What is the Sprial Jetty you might be asking yourself right now? The Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture that was created by the American Sculptor Robert Smithson in 1970 on the banks of the Great Salt Lake. The Sprial Jetty is made of mud, salt crystals, basalt rocks and water and from a 1,500 foot long and 15 foot wide counterclockwise coil beginning at the short and extending in to the lake.
The Spiral Jetty
Like most art, you can’t truly appreciate it, until you take the time to examine it closely.In years with high run-off from mountain snow the lake can rise and partially submerge or even cover the Sprial Jetty, however in drought years the lake has retreated and left the Spiral Jetty completely exposed.
The last time the Spiral Jetty was partially submerged was after the heavy runoff of the snows in 2011. During my trip out there I was able to walk right up to the Spiral Jetty and inspect it up close. The lake was actually much farther out, and a couple of the parties who came to see the Spiral than walked probably another 1/3 of a mile out to the Lake itself.
The black basalt rocks placed in a raised bed of sand and mud create a beautiful contrast with the salty barren lake bed of the Great Salt Lake. Many walk along the spiral and trace it to its center. It is a place where you could spend an hour or two admiring the spiral and walking out to the lake and maybe bringing a picnic to eat in the parking lot, however it is likely not to be a full day activity by itself.
Golden Spike National Monument
If you are going to make the trip out to the Spiral Jetty you might as well stop into the Golden Spike monument as well. You’ll drive right past it on your way out and back to the Spiral Jetty, and it is a great opportunity to get a little history. It marks the spot where the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads met and drove the last spike into what would be the United State’s first Transcontinental railroad.
I hope this blog post was helpful and as with all posts if you have any questions, comments or feedback feel free to leave them below or you can email me directly at DustinACook@gmail.com As always don’t forget to get outside and have some fun!