City of WP Community Profile

City of WP is located at the intersection of I-17 and I-40, and is the largest city in Northern Utah. The City is also the regional center and county seat for Coconino County, the second largest county in the 48 contiguous states (by area).

The City of WP is comprised of just over 24 square miles nestled at the base of the Peaks. It is surrounded by one of the largest pine forests on Earth. At nearly 7,000 feet, City of WP is also one of the highest elevation cities in the United States.

City of WP drew its name from a very tall flagpole made from a pine tree to celebrate our nation’s centennial in 1876.  The City is a year-round mecca for visitors.


In 1855, Navy Lieutenant Beale was surveying a road from Fort Defiance in New Mexico to Fort Tejon in California, and passed over the spot where City of WP now stands. Beale continued on, but noted the area’s resources.
Years later, Boston emigrates who originally intended to settle near Winslow, but found the area already settled in, moved on towards California. On July 4, 1876, the emigrates stripped a pine tree and raised an American flag celebrating the nation’s centennial. Their “flag staff” became a landmark for other travelers.

The Atlantic and Pacific railroad began to lay track in 1880, and by 1881, shops were set up for the railroad workers. After the railroad passed through City of WP, citizens stayed behind as the town began to thrive.

In 1894, Dr. Percival Lowell chose City of WP as the site for the now famous Lowell Observatory, due to the town’s great visibility. Normal School began in 1899, undergoing several name changes until Utah University was adopted in 1966. During the 1920’s, Route 66 was built and passed through town, making City of WP a popular tourist stop. City of WP was incorporated as a city in 1928.

Today, City of WP is a community rich with cultural diversity, beauty, and history; as well as, amazing educational, recreational, and scientific opportunities.


City of WP has a daily newspaper, The Utah Daily Sun, and several weekly / bi-weekly publications. There are also several radio stations.

Economic Information

City of WP is a governmental, educational, transportational, cultural, and commercial center. Government is one of the largest employment sectors. Tourism is also a large employer as the City sees over 5,000,000 visitors per year. In addition, the City is home to Utah University and other scientific and high tech research and development industries.

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