Spiral Jetty, Rozel Point – Box Elder County Utah – near Promontory Point visitor center
Spiral Jetty, Great Salt Lake
From parking lot to Jetty it is a visible trail about 300 feet.
Bring one liter of water. You will be right on the shores of the Great Salt Lake
Open year round
The Jetty is 1500 feet in total length. Rocky trail
Allowed. But much of the land is private so be careful where you camp
Bring snacks and/or meals depending on how long you are going to be out there
Camera, shoes you don’t mind getting a little salty, hat, sunglasses
The Spiral Jetty created by Robert Smithson in 1970 is an incredible earthwork sculpture that is worth the 2+ hour drive from Salt Lake City.
Spiral Jetty: 41.438223°, -112.666491°
From my home in Davis County it took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get to the Spiral Jetty. You will travel to Promontory Point visitor center and keep following the road and signs until you reach the Jetty. Just beyond the Promontory Point visitor center the road will turn into gravel and dirt. I recommend you drive a high clearance vehicle.
The gravel road will wind around on the boundaries of private land but it is absolutely legal to drive out there. Not knowing the road condition beforehand, I drove my Chevy Cobalt in the middle of winter with fresh snow on the ground and made it out there just fine (although I am very comfortable driving in snowy conditions). When I arrived I thought I would be the only person out there in the winter time but I was wrong. I was surprised to see a big truck with chains on the tires loaded with people checking out the Jetty too.
The parking lot has enough parking for about a dozen or more vehicles.
The short trail leads down to the Jetty but the parking lot offers some of the best views of the Spiral Jetty. If you have extra time, which you should because you traveled the 2 hours to get out here, you should climb the short hill to the north of the parking lot for views of the Jetty and lake. The first thing you will notice is that this place is incredibly quiet. Every now and then you can hear a jet flying above or even a train to the south but for the most part you can only hear your footsteps.
The Spiral Jetty was created back in 1970 by American sculptor Robert Smithson. It is 1500 feet in length and is about 15 feet wide made from sand, dirt and basalt rock. The salt water out here is usually tinted red or purple due to bacteria and algae that love the extremely salty water. Construction took six days to complete.
Depending on snow and rain runoff from the surrounding mountains and rivers the Spiral Jetty can sometimes be completely submerged in water. The time I visited a few days ago the water levels were very low and I walked along the entire length of the Jetty without touching water.
Head back towards your vehicle
For most of my life I had heard that the Spiral Jetty is an amazing place to visit. It has always been on my list of things to do but I have never really justified spending the two hours to drive out there – I wish I had sooner now. It was a very silent and peaceful place which is why I love the Great Salt Lake anyway, but seeing the Jetty made the visit totally worth it.
Visiting the Spiral Jetty in winter