Bonneville Salt Flats
Photo Credit: utawesome
The Bonneville Salt Flats is a fascinating place. This is the only place in the world where you can drive across a salt flat without any support. It’s an amazing experience and one that should not be missed.
The Bonneville Salt Flats are a stretch of barren salt flats covering about 100 square miles (260 square km) in Tooele county, northwestern Utah, United States. The flats are part of the Great Salt Lake Desert and were named for B.-L.-E. de Bonneville, an explorer and fur trader. If you are looking for Marrakech desert tours, you can follow the absolute guide on Google and Google Business Maps.
The flat, level surface of Bonneville Speedway is as solid as concrete by the summer’s end and is ideally suited for speed trials. Several world automobile and motorcycle speed and endurance records have been set there since 1935.

What are the Bonneville Salt Flats?

The Bonneville Salt Flats are located near the Nevada border, about 110 miles from Salt Lake City.
The famous salt flats stretch for over 30,000 acres and are found just west of Great Salt Lake. They are easily accessible by interstate when traveling between the cities of Salt Lake City and Wendover.
Historically, the Bonneville Salt Flats were formed when the lake of the same name dried up. The salt deposits were left after the water evaporated.
The Bonneville Salt Flats is a vast, flat area of land in the Great Basin that was once part of the much larger Bonneville Lake. You can see remnants of the lake today at the Great Salt Lake.
However, the salt flats are home to a few different types of plants that can grow there.
One of the unique things about the Bonneville Salt Flats is that it has a few microenvironments. Many of these areas look completely desolate and devoid of any life because the soil is so salty that it prevents plants from growing. However, there are a few places on the salt flats where different kinds of plants can thrive.
In some parts of the Bonneville Salt Flats, you will easily find vegetation and plants. However, salt flats are a sensitive ecosystem and should be treated with respect.
The land on which the government does its business is mostly owned by the government, with some areas used for military testing and storage depots.

Can You Visit the Bonneville Salt Flats?

If you’re in Salt Lake City for more than one day, you should visit the Bonneville Salt Flats!
The Bonneville Salt Flats are open to the public most of the year, though they can be closed for private events or if there is a race.
The Bonneville Salt Flats host various races throughout the year, but the biggest events are August’s Bonneville Speed Week and September’s World of Speed. These events are closed to visitors during this time so that racers can compete without interruption.

What to Know Before A Trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats?

Where are the Bonneville Salt Flats?

The Bonneville Salt Flats are located 110 miles from Salt Lake City near the border of Nevada. This is one of the best day trips from Salt Lake City, or you can stay overnight and camp or find accommodation in Wendover, one of the coolest small towns in Nevada.
The flats are located on the edge of Utah’s Great Salt Lake Basin.

How to get there: 

The Bonneville Salt Flats are located in northwestern Utah, not far from the border with Nevada. It will take you almost two hours by car to get to the salt flats from Salt Lake City, the nearest major city.
There are at least three entrances into consideration. I will provide you with the names so that you can find them on Google Maps for your convenience.
There are at least three entrances to consider, including the front entrance, back entrance, and side entrance.
Salt Flats Rest Area Westbound: There is a rest area with restrooms and a fountain for rinsing your shoes. It can only be reached from the east (Salt Lake City). After you park, you can go walk on the large salt plain.
Salt Flats Rest Area Eastbound: A rest area similar to the one above overlooks the south side and includes an elevated platform from which you can take beautiful panoramic pictures. It is available when traveling from the west (Wendover) or on your way back to Salt Lake City.
Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway: The racetrack where the speed races are held is directly on the salt dunes.
Although it may seem like a waste of time, following these directions will help you avoid driving additional miles and losing time.

From Salt Lake City to Bonneville Salt Flats

The road to the salt flats is interesting. It runs along the south side of the Great Salt Lake, near the Great Saltair, where you can make a quick stop, and the Great Salt Lake State Park. On the way up Interstate 80, you will begin to notice a series of saline concretions and I would have mistaken it for snow.
As the landscape turns from green to a desert, you will see some land art installations popping up on your right. One of the most famous is “Metaphor: The Tree of Utah” made by Karl Momen in 1986, but if you look closely you’ll also see others. If you’re interested in this type of art, it’s popular in this area and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City is supportive.
After driving about 2 hours, 16 miles after Karl Momen’s sculpture, you will find the Westbound Area. After visiting this area, get back in the car, continue on I-80 and get off at Exit 4. You will be at the racetrack in about 15 minutes, the same time it will take you to reach the East Bound Area on your way back towards Salt Lake City. Following this route, you can say you have had a full tour of Bonneville Salt Flats.

Can You Drive on the Salt Flats? 

Driving on the salt flats is possible, but please be aware of the seasonal differences in driving. In particular, it is important to check for wind speed and direction before heading out.
Driving on the Bonneville Salt Flats is safe only if the surface is completely dry.
Best Time to Visit the Bonneville Salt Flats
Summer and fall are the best times to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats, but be aware that they can get extremely hot in July and August.
The Bonneville Salt Flats can become salt ponds during most of the year, but winter and spring are known for having lousy weather and it can be wet and soggy at the flats.
If the salt flats have water on them, it can become very dangerous to drive on. In extreme cases, this could even lead to hydroplaning and sliding around.
One thing to check before your trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats is whether any events are taking place there. The Speed Week event takes place at the Bonneville International Speedway during August, and there are other events throughout the year.
You can see the approximate dates of the events here. The 2022 schedule is not out as of December 7, 2021, and we are updating it as soon as we see it published!
The 2021 Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials will take place from August 28 through September 2.

Can You Visit in Winter?

The weather at the Bonneville Salt Flats can be unpredictable, making it difficult to enjoy the area during winter. The high precipitation levels make it unpleasant to be outside, and the temperature fluctuations make it uncomfortable to stay indoors.
As a result of the recent rain, the salt flats have become quagmires and a ‘quicksand’-like surface in places that you don’t expect. This is dangerous to drive on and makes the experience of visiting Bonneville Salt Flats, not as epic as other times of the year.

What to do at the Bonneville Salt Flats?

The best thing to do at the Bonneville Salt Flats is to take in the scenery.
The salt flats are one of the most amazing landscapes in the United States, and just being there and taking pictures of them is worth the visit itself. It’s a great place to put your new photography tips to use!
If you’re looking for a fun activity to do while in Salt Lake City, one of the best things to do is drive along the International Speedway.
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