Each month we highlight an airstrip with hopes that you will get out and enjoy these special places. This month’s Featured Airstrip is Spiral Jetty in Utah, where you can experience 70s land art.

Utah Back County Pilots volunteers kicked off their springtime airstrip clean-up efforts with the 2,000-ft long dirt Spiral Jetty airstrip. “The airstrip is now suitable for tricycle gear aircraft with wheel pants,” RAF Utah Liaison and UBCP Director Wendy Lessig says. 

This destination offers one of the more unique attractions, as Robert Smithson’s earthwork Spiral Jetty is accessible within a level 1.5 mile hike south along the shore of Great Salt Lake. Smithson created this example of “Land Art” in 1970 of six thousand tons of black basalt rocks, remnants of extinct volcanos in the area. It winds for 1,500 feet counterclockwise off the shore toward the microbe-rich pinkish water. Smithson passed away in 1973, but his monument to Earth’s dynamic entropy remains a powerful statement.

Hiking about two miles northwest takes you to one of the historic Airmail Airway beacons at Rozel Point. “Two golden eagles have been seen nesting on the top of the beacon,” Lessig reports. 

Experience Spiral Jetty, and as always, use backcountry wilderness ethics – leave no trace, and remove all your trash. There are no amenities, so bring tie-downs, water, food and firewood. With no restroom facilities, bury human waste, and burn or pack out your used TP. Be mindful of other Spiral Jetty visitors and private land on the east side. UBCP suggests approaching from the west, and departing to the west over the lake. Horses and cattle graze on and in the vicinity of the airstrip. Be mindful of rattlesnakes during warm weather.

Your cellphone won’t work, so enjoy a true escape, but arrive prepared. See more about Spiral Jetty airstrip, including precautions in the Airfield Guide.

Submitted March 28, 2024
By Carmine Mowbray
Photos courtesy of Wendy Lessig

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