I teach at the U of U. After teaching at several universities across the US, I am proud to say that I work at the U. I have no reservations about recommending it to anybody. I know people in most of the departments on campus, and can say that they are some of the most dedicated teachers anywhere. Why else would somebody live in such a nutty state? :)
If you live here for one year, and go through a couple of easy steps (open bank account, register to vote, get driver's license) you can declare in-state residency. Utah is one of the few states that allows university students to declare residency. (Double check, as the legislature is screwy and who knows if they might pull this option?)
About community colleges. You get what you pay for. You'll be around less motivated students, and by and large, the professors are not strong enough to win a job at an R-1 university. Not worth your time to look into this option.
Skiing in Utah = incredible.
It is easy to go to a class or two, and then head up to Alta for a few hours of skiing. Plan your schedule so that you have at least one day each week that you can hit the slopes (on top of weekends).
The campus is really a commuter campus. You can walk through the campus on a Friday afternoon and not see very many people (except the longboarders in the Stadium parking lot). The dorms are great (former Olympic village).
If you are pursuing an ed degree, you will be licensed in the state in which you complete your degree. Each state will have its own requirements to gain certification, so keep that in mind. I would not really recommend getting a teaching job in Utah, as the pay is lower than in some other parts of the country.