This is the Place Monument at Heritage Park is one of the most significant attractions in Salt Lake City and an excellent place to learn about local history. This sculpted monument was dedicated in 1947 and honors the arrival of Mormon Pioneers to the Salt Lake Valley. Heritage Park in Salt Lake City was the site from which the Mormon settlers first glimpsed the valley in 1847, and it was there that Brigham Young reportedly decided that they had reached their promised land. Granite and bronze were used in the building of This is the Place Monument, and atop the lofty structure stand the statues of three of the greatest Mormon leaders. As for Heritage Park, it covers more than 1,500 acres and is a dynamic place to explore, thanks in part to its location at the base of the beautiful Wasatch Mountains.
The central statue that sits atop the This is the Place Monument depicts Brigham Young, who assumed the role of President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after the death of church founder Joseph Smith in Illinois. Flanking the statue of Brigham Young are the statues of Heber C. Kimball, who was the first Governor of the Utah Territory, and Wilford Woodruff, who served as the fourth President of the Mormon Church. Other famous Mormon members of the past are depicted in the lower statues, and they include Orson Pratt and Clarissa Decker Young. Pratt was a renowned mathematician and scientist, while Clarissa Decker Young was the wife of Brigham Young. Also found on the monument at Heritage Park in Salt Lake City is a bronze mural of sorts that depicts the Mormon pioneers moving across the country in a wagon train.
Checking out the central monument is just one of the options for things to do at Heritage Park. The park is quite large and offers tons of terrain to enjoy. Having a picnic in one of the open green spaces or at the designated picnic area can make for an excellent afternoon, and it is possible to hike along part of the trail that the pioneers actually used on their nineteenth century voyage. During the winter months, this trail and the other trails at Heritage Park in Salt Lake City can be used for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Winter is also a good season for wildlife viewing should you be looking for things to do at Heritage Park, as is the spring, and regardless of the time of year, birdwatching can be a rewarding pursuit. Summer and fall are arguably the best seasons for Heritage Park birding, as this is when an increased amount of raptors and songbirds are present.
Learning about the Mormon pioneers and early pioneer life in the Salt Lake Valley is another option when it comes to things to do at Heritage Park. The visitor center is a small museum of sorts, thanks to its exhibits relating to the Mormon trek from Illinois. When you're not checking out the exhibits at the visitor center, you can see what Heritage Village has to offer. This pioneer village gives insight into what life was like in 1800s Utah, and while some of the buildings are reproductions, others are historic relics that were originally found at other destinations across the state. Special events are held at Heritage Park, especially during the peak summer season, and they usually see costumed performers playing the roles of early villagers. In December, the week-long re-creation of a pioneer Christmas figures among the more popular events.
The This is the Place Monument doesn't cost anything to enjoy. Access to Heritage Park and the visitor center is also free. Fees are required, however, if you wish to gain admission to Heritage Village. The park is open daily from sunrise to sunset, while the visitor center is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. During the summer months, the Heritage Village at Heritage Park in Salt Lake City is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Off season hours for Heritage Village vary, and regardless of when you visit, a couple of hours is generally required to enjoy a tour and maybe even a wagon ride.