From the journal of Apostle Wilford Woodruff on July 24, 1847:
This, the 24th day of July, 1847, was an important day in the history of my life, and in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After traveling from our encampment six miles through the deep ravine valley ending with the canyon, we came in full view of the valley of the Great Salt Lake, or the Great Basin — the Land of Promise, held in reserve by the hand of God as a resting place for the Saints.
We gazed with wonder and admiration upon the vast fertile valley spread out before us for about twenty-five miles in length and sixteen miles in width, clothed with a heavy garment of vegetation, and in the midst of which glistened the waters of the Great Salt Lake, with mountains all around towering to the skies, and streams, rivulets and creeks of pure water running through the beautiful valley.
After a hard journey from Winter Quarters of more than one thousand miles, through flats of the Platte River and plateaus of the Black Hills and Rocky Mountains and over the burning sands, and eternal sage regions, willow swails and rocky regions, to gaze upon a valley of such vast extent surrounded with a perfect chain of everlasting mountains covered with eternal snow, with their innumerable peaks like pyramids towering towards heaven, presented at one view to us the grandest scenery and prospect that we could have obtained on earth. Thoughts of pleasant meditation ran in rapid succession through our minds at the anticipation that not many years hence the House of God would be established in the mountains and exalted above the hills, while the valleys would be converted into orchards, vineyards, fields, etc., planted with cities, and the standard of Zion be unfurled, unto which the nations would gather.
Happy Pioneer Day, Utah!