Moving from Salt Lake City, UT to Los Angeles, CA

Welcome to a brave (and big) new world 

People relocate to Los Angeles for many reasons, but one thing they usually have in common is a sense of adventure. It helps, especially when you’re from Salt Lake City, UT (population: 200,000) and are about to join close to 4 million others who live in the second-largest U.S. city. 

Sure, a bit of culture shock is to be expected, but there are reasons why the City of Angels is such a popular destination. Get some tips on managing the change. Then, when weighing your options for long-distance moving, consider a service that keeps things easy, affordable and hassle-free.  

Salt Lake City and Los Angeles by the numbers 

We’ve listed the respective population numbers of Salt Lake City and L.A. Here are some other figures to help put the size difference into perspective: 

  • While L.A. has the country’s second-largest metropolitan area (to New York/New Jersey), SLC ranks 125th on that list 
  • L.A. has a population density of 8,485 people per square mile compared to just 1,500 in SLC 
  • Almost five SLCs (111 square miles) can fit into L.A. (503 square miles)  

Following your faith  

Salt Lake City is well known as the headquarters for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). For those wanting to continue their spiritual practice, the LDS church is the third-largest religious body in Los Angeles County, according to the Los Angeles Almanac. More than 756,000 Mormons live in L.A. and the Los Angeles California Temple is the second-largest temple operated by the LDS Church. 

Sun, sand and smog 

As an Angelino, you won’t get the 60 inches of snow that you’ve grown accustomed to each year in Salt Lake City. But you’ll be just an hour away from the mountains (and snow) if you need your winter fix. For warmer weather pursuits, you’re also only an hour away from beaches and the desert. 

Then, there’s the air quality. While many new residents have to adjust to L.A.’s famous smog and haze, Salt Lake City dwellers have similar challenges with inversions. Those are the result of a dense layer of cold air getting trapped under warm air — usually after a snowstorm. That winter weather, combined with Utah’s unusual topography and high vehicle emissions, results in pollution. L.A. gets inversions because the city sits in a natural valley and is surrounded by mountain ranges. 

You’ll pay a premium in your new city 

SLC ranks above the national average in housing costs, but it’s nowhere near the median home cost in L.A, which is approaching $700,000. This is because of the number of new residents arriving each year, combined with a lack of affordable housing. The overall cost of living is almost 50 percent higher in L.A. 

Build in more time for getting around 

Much like in Salt Lake City, it helps to have your own vehicle in Los Angeles, which has some of the worst traffic congestion in the country. The average commute time is 31 minutes (compared to 23 minutes in SLC), though many residents commute more than an hour each day for work. The Metro rail and bus system provides a solid alternative to traffic logjams. 

Find job opportunities in a variety of fields 

Salt Lake City has a strong economy with recent growth in the technology sector. Los Angeles, meanwhile, has a diverse “creative economy” that includes entertainment, fashion and design, museums and theaters. For those who work outside of the fine arts, the largest employment sectors include the government, transportation and utilities, and manufacturing. The neighboring ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which includes passenger and cargo terminals, are the two busiest in the U.S. 

Say goodbye to SLC and hello to L.A. the easy way with U-Pack 

Make the 700-mile trek from Salt Lake City to Los Angeles easily and affordably with U-Pack®. With service centers nationwide, we specialize in long-distance moving, providing a full-service experience at a DIY price. Design your move with one of our helpful relocation specialists and get a free quote.