SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah is well-known for its breathtaking mountains, lush landscapes, and vibrant city life. Though, for both travelers and locals alike, there are various places to visit that are just plain interesting.
From all corners of the state, we’ve compiled a list of some of the strangest spectacles you’ll find right here in Utah.
1. Gilgal Sculpture Garden
Tucked amongst the buildings and homes in downtown Salt Lake City, many locals may not yet know of the Gilgal Sculpture Garden. Created by Thomas Battersby Child in the mid-twentieth century, the Gilgal Sculpture Garden is an Egyptian-inspired collection of 12 original sculptures and over 70 stones engraved with scriptures, poems, and literary texts.
The garden is open to the public seven days a week with no admission charge.
2. The Real “UP” House
Named as the only authorized replica out there, this residence was designed to look exactly like the house from “UP” — the popular Disney film from 2009. While it may look like a tourist attraction, this house is actually a home that a real-life family lives in.
The interior must be left to the imagination, but the public can still check out the home from the neighborhood street in Herriman.
3. The Spiral Jetty
This land art in the Great Salt Lake was first formed by celebrated artist Robert Smithson in 1970. Designed in the shape of a spiral, which inspires its name, the Spiral Jetty was completed with 625 man-hours, $9,000, and 6,500 tons of basalt, limestone, and mud.
As water levels in the lake have lowered over time, visitors have swarmed to the site to get a peek at its strange, twisted structure built into one of the state’s most recognizable bodies of water.
4. Hole N” The Rock
Found on a highway along Moab’s red rock landscapes, Hole N” The Rock is a man-made structure of engineering that was excavated by a Utah family over the course of 12 years nearly a century ago. Their sandstone residence is 5,000 square feet and fully furnished with the family’s original collection.
Now, anyone can take a tour of the home seven days a week, including an exotic zoo, general store, and souvenir shop also on the property.
Taking its nickname from an urban legend of small houses inhabited by evil gnomes and hobbits, Allen Park (a.k.a. Hobbitville) was purchased by Salt Lake City in early 2020 for preservation and would soon open as a public space for visitors.
It was originally founded by a key figure in the community named Dr. Allen during the 1930s and was known as a sanctuary for both people and animals. The space is available to the public during daylight hours, with further renovations currently in the works.
6. The Tree of Utah
Designed and financed by Swedish artist Karl Momen during the 1980s, his creation called Metaphor: The Tree of Utah is made up of 225 tons of concrete, five tons of welding rods, and minerals that are native to the Utah region.
After four years, it was completed and the sculpture was donated to the state of Utah. It is now located roughly 95 miles west of Salt Lake City, just off the highway in the Bonneville Salt Flats.