize yourself with safety procedures in case of an earthquake.

  • Wildfires: During hot, dry summers, wildfires can pose a risk, particularly in surrounding mountainous areas. Stay updated on any active fires and follow evacuation orders if issued.

  • Winter Storms: Heavy snowfall and blizzard conditions are common during winter months. Travelers should exercise caution when driving and be prepared for potential travel disruptions.

  • Flooding: Spring snowmelt and occasional heavy rainfall can lead to localized flooding, especially in low-lying areas or near streams and rivers.

While natural disasters are relatively uncommon in Salt Lake City, it's always advisable to stay informed about current weather conditions, heed any warnings issued by local authorities, and have a contingency plan in case of emergencies.


Salt Lake City offers a reliable and safe public transportation system, making it easy for travelers to navigate the city. The Utah Transit Authority (UTA) operates buses, light rail trains (TRAX), and commuter rail lines that connect the city center with suburbs and nearby attractions.

  • Public Transportation: The TRAX light rail system is a convenient and affordable way to travel within Salt Lake City and its surrounding areas. It operates on three lines and provides easy access to popular destinations like Temple Square, the University of Utah, and the Salt Lake City International Airport.

  • Ridesharing and Taxis: Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft are widely available and offer a safe alternative for shorter trips or late-night transportation. Traditional taxis are also an option, but they can be more expensive.

  • Road Safety: Salt Lake City has a well-maintained road network, and drivers generally follow traffic rules. However, as with any city, travelers should exercise caution when driving or crossing streets, especially in high-traffic areas.

  • Bike-Friendly City: Salt Lake City is considered a bike-friendly city, with dedicated bike lanes and trails throughout the metropolitan area. Bike-sharing programs like GREENbike make it easy for visitors to explore the city on two wheels.

Overall, Salt Lake City's transportation options are reliable, safe, and accessible for travelers, allowing them to explore the city and its surroundings with ease.

Cultural Norms

Salt Lake City is a vibrant city with a rich cultural heritage, predominantly influenced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). As a traveler, it's essential to be mindful and respectful of local customs and traditions.

  • Modest Dress: The LDS Church promotes modest dress standards. While not strictly enforced, visitors should consider avoiding revealing or provocative clothing when visiting religious sites or attending church services.

  • Alcohol and Tobacco: Utah has strict laws regarding alcohol consumption and tobacco use. Visitors should refrain from public intoxication and be mindful of designated smoking areas.

  • Sunday Observance: Many businesses and attractions may have reduced hours or be closed on Sundays due to the religious observance of the LDS Church. Plan accordingly.

  • Temple Square: This iconic site is the heart of the LDS Church. Visitors are welcome but should dress modestly, avoid disruptive behavior, and respect the sanctity of the area.

  • Cultural Events: Salt Lake City hosts various cultural events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Utah Arts Festival and the Living Traditions Festival, celebrating the diversity of the local community.

Emergency Services

Salt Lake City has a well-established emergency services system in place to assist travelers in case of emergencies. The city's emergency services are reliable and provide quality care. Ambulance services are readily available and can be dispatched quickly in case of medical emergencies. Fire departments are well-equipped and trained to handle various emergency situations, including fires, accidents, and natural disasters.

  • Police Services: The Salt Lake City Police Department is responsible for maintaining law and order in the city. They have a dedicated tourist assistance unit to help visitors in case of emergencies or incidents.

  • Medical Facilities: Salt Lake City has several hospitals and medical centers that offer excellent healthcare services. These facilities are equipped with modern amenities and staffed with experienced medical professionals.

  • Tourist Assistance Services: The city offers tourist assistance services, including multilingual support, to help visitors navigate emergencies or seek assistance. These services can be accessed through various channels, such as tourist information centers or dedicated hotlines.

It's advisable for travelers to familiarize themselves with the emergency services available in Salt Lake City and keep important contact information handy during their visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

A colorful illustration with three people and the letters "FAQ" representing a Frequently Asked Questions section

Is Salt Lake City safe for tourists?

Salt Lake City is generally safe for tourists. However, like any major city, it's advisable to exercise caution, especially in downtown areas at night. Avoid carrying valuables openly and be aware of your surroundings.

Is Salt Lake City safe for solo female travelers?

Salt Lake City is relatively safe for solo female travelers. However, it's recommended to take standard precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and being cautious when using public transportation alone.

Is Salt Lake City safe for families?

Salt Lake City is family-friendly and offers numerous attractions suitable for children, such as parks, museums, and outdoor activities. However, families should exercise caution in crowded areas and be mindful of their surroundings.

Is Salt Lake City LGBTQ+ friendly?

While Salt Lake City has an active LGBTQ+ community, Utah's laws and social attitudes can be conservative. Same-sex marriage is legal, but discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is not fully protected statewide.

Do you need a visa to go to Salt Lake City?

Citizens of most Western countries do not require a visa for tourist visits to the United States lasting up to 90 days. However, a valid passport is mandatory, and visitors may need to obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel.

Can you drink tap water in Salt Lake City?

The tap water in Salt Lake City is generally safe to drink. However, some visitors may prefer to drink bottled water due to the slightly different taste from the mineral content.

What is the currency in Salt Lake City?

The currency used in Salt Lake City is the United States Dollar (USD). Major credit cards are widely accepted, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases.

Related Content

Download the App

Map, Insights & Support - Vigilios is your Personal Safety Companion

A phone displaying the Vigilios app and it's safety features.
App Store QR LinkApp Store
Google Play QR Link
Coming soon to Android
Google Play