Skip to Main Content

Promontory, Utah: Spiral Jetty

Built in 1970 by pushing 6,650 tons of earth and basalt into the Great Salt Lake, forming a spiral 1,500 feet long and 15 feet wide. Sculptor Robert Smithson and two others died in a plane crash three years later, viewing another of his "land art" works from the air.

Golden Spike Loop Rd, Promontory, UT
15.5 miles southwest of the Golden Spike National Historic Site. Road starts out as gravel, then turns to dirt. Standard vehicles should be able to make it to within 3/4 to 1/2 of a mile to the jetty before you have to walk the final distance. Four wheel drive vehicles can make it all the way. There are small signs indicating the correct route to take all along the way. Road to the jetty not on most road maps.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Spiral Jetty

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Spiral Jetty.

Spiral Jetty

Super cool! The Spiral Jetty is pretty far away from anything but definitely worth it. My dog tagged along and enjoyed playing in the Great Salt Lake.

As it got later in the day, the water seemed to have a pink tint to it. Very beautiful.

[Beth, 07/22/2020]
Spiral Jetty

Took my kids out here and we spent the night. The water has receded, so you can walk all around the area. We camped out to see the stars and that did not disappoint; there is no light pollution at all out there. There are tons of jackrabbits, and we saw a rattlesnake and a few hawks and seagulls. There are no bathrooms, so if you stay the night you've got to pack out whatever you have.

[Georgia Davis, 08/09/2016]
Spiral Jetty

Definitely worth going at least once. Went in June and our compact car made it fine. The Golden Spike is on the way.

[Paymoody31, 07/04/2014]
Spiral Jetty

Manmade art meets Nature. Make sure you stop at the [visitor's center] and use the rest room as it is a long and bumpy ride. There are no street signs, but if you stop at the Golden Spike gift shop they do have complimentary maps. Four wheel drive is suggested, high clearance is mandatory.

Take a lunch and sit and enjoy the solitude. We were there for over an hour, and didn't see another soul.

[Rod Pombo, 01/12/2011]

Spiral Jetty is 1,500 ft. long.

Spiral Jetty

The Spiral Jetty is a land art built in 1970 by American sculptor Robert Smithson. It is made primarily from basalt rocks collected near the northeastern shore of the Great Salt Lake near Rozel Point in Utah. The Jetty is 1,500 foot long, 15 foot wide counterclockwise coil jutting into The Great Salt Lake. The Jetty is is only visible when the lake is below the elevation of 4,197.8 feet.

In 1970, during the jetty's construction the water level of the lake was unusually low, but within a few years the water level returned to normal -- covering the jetty, and it remained so for the next thirty years. In 2004 lake levels dropped and the jetty was completely exposed for almost a year due to the low water level. But by early 2005 it was once again mostly covered by water due to snow melt. During my visit there in July 2009 the lake had once again dropped significantly, and the jetty was clearly visible.

[Dave Cole, 11/20/2009]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Transcontinental Railroad: The Golden SpikeTranscontinental Railroad: The Golden Spike, Promontory Summit, UT - 14 mi.
Rocket Garden: Space Shuttle BoosterRocket Garden: Space Shuttle Booster, Corinne, UT - 19 mi.
Big Range BullBig Range Bull, Bear River, UT - 32 mi.
In the region:
Bloodiest Massacre of Indians Monument, Preston, ID - 62 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Utah Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Cooter's Place, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee (Sep 18-24, 2023)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

Favorite Quirky City Sights