Provo courthouse garden in the spring.

Provo, a city in the Wasatch Range region of the state of Utah in the United States of America, is known as a base for exploring the surrounding countryside and national parks. Provo is located in Utah County, which is often considered the most conservative county in the most conservative state in the country. Approximately 90% of the residents are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon), compared to about 65% of the state as a whole. It is also the location of Brigham Young University, an LDS-owned university; the public Utah Valley University is located in the adjacent city of Orem.

Provo itself has a population of about 115,000 people, but the Provo-Orem metropolitan area that encompasses Utah Valley is home to over half a million people. Other cities in the valley are very accessible, especially Orem, which sits side-by-side with Provo. Because of Orem's proximity, visitors to Provo should also look at things to do in Orem, as well as places to eat and sleep, depending on their needs.

The Utah Valley Visitor's Center, recently relocated to the new Utah Valley Convention Center (220 W Center St, Suite 100, +1-800-222-8824, M-F 8:30AM-5PM) and its website provides free maps, itineraries, and activity ideas for Provo and the rest of Utah Valley.


The LDS (Mormon) church dominates here, and many businesses (including some gas stations) are closed on Sunday. Provo is also considered one of the most right-leaning, politically "conservative" communities in the USA, although BYU and UVU students add some political variety.

If visiting BYU campus, be aware that nearly all campus services are closed Tuesdays between 11AM and noon due to weekly campus devotionals and forums.

The main area code in Provo is 801, but because the area served by 801 is also served by a second area code (385), the area code must be dialed along with the local number.

Get in

By plane

The most common way to get to Provo is to fly into Salt Lake City (SLC), and drive or catch a shuttle from the airport. The drive follows I-15 and usually takes between 45 minutes and an hour, but can take up to an hour and a half during heavy traffic; for better traffic conditions, travelers can take I-215 through the Salt Lake Valley until it connects to I-15, then take I-15 to Provo.

Allegiant Air offers twice-weekly flights between Provo Airport (PVU), and Mesa, Arizona.

By bus

You can take the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) bus and light rail system from northern Utah and Salt Lake City into Provo, but scheduling is limited. In addition to that, public transportation in Provo is mostly on a 30-minute or hourly schedule, although some routes have 15-minute service, so plan your transit schedule carefully.

Route 550 runs between the Salt Lake City airport parking garage and Salt Lake Central Station about every half-hour. From there, you can transfer to FrontRunner to get to Provo. Below are some options. For bus rides, always check the UTA website for detours and schedule changes. With the implementation of FrontRunner, express buses from Salt Lake City have been canceled.

Greyhound also stops in Provo (124 N 300 W). Provo is a stop on the routes from Salt Lake, Las Vegas, and Grand Junction.

By train

Provo FrontRunner Station

Amtrak serves Provo with the California Zephyr, which runs daily between Emeryville (in the San Francisco Bay Area) and Chicago. The train platform (PRO) is at 600 S 300 W and has no services.

FrontRunner is a commuter rail service that connects Provo to major cities along the Wasatch Range, including; Orem, American Fork, Lehi, Draper, South Jordan, Murray, Salt Lake City, Woods Cross, Farmington, Layton, Clearfield, Roy, Ogden and Pleasant View. The train averages 79 miles per hour and the time from Provo to Salt Lake City is 55 minutes. Many stations are intermodal and connect to other Utah Transit Authority (UTA) bus lines and Trax. The Fronrunner/UTA Intermodal station is located at 690 South Freedom Boulevard.

By car

I-15, which connects Las Vegas and Salt Lake City, runs through the western half of Provo. By car, Provo is about 45 minutes from Salt Lake City, 6 hours from Las Vegas, and 8 hours from Denver (on Highway 6/I-70). Take I-15 exit 263 for south Provo; exit 265 for downtown (east) or Utah Lake (west); exits 265 and 271 for north Provo and Riverwoods, via Orem; and exit 272 for Provo Canyon, via Orem.

There is currently heavy construction on I-15 as the freeway is being redeveloped. Slow down, watch for construction workers, and expect delays. From the north, taking State St (from exit 279) through American Fork, Pleasant Grove, Lindon, and Orem is often (but not always) a viable surface-street alternative to the freeway.

Get around

UTA operates a bus system throughout parts of Provo and Orem, but service in the rest of Utah County is sparse when compared to Salt Lake County. New cycling paths are being built throughout the city. Cars are the main method of transportation. Parking is generally easy to find except on the Brigham Young University campus (although permit parking generally opens up to the public in the evenings).

Car rentals are available at the Salt Lake City airport and in various places in Provo. Several car rental agencies are listed here.

The majority of Provo's streets follow a grid layout. Beware that the city limits between Provo and Orem are often unmarked and unclear. When following directions and finding addresses, take care that you are in the correct city. Many newer road signs indicate the city next to the street address. Also, be advised that there are two major streets named "University": University Avenue, which runs through Provo from north to south, and University Parkway (often called simply "Parkway" or the "Diagonal") which runs through both Provo and Orem.


Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon.
Partial view of BYU campus with Y Mountain.
Historic Provo Courthouse, built in 1926, in downtown Provo at 51 S University Ave.


The Eyring Science Center houses a planetarium, an anechoic chamber and a Foucault pendulum.
Cosmo the Cougar at America's Freedom Festival.
Utah Lake facing south.



Listed below are notable restaurants within Provo city limits, but there are many good restaurants in Orem that are easily accessible.




As a college town, Provo has a large number of places to get family and "date night" treats. In addition to the standard chains (Coldstone, Baskin Robbins, Dairy Queen, Jamba Juice), here are some local favorites.





Go next

Routes through Provo

Sacramento Salt Lake City  W  E  Helper Denver
Salt Lake City Orem  N  S  Spanish Fork St. George
Salt Lake City Orem  N  S  Jct W EFairview Richfield
Evanston Park City  N  S  END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, March 15, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.