Ensign Peak is the summit of a hill just north of downtown Salt Lake City (1.4 miles north of the Salt Lake temple); in fact, Salt Lake City was built exactly south of Ensign Peak. The peak rises 1,080 feet above the valley floor and stands out as a prominent geological formation evident from all directions. The summit is rounded, devoid of vegetation, and capped with a hard conglomerate stone formation. It is part of the foothills of the Wasatch Range.
On 26 July 1847 Brigham Young and several others climbed to the top which he named "Ensign Peak," as he reported the event in his journal. They used the view from the summit to visually explore the entire valley.
The significance of the name, according to the pioneers, comes from the biblical prophecy: "He will lift up an ensign unto the nations. . . . He lifteth up an ensign on the mountains." (Isa 5:26; 18:3). The pioneers did not erect the U.S. flag on the Peak on 26 July as widely reported, but they did plan to fly the "Standard of the Nations," an invitation for all nations to immigrate to Utah.