Checking Out the 5 Most Surreal Sights in Utah (2022)
Utah is one state in the United States that is home to some of the most surreal places in the world. These destinations not only offer some of the most incredible views, but a trip through these spots offers adventures that will create memories that will last you for a lifetime. From towering waterfalls to bright orange hoodoos, it is hard not to fall in love with the surreal and natural beauty of Utah.
Checking Out the 5 Most Surreal Sights in Utah
Let’s take a look at some of the most surreal sights in Utah.
1. Pando – the Trembling Giant
Located just one mile southwest of Fish Lake is another strange place that you will find only in Utah. This is the oldest and heaviest living organism in the world. Pando is an Aspen clone that is 80,000 years old and is believed to weigh in at around 6,000,000 kilograms. However, despite of its ancient history, Pando seems to be nearing its end, so if you are planning to visit Utah, it is recommended that you catch sight of this old organism before the end of its atrophic journey. The best time to visit Pando is in the autumn. Don’t forget to take your camera along to capture some amazing shots of this area.
2. Great Salt Lake
Perhaps no other place is more surreal in Utah than the Great Salt Lake. The Great Salt Lake is the largest saltwater lake in the entire Western hemisphere. It is also the largest natural lake in North America, west of the Mississippi River. This spot is the perfect setting for experiencing some of Utah’s best outdoor recreational activities, with sailors and kayakers plying the lake waters as sunbathers bask and relax on the sandy beaches and swimmers enjoy floating in the highly saline waters.
The Great Salt Lake is one of the most notable geologic features in Utah. In fact, the city is even named after the lake. The lake has a rich history, many important and exciting features, and it plays a very important role in maintaining the ecosystem of this place, while of course, providing many recreational opportunities to visitors.
The lake and the islands nearby offer visitors great opportunities to kayak, sail, float, hike, bike, birdwatch, and much more. You can launch a kayak or boat at the Great Salt Lake Marina, take a sunset cruise, or just sit on the banks of the lake and take in the spectacular views. Nearby the lake is the Saltair, which is a resort that has been rebuilt at least three times in history. It is presently used as a famous concert venue.
If you want to find out the best place to float or swim in the lake, then head to the Antelope Island State Park, where the white oolitic sand beaches give you easy access to the lake without the brine flies that are present in the other areas of the shoreline. The beach area here also has showers where you can rinse off the salty water. One of the unique experiences at the Great Salt Lake is to just float in the highly salty waters of the lake.
3. Utah’s Sun Tunnels
Also known as Nancy Holt Sun Tunnel, this surreal piece of artwork is located in northern Utah. The artist Nancy Holt built this unique art project in 1976. The four tunnels are concrete tubes that are laid out in an X shape. Each is drilled with holes to pattern the constellations of Perseus, Columbia, Draco, and Capricorn. These are massive tunnels, measuring nine feet high by 18 feet long. The sun tunnels sit in a remote valley in the Great Basin Desert, located west of the Bonneville Salt Flats.
According to Holt, these tunnels help bring the sky down to earth with the dazzling effect of the sun’s light bouncing through the tubes. Two of the tunnels are aligned with the rising and setting sun during the summer solstice, and two line up during the winter solstice.
Some of the key facts about Utah’s famous Sun Tunnels are as follows:
- They weigh 22 tons.
- They provide a small shelter from the sweltering desert sun.
- The construction of the pipe was a collaboration between engineers, pipe manufacturers, astronomers, drillers, truck drivers, and many others.
- The tunnels act as a personal Exploratorium when you go inside.
- They are surreal art and astronomy exhibit.
- They are only accessible if you drive down to the very remote desert area.
4. The Wedge Overlook
Located in the Little Grand Canyon in Utah, The Wedge Overlook is one of the most scenic and surreal vistas in the state. It overlooks the San Rafael River as it flows through the Little Grand Canyon. The San Rafael River forms from a combination of Cottonwood Creek, Ferron Creek, and Huntington Creek, which all meet at a single point, and then continue onward to the Colorado River.
The Wedge Overlook is a huge upheaval geological dome whose top layers have been eroded away. Further erosion caused by the San Rafael River has ultimately created one of the most spectacular views you will ever see in your lifetime. There are camping options, hiking, mountain biking, restrooms, and handicap access at the Wedge Overlook.
The best time to visit The Wedge Overlook is during spring and fall. The area of the San Rafael Swell is an isolated desert region, so come prepared accordingly.
Temperatures in the summer can get quite hot and uncomfortable, whereas the winter nights are very cold. Most of the routes that lead to the main attractions within the swell are well-graded dirt roads, and you can travel on them using most vehicles in dry conditions. Always make sure to have a full tank of gas before you head out here, and keep a spare tire, tools, water, and food for you and your family.
5. Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple
The Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Utah is one of the most unique Hindu temples. This strangely shaped, many-spired Indian temple is located in the middle of the alfalfa heartland. Come here to admire the Gothic granite spires of Mormondom, and then head to the Spanish Fork, where you can have a delicious vegetarian meal, pet a llama, and throw brightly colored sand at your friends in an incredible ritual that is designed to celebrate spring.
This temple is also famous for being the only Rajasthani-styled building in the United States. The temple is home to a 50-inch temple dome, 108 spires, marble statues of various deities, carved teak altars, several paintings depicting Sri Krishna in his many forms, and there are many breathtaking ornate details at every turn. The surreal sight that stands out here is perhaps the majestic 2360 degree view of the Wasatch Mountains.