The rock crawling park sits on the southwest side of the Centennial Outdoor Pool in Centennial Park at 5405 West 3100 South. It’s open to the public and free to use. The park features a pile of rocks and stones, strategically placed upon a patch of dirt and sand, creating an ideal obstacle course for miniature rock crawling.
West Valley City Park Program Manager Clayton Preston said the park is going to help put the city on the map.
“Nobody else is doing this. I mean, where else are you going to talk to the head of Parks and [Recreation] and they’re going go, ‘Oh, yeah, sure, not only can you move that rock but also here is a budget. Let’s go find some space and let’s go knock this out,” said Preston.
The RC park is the first of its kind in the state of Utah, being the only publicly owned park specifically made for RC rock crawlers. Preston said while there are other courses throughout Utah, they are either privately owned or owned by hobby shops.
The rock crawler course was put together on an unused area of Centennial Park. Preston said the area was just a patch of grass that no one was using, making it the perfect place. West Valley City didn’t have to put a lot of money behind the project either, as the rocks came from other parks that were already being dug up.
Preston said having the public park is more convenient for RC enthusiasts. Instead of finding trails or going to a business park and climbing over decorations, they now have a dedicated place to bring their cars.
“The cars aren’t big enough to do any damage so nobody really cares but also that might not be the best situation for everybody everywhere,” said Preston. “Here in this location, we have more control. We can say ‘Hey, we’re going to host an event from this time to this time’ and we can enforce rules. That’s what makes this different that just going out on a trail.”
West Valley City said the park has already been getting a positive reception. Preston said when the park was announced, people from as far as Idaho were coming down to help put it together. West Valley Family Fitness Center Facility/Member Section Supervisor Rhett Gardiner said it’s bringing people together.
“It brings our community members together, families together, different generations together, but it also means it brings people from outside the city to West Valley to see how unique we are and what cool things we have to offer,” said Gardiner.
The popularity of remote-controlled cars may come from their simplicity. Gardiner said you don’t have to be athletic to get into it, allowing people of all ages and all abilities with cars of their own. Preston said having the park serves an underserved portion of the West Valley community and other cities want one of their own.
“They are finding more resistance because it’s unknown,” said Preston. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen.”
Gardiner said the public is more than welcome to bring their cars out to the park and take a spin on the rocks or even test out the RC crawlers there to see if it’s something that they might be interested in.
Preston said the course will be refreshed about every other week with a team of volunteers who will come out and rearrange the rock formations.