FIELD TEST FRIDAY: THE SPIRAL JETTY
Ventureborn HQ is based in a pretty darn good place. Snowy peaks in one direction and red rock desert the other. But let's not forget the good 'ol Great Salt Lake and all of the uniqueness that it brings to the state of Utah. For this weeks Field Test Friday, we venture out to the GSL to have a look at The Spiral Jetty.
The monumental earthwork Spiral Jetty (1970) was created by artist Robert Smithson and is located off Rozel Point in the north arm of Great Salt Lake. Made of black basalt rocks and earth gathered from the site, Spiral Jetty is a 15-foot-wide coil that stretches more than 1,500 feet into the lake. Undoubtedly the most famous large-scale earthwork of the period, it has come to epitomize Land art. Its exceptional art historical importance and its unique beauty have drawn visitors and media attention from throughout Utah and around the world.
Hiking up a neighboring hillside to have a better look at the Jetty from a higher vantage point. Product seen, the Galena from the Adventure Collection paired with a Classic Thin in sea foam.
Rozel Point attracted Smithson for a number of reasons, including its remote location and the reddish quality of the water in that section of the lake (an effect of algae). Using natural materials from the site, Smithson designed Spiral Jetty to extend into the lake several inches above the waterline. However, the earthwork is affected by seasonal fluctuations in the lake level, which can alternately submerge the work or leave it completely exposed and covered in salt crystals. The close communion between Spiral Jetty and the super-saline Great Salt Lake emphasizes the entropic processes of erosion and physical disorder with which Smithson was continually fascinated.
Watch this great video with arial views of the Spiral Jetty HERE.
1. Go to Golden Spike National Historic Site (GSNHS), 30 miles west of Brigham City, Utah. Spiral Jetty is 15.5 dirt road miles southwest of GSNHS's visitor center.
2. To get there (from Salt Lake City) take I-15 north approximately 65 miles to the Corinne exit (exit 365), just west of Brigham City, Utah. Exit and turn right onto Route 13 to Corinne. LAST GAS before Spiral Jetty is in Corinne at the Sinclair truck stop.
3. Past Corinne, the road becomes Highway 83. Continue west for 17.7 miles.
4. Turn left onto "Golden Spike Road" and continue 7.7 miles up the east side of Promontory Pass to GSNHS. LAST BATHROOMS before Spiral Jetty are at the GSNHSs Visitor Center.
5. From the Visitor Center, drive 5.6 miles west on the main gravel road to a fork in the road. Continue left, heading west. (From this vantage, the low foothills that make up Rozel Point are visible to the Southwest.)
6. Immediately you cross a cattle guard. Call this cattle guard #1. Including this one, you cross four cattle guards before you reach Rozel Point and Spiral Jetty.
7. Drive 1.3 miles south to a second fork in the road. Turn right onto the southwest fork, and proceed 1.7 miles to cattle guard #2.
8. Continue southeast 1.2 miles to cattle guard #3.
9. Continue straight 2.8 miles south-southwest to cattle guard #4 and an iron-pipe gate.
10. At this gate the Class D (gravel) road designation ends. From here, four-wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are strongly recommended.
11. If you choose to continue, drive south for another 2.7 miles, and around the east side of Rozel Point, you will see the Lake and a jetty (not Spiral Jetty) left by oil drilling explorations that ended in the 1980s.
12. Southwest beyond the site of the oil jetty, turn right onto a two-track trail that contours above the oil-drilling debris below. Travel slowly--the road is narrow, brush might scratch your vehicle, and the rocks, if not properly negotiated, could high center your vehicle or blow out your tires. Don't hesitate to park and walk. Spiral Jetty is just around the corner.
13. Drive or walk 6/10th of a mile west around Rozel Point and look toward the Lake. Spiral Jetty may be in sight. The lakes levels vary several feet from year-to-year and from season to season, so Spiral Jetty is not always visible above the water line.