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Spiral Jetty, Box Elder

#255 of 480 in Outdoors in Utah
Outdoor Activity · Hidden Gem
Spiral Jetty is an earthwork sculpture constructed in April 1970 that is considered to be the most important work of American sculptor Robert Smithson. Smithson documented the construction of the sculpture in a 32-minute color film also titled Spiral Jetty. Built on the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point in Utah entirely of mud, salt crystals, and basalt rocks, Spiral Jetty forms a 1,500-foot-long (460 m), 15-foot-wide (4.6 m) counterclockwise coil jutting from the shore of the lake.

In 1999, the artwork was donated to the Dia Art Foundation and is one of 11 locations and sites they manage. Since its initial construction, those interested in its fate have dealt with questions of proposed changes in land use in the area surrounding the sculpture. In order to preserve the work, Dia Art Foundation asks that visitors do not take existing rocks from the artwork, make fire pits, or trample vegetation. There are no facilities at the site so visitors must carry out any waste with them.

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Spiral Jetty reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
71 reviews
  • Beautiful, interesting portion of the GSL. What an amazing sculpture immersed in nature. Was hoping to see more of the pink water, but will definitely go again! I wore rainboots because it was too...  more »
  • An iconic land art made in surreal surroundings. I had been disappointed in the past by driving out to see the sculpture when it was covered with water. Make certain of the water level poor to...  more »
  • Very cool place to visit! I had heard about the Spiral Jetty many years ago and my wife and I finally just decided to do it. The Jetty is about 16 miles beyond the Golden Spike monument on a somewhat washboard road. However, the views at the site are breathtakingly beautiful. The day we were there it was a bit overcast and no flies. We even walked well past the Jetty to the waters of the Great Salt Lake. Well worth at least one visit in your lifetime.
  • The road up to the Spiral Jetty was a little rough, but definitely manageable with most cars. The scenery was pretty bare, but we did see a group of deer, so that was quite cool! Upon arrival, we were disappointed to see very low water levels, which meant we couldn’t see the pink lake. We weren’t too disappointed, though, because the Spiral Jetty was absolutely gorgeous. We took pictures and walked down to the lake, which was wonderfully still and peaceful. We did notice a fairly bad stench, and a few skeletons scattered on the sand, but nothing too horrible. The overall experience was amazing... until we encountered the flies. There were hundreds, and a ton got in our car when we got in. When we opened the door to get them out, more swarmed in. They were everywhere. Then once when we attempted to get them out, a wasp started trying to get into our car. The ride back was stressful because there were flies EVERYWHERE. It was awful. If you have a bug phobia, I highly suggest not visiting the Spiral Jetty. I will not be returning.
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