Uncover Utah: The Enchanting Bonneville Salt Flats

Uncover Utah: The Enchanting Bonneville Salt Flats

Discover Utah’s hidden gem that’s just right outside Salt Lake City. You’ll be sure to find breathtaking scenery and instagram-worthy sights!

110 miles away from Salt Lake City, the sky and ground meld together flawlessly to create this spectacular landscape. Vast, tranquil and untouched, the Bonneville Salt Flats is simply stunning. On our last day in Salt Lake City, we decided to visit the Salt Flats because we had some time to kill before our flight to New York. This spontaneous decision has got to be one of the best made on this graduation trip.

#nofilter | Image credit: Dominic Low

We did not expect to find this incredible sight at the Salt Flats. This is hands-down one of the most gorgeous sight I have ever witnessed. The vast skies contrasted so beautifully with the endless stretch of white, pristine salt flats. The enchanting beauty is equally alluring – as you marvel at it, it seems to beckon you to draw nearer.

Enjoy the feeling of complete solitude | Image credit: Dominic Low

What better way to remember the Salt Flats than to capture its beauty? We spent almost three hours at the Salt Flats taking photos – not nearly enough! The ravishing beauty provided the perfect backdrop to amazing Instagram photos. As the gleaming Salt Flats form a perfect reflection, we were literally walking on clouds.

Walking on water | Image credit: Dominic Low

As we walked further away from the shore and deeper into the Salt Flats, there was an unusual sense of nervousness and excitement. We barely knew what we were treading on – so much mystery shrouded this peculiar phenomenon – and yet, we could not help but be enthralled by its majesty. In that moment, we discovered that feeling insignificant may be important too.

Being rad at the Salt Flats | Image credit: Justin Ho

Out of the world graduation shot | Image credit: Justin Ho

The Salt Flats can be quite prickly (and painful!) to be trod on barefooted. My advice is to bring slippers or wear waterproof shoes. You can always wash off the salt at the water spray station by the rest stop when you are done.

Nevertheless, you don’t even need to be ON the Salt Flats to create magical moments. Even on shore, there is no end to the postcard-perfect spots at the Bonneville Salt Flats for you to capture its remarkable grandeur. Let your creative juices flow in your photography as you explore this enchanting place!    

Remnants of winter flooding | Image credit: Justin Ho

How were the Salt Flats formed? At the end of the last ice age, a massive lake covering a huge area of Utah had begun to slowly dry out, leaving behind a glittering expanse of salt. Minerals then percolate to the surface and harden into a salty crust. Each year, flooding from the winter rain and evaporation from the summer heat re-hardens the crust, allowing the Salt Flats to regenerate continuously year after year. As our visit was during end-spring, you can see from our submerged feets that the Salt Flats had not completely dried up.

Speed Week preparations | Image credit: I33tpwn3r

With smoothly, perfectly flat expanse, the Bonneville Salt Flats is also a natural racecourse. Since 1914, the ecological wonder has played host to daredevils with a penchant for speed. The fastest record is a whopping speed of over 966 kilometres per hour! As the Salt Flats gradually attracted the fast and furious from all over the world, an inaugural Speed Week was instituted in 1949.

Speed Week Racer | Image credit: a4gpa

If you are visiting, please refrain from driving your car onto the Salt Flats though! For one, there is a specific area for racing because the weight of your vehicle may break some thinner parts of the salt crust. Furthermore, if your car comes into contact with the salt when it’s wet, you can wave goodbye to the electrical system in your car. So, unless you want to walk a hundred miles from where you came from, steer your vehicles clear of the Salt Flats.

True friends jump together | Image credit: Justin Ho

Finally, our adventure at the Bonneville Salt Flats will not be complete without epic fail group shots. For this moment in this place with these people will never happen again, there is nothing worth more than to capture that pure, simple joy in that very instance. After all, it’s the people you spent time with that turns a spectacular view into cherished moments.

Change is the constant in nature | Image credit: Dominic Low

If you are enticed to visit the Bonneville Salt Flats, then quickly get to it soon. After a millennium, the Bonneville Salt Flats have started to disappear gradually – in the same enigmatic way as it was formed. Despite efforts to determine the actual cause, experts have yet to solve the mystery of its disappearance. As the Salt Flats thin year by year, even the annual races have been cancelled! It is truly heartbreaking to watch this brilliance fade away…

Enroute | Image credit: Justin Ho

And there you have it! The visit to Bonneville Salt Flats was certainly a highlight of our West Coast road trip. Barren as Utah may be, the Bonneville Salt Flats did not disappoint at all. For it’s not just about salt and minerals at the Salt Flats – it’s about capturing unparalleled beauty while it lasts, chasing nature’s wonder before it disappears and forging lasting friendships as you share in that precious, precious moment.  

About Author

Sim Yi Zhen
Sim Yi Zhen

Adventurer and athlete, Yi Zhen has a penchant for planning travel itineraries that are off the beaten path. She also daydreams about travelling to Liverpool for the 2019 Netball World Cup.

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