TWS Senior Photographer Andy Wright knows this spot because he grew up three blocks away-this was his sleddin’ hill. Around ’94, SLC installed the current setup, which is just what it sounds like-a garden of rails. The hilly park is littered with urban sets, handrails down grassy knolls, rooftops, and ledges all built in a city park for no apparent reason. There’s a double-line with a couple of smaller rails, there’s also a smaller ledge, and rooftops like the one Bozung tackles in loveHATE.
SLC riders leave their drop-in ramps and slingshot bros at home because what makes this place so good is that all the rails are on slight inclines and others have hills nearby for speed. Andy Wright says, “It’s the warm-up spot. We don’t really film there, but everyone goes there before we go out to ‘a real rail.’ It helps riders get tricks in their minds and feel them out, which is pretty important before stepping onto something with serious consequence. Name an SLC shred, and they ride there: Mikey, Mitch, JP, Jeremy, Hebbel, Kooley, Huot, Erin Comstock, pretty much everyone other than Marc Frank-I don’t ever remember seeing him there, but I could be wrong.”
The place gets some coverage. Bobby Meeks and Jason Brown first put The Rail Garden on the map in Mack Dawg’s Decade with some combo lines. But most notable was Jeremy Jones’ huge ollie into the parking lot over a fence, which ended up on the cover of Snowboarder.
Andy adds, “The Rail Garden is one of the greatest things to ever happen to snowboarding. Even if you’re not a jibber, or have no love for it, you have to be stoked on the fact that it makes snowboarding accessible for so many riders who can’t afford lift tickets or kids who are locked into school full-time.”
The Rail Garden is in the foothills of Salt Lake-look for it.—Annie Fast