Exploring Tooele County in Utah
Located on the western side of the Great Salt Lake Tooele County is a rugged area that is still a natural wonderland outside of the beaten path and a great road trip destination. Filled with gorgeous high peaks, an inland sea, desert terrain and extensive salt flats, the area is dramatic and diverse in landforms. There are some wonderful places around Tooele County to visit from the salt flats, historic Tooele City and museums hosting the early settlers and lifestyle in early settlers coming into Western Utah.
Here are some highlights of a visit to Tooele County
An expansive and flat terrain of white sands is an ancient remnant of Lake Bonneville which covered this large basin area and is now known as on the of ‘Fastest places on Earth’. Racing season at the Bonneville Salt Flats happens during Speed Week which is an annual event typically on the third week of August. Other important race events on the calendar include the World of Speed in September and the SCTA World Finals in early October.
For train fans, a visit to the Toole Valley Railway Museum is located in downtown Tooele city. You can actually climb onboard the #11 Steam engine that was used to carry miners to local mines and the International smelting and refining company. The museum is the actual railway station and houses wonderful remnants, collectibles and other fascinating historic artifacts from the region.
For those that love to visit outdoor living museums, the gold and silver mines at Ophir canyon during the late 1800s are a fun place to explore the mining community. Now the remnants of the historic district are a living museum hosting many restored buildings including: a post office, several homes, a shoe shop, a train with period antiques and a restored school. It’s a fascinating visit to see the daily lives, tools and personal collections of the early miners living in this area.
Located at Miller Motorsports park, this museum is a hidden gem for auto racing enthusiasts. The showroom floor exhibits over 20 vintage racing cars and even the brand-new Ford Mustang series. This is a free exhibit but donations are kindly accepted.
The Tooele Pioneer complex consists of two museums (one being the old post office) and an adjoining pioneer log cabin that was an example of the early pioneer camps in the settlement area creating Tooele City. Booth museums hosts many displays, artifacts and collectibles to the pioneer settlers including their personal effects, furnishings, memorabilia, and daily living tools and accessories. It’s a fascinating look at the early settlers and the lifestyle during those time frames in Western Utah.
An iconic landmark that is over 150 years old, the Bensen Gristmill is the most popular attraction in Tooele County. The gristmill operated from the early 1850s to the 1940s and ground wheat for local and regional consumption. Restored by volunteers in the 1980s, tours are offered on the property giving visitors a look into how the mill operated and how the early settlers made flour during those time frames.
Arts and Festivals
There are a variety of festivals hosted by Tooele county all year and regular ongoing events like the local weekly farmer’s markets. The popular Tooele events include: the Old West Fest, the Tooele Arts Festival Salt Flats racing, Miller Motor Sports, Pony Express and Rodeos at the Desert Peak Complex. For current events happening, check out the calendar and highlights from these different Tooele venues here.
There is a lot to see in Tooele County on the western region of the Great Salt Lake visiting a variety of unique and historic places that share the early settlers, Indian culture and the beauty of the wilderness and landscape in this region. For more information, current events and festivals and other attractions to visit in the region, check the Tooele County website here for more details.
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Disclosure – This is written in collaboration and sponsored by Toele County, Utah