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A Hidden Gem

A Hidden Gem


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Recently, I had the opportunity to check out one of Salt Lake City's hidden gems. Gilgal Gardens is a little park snuggled next to houses in a neighborhood not too far from Trolley Square. It's also right up against a Sizzler parking lot, but for some reason that only adds to the experience that is Gilgal Gardens.

It is easy to miss. It's about the size of one or two lots and really isn't visible from the street if you're just driving by. You have to look for it. Park along 500 South and walk up the sidewalk. There you will find one of the oddest mixtures of art and religion. I won't tell the entire story, but to boil it down, a man worked on the sculptures and the statues and what not for a long time. After he passed away, it was in sort of a limbo zone- people would go there but it wasn't a park. Several years ago the city made if official and now it's open to the public.

How about a homage to the Sphinx, only with Joseph Smith's face? If that doesn't get you there, then the mangled stone body parts spread on the hillside opposite the Sphinx won't get you to drop by either. Take a walk over holy scriptures carved in to sidewalk stones or stand in awe of a larger-than-life statue of, I believe, the man who created the gardens in the first place.

It's free, it's fascinating and it's unforgettable. The next time you're catching a movie or dinner at Trolley Square, drop on by 749 East 500 South. Although I'm still somewhat new to the area, I am surprised to hear many natives or longtime residents that haven't heard of it.

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Adam Thomas

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