Utah as a state is known for many curious and wonderful things without question. For example, in August 2019 SLmag created a feature called the Field Guide to Our Mountains. We’ve got the greatest snow, it’s kinda why many of us are here. In addition, in May 2019 we included some Utah human history with the Golden Spike and the sesquicentennial celebration of the completion of the transcontinental railroad at Promontory Summit. And now look at us, we’ve got a major US Airport, hosted a Winter Olympics and we’re smoking-hot in the tech world, Silicon Slopes is a thing.
One of Utah’s finest destinations is often overlooked, the Spiral Jetty at Rozel Point, Great Salt Lake—is a wonder—and as a Utah landmark, exemplifies what is possible when natural and artificial physical features come together in an artistic way. The drive north from Salt Lake City is approximately 2.5 hours, and all modern conveniences and paved roads end at the Golden Spike National Historic Site Visitor Center. On the final 15 miles, expect a slow, bumpy gravely ride and roaming cattle. But what’s your rush? This road is taking you to the land before time.
“This place is awesome!”
Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty is a pathway 15-feet-across made of black basalt rock, sand and earth. Built-in 1970, it extends out toward the Great Salt Lake and coils inward another 1,500 feet. When visiting, questions will come to mind, like, “How on earth did they build this?” And, depending on the time of year you visit, the lake can rise up around the jetty, or like during our visit in mid-November, the lake was receded and the jetty was surrounded by walkable lake-bottom sand, coated with salt crystals. At the Spiral Jetty, the view of the tranquil waveless lake, the distant purple mountains, hills dotted with black basalt rocks, the most striking feature is how quiet it is. Take it in and enjoy it all. Questions aside with all the how’s and the why’s, just be glad it’s there.
We recommend you bring good walking shoes, clothes appropriate for the weather, wind and sun, hat/sunglasses/sunscreen, drinkable water and enough food for your stay. Leave no trace guidelines apply. As a Utah landmark, the land is leased by the Dia Art Foundation which also works with the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. We suggest you visit their site for events and other helpful resources here.
For other day-trip adventures from around our great state, look here.