Elk Ridge is located on the bench, in the foothills of the southern Wasatch Mountains; between Payson and Salem. Until the Gladstan Golf Course was installed by Payson City in the early 1990’s, Elk Ridge was the “best kept secret” in Utah County. Discovery of this beautiful “bedroom” community has resulted in a tremendous growth in population.
In 1968, a land developer named James Winterton purchased a portion of the 1,726.4 acre Goosenest Ranch from the James Fayette Shuler Family. Mr. Winterton submitted a subdivision plat to Utah County under the project name of Salem Hills because of the close proximity of the development to Salem City. The County approved the development, but as a condition of approval required the area to incorporate if the population ever exceeded 100 permanent residents. Over time the area grew and the lots were developed. On December 22, 1976, Salem Hills was incorporated. About a year and a half later, in a special election, the residents of the Town voted to change the name of the Community to Elk Ridge. This appropriate name was chosen because the elk herds have historically wintered in the vicinity of the Town.
By 1980, there were 99 homes built in the Town and the population had grown to 381 people. In 1990, the census reported that there were 771 residents living in 167 homes. The growth rate between 1980 and 1990 was a robust 102.36%. The 2000 Census stated the population was 1,838 residents and more than 300 homes, far exceeding any past projections. Today, March of 2021, there are approximately 1160 homes and a population of around 4,500.
Elk Ridge has remained primarily a quiet residential community. Although there are currently no commercial businesses located in Elk Ridge, there are many home businesses scattered through the City.
The history of the residents of Elk Ridge has always been that of a people whose priority is to live in a place where the quality of their environment must include clean air, open space, quiet and peaceful surroundings in a place nestled at the base of Mount Loafer, with a panoramic view found nowhere else in Utah County.