Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Great Salt Lake and Bonneville Salt Flats

As big as it is, you would think that it would be easy to see The Great Salt Lake.  Not so.  Trying to find a place to view The Great Salt Lake proved to be a challenge until we found Antelope Island State Park.
Antelope Island State Park is surrounded by the Great Salt Lake. The lake is the last remaining part of a vast inland sea, Lake Bonneville. At more than 1,000 feet deep and more than 19,691 square miles in area the lake was nearly as large as Lake Michigan and significantly deeper. 3 main rivers flow in to the lake and deposit around 1.1 million tons of minerals in the lake each year. There is no outlet.

The Great Salt Lake
7 mile causeway across The Great Salt Lake to
Antelope Island State Park
Antelope Island hosts a Bison herd that has about 600 animals, pronghorn antelope, big horn sheep, bobcats, mule deer, coyotes and the lake and surrounding wetlands are home to over 250 species of birds. The lake is a major migration stopover point for many birds and it is estimated that between four and six million birds nest and feed on the lake every year.


Pronghorn Antelope

We saw only a few bison and antelope but much of the island is not
accessible by car.

Another remnant of Lake Bonneville are the Bonneville Salt Flats. The property is public land and is known for land speed records at the Bonneville Speedway. We have walked where Presidents have walked, trod over ground where the ancients trod, and now we have driven where the likes of Craig Breedlove and Art Arfons have driven!

Morton Salt, Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah

Salt - Sticks to Everything!
It was caked on my shoes and under the car
"Floating" Islands, Bonneville Salt Flats
The Kia Soul on the Flats
If you have not already seen this on Face Book - check out this outrageous bit of driving on the Bonneville Speedway!

Kia Soul - Super Slo-mo on the Bonneville Salt Flats

The salt flats were fantastic but if you plan on visiting here, from what I understand, don't do it in the winter time - not because of snow or ice but because the salt gets wet and is more like a mud flat than a hard packed salt flat.

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