Gilgal Sculpture Garden – Salt Lake City, Utah - Atlas Obscura

Gilgal Sculpture Garden

A hidden garden of stones engraved with scriptures, a Joseph Smith Sphinx, all carved by one man. 


Gilgal Garden is a wondrous little patch of land created by Thomas Battersby Child, Jr. in the mid-twentieth century. Hidden away at the center of a block behind houses and businesses, it contains 12 original sculptures and over 70 stones engraved with Mormon scriptures, poems, and literary texts.

Child, a Mormon, spent nearly 20 years working on the garden, located on about a half-acre behind his home. The most arresting of his creations is a sphinx with the head of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Faith. However, the garden is filled with all kinds of strange carved images, such as grasshoppers and disembodied heads.

There is even a life-sized statue of Child himself. A visitor must walk a stone path to view these works of art. Each stone is engraved with biblical and literary quotes.

Know Before You Go

Hours are  April to September: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; October to March: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Entry is free.

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