Great Salt Lake: Here is the vestige of an immense lake, which appeared during the last ice age and which extended to the borders of Nevada. At the current level, which is constantly changing, it is 120 km long and 45 km wide, or 4,400 square kilometers making it one of the 40 largest lakes in the world.

Can wildlife develop in the Great Salt Lake?

Having no outlet on the ocean, only evaporation evacuates the waters of this lake. The salt content there is thus on average six times higher than that of the sea and can sometimes reach 28% in periods of low water, against about 3% for the ocean! No fish can live in these conditions. However, the lake is a great natural sanctuary that hosts, among other things, many species of migratory birds (bald eagles, great blue herons, white-faced ibis …).

Of the 10 islands in the Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island is the largest: 24 km long and 6 km wide. It is linked to the mainland by an 11 km causeway. Peeled, scorched by salt and the sun, heated to white with brilliant luminosity, it is made up of a chain of corpulent hills covered with short grass and fragrant groves of rosemary. Its southern end shelters a natural reserve, but it is on all the island that one can see evolving a little wild fauna bison, mouflons, coyotes, small mammals, antelopes of course, and myriads of birds including many Californian seagulls, which come to nest there in the spring away from predators. Of all the shores of Great Salt Lake, this natural site is the best place to discover the strange beauty of its still waters, which reflect the mountains.

Why is the Great Salt Lake pink?

As mentioned before, life is impossible inside this salty water… except for salt-loving organisms! Indeed, some carotenoid cells spread thanks to the salt. Those cells, that we can also find in carrots, turn the water into pink.

drone shot of a pink lake
In one part, carotenoids spread, turning the lake pink. Picture from @logandavidson

A great place for artists

The colors of this lake can easily inspire artists. Indeed, some photographers, like Logan Davidson are already using their drones to capture some amazing shots. These images could totally be modern paintings.

Bonneville Salt Flats

Close from the Great Salt Lake lands another incredible formation: it’s the Bonneville Salt Flats. Not as colorful as the Great Salt Lake, but still a great place for photographers to let their expertise create memorable shots.

Bonneville Sand Flats. Picture from @davidmrule

For speed lovers, Bonneville Speedway, 180 km west of Salt Lake City, is a huge track. This speedway is very large: 16 km long and 24 m wide. It is unrolled in the middle of the desert that surrounds the Great Salt Lake. There, on an endless flat expanse, all kinds of racing cars, monstrous dragsters, or automobiles transformed into rockets, capable of reaching astronomical speeds, are exercised.

Where to land to see the Great Salt Lake

Choosing where to land is always a difficult question. Depending on what you want to visit, where you can stay, whether you want to include this destination inside a road trip, the choice will be different. Here, the choice is quite easy. Simply land at Salt Lake City International Airport and rent a car.

Travel Responsibly

I enjoy finishing my articles with eco-tourism advice. I did it for Grand Teton National Park, Arches National Park, Sequoia National Park, Yosemite, Adirondacks, Antelope Canyon, and Death Valley. Indeed, we should preserve such places. Please travel responsibly and make sure you keep this place as beautiful as it currently is.

To sum up the article and step back from it, here is a video to really see what the Great Salt Lake looks like.

See you somewhere in the world!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *