ARTIST: Robert Smithson
LOCATION: Rozel Point, Great Salt Lake
MATERIALS: Black basalt rock, salt crystals, earth, water
“Oh, I know. I’ll just move over 6,000 tons of black basalt rock and earth around here and there in the middle of a desert salty lake — in a spiral. Ya, that’s it.” That’s probably pretty close to what went through artist Robert Smithson’s head when he needed something productive to do. And then, bam, a giant art piece was born in 1970. The spiral's coil is 1,500 feet long and approximately 15 feet wide. The jetty disappears and reappears depending on lake water levels — drought years bring it out for all to see. Tar pits also emerge when water levels are low. Watch your step and keep your four-legged family members on a leash at all times. Stepping in this sludge is waaaay worse than getting Bubbleyum stuck to the bottom of your shoe. It’s a bit of a trek to see it, but you’ll probably get the most Instagram likes you’ve ever had after you post a pic of this prehistoric landscape.
HOW TO GET THERE:
2.5 hours from Salt Lake City
- Head north on I-15 for approximately 65 miles.
- Take the Corinne exit #365 (west of Brigham City).
- Turn right onto Route 13 (note: the last gas station you'll have access to is in Corinne).
- The road becomes Hwy 83 past Corinne.
- Continue for 17.7 miles.
- Follow the signs to Golden Spike National Historic Site Visitor Center.
- Turn left onto Golden Spike Road and continue for 7.7 miles up the east side of Promontory Pass to Golden Spike National Historic Site Visitor Center.
- Drive 5.6 miles west on the main gravel road to a fork in the road--continue left, heading west. Look for small white signs directing you to Spiral Jetty.
- Cross cattle guard #1--you'll cross 4 cattle guards total before you reach Rozel Point.
- Drive 1.3 miles south to a second fork in the road.
- Turn right onto the southwest fork, and go for 1.7 miles to cattle guard #2.
- Continue southeast for 1.2 miles to cattle guard #3.
- Go for 2.8 miles south-southwest to cattle guard #4 and an iron gate.
- Drive south for another 2.7 miles around the east side of Rozel Point. You will see the north arm of Great Salt Lake and an old oil jetty (not Spiral Jetty) left by old drilling explorations.
- The road will curve north and ends at a parking lot directly next to Spiral Jetty.