Visit the Great Salt Lake

An all-encompassing resource to help you plan your journey in, around, and above Great Salt Lake.

 
   

What would you like to do?

 
Dip your toes or float in Great Salt Lake                                                                    Photo ©Paul Harrison

With Inland Sea temperatures still low it is too cold to go floating in the Great Salt Lake right now.  After the Summer Solstice in June you will find the water temperatures much more appealing. When you are ready, the best spots to dip your toes are at the Great Salt Lake Marina, Black Rock, and Antelope Island. It is important to remember any clothing that gets wet from the Lake water will dry stiff because of all of the salt.  You will find freshwater to rinse off with at the Great Salt Lake Marina as well as the Antelope Island Marina.

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 Birdwatch                                                                                                                                      photo © Nicole Anderson

The  Lake has many great spots to appreciate the wildness that over 250 species of birds bring to this place. Take part in birdwatching around the Lake at some of our favorite places: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve, Audubon Lee Creek Area, Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake Nature Center at Farmington Bay. The causeway to Antelope Island is a great place to view Eared Grebes, Gulls, and American Avocets.

We list all the Lake related birdwatching trips on our calendar of events. To learn more about birdwatching or to find out about other local birdwatching trips, visit the sites of Great Salt Lake Audubon and Wasatch Audubon.

The annual Great Salt Lake Bird Festival takes place May 16-20, 2013. Registration begins on March 1, 2013. We love this festival because of the many, many field trips that include trips to areas that are not open to the public. Their site is full of information about birding in Utah.

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 Biking

We have enlisted the help of Chad Harris, an avid biker to assist us in providing you the most up to date resources regarding bike riding and the Great Salt Lake.  He has  ridden the circumference of the Lake as well as been on most of the trails around Great Salt Lake.  You will have the opportunity to take part in both road biking as well as mountain biking. We are looking for more information on mountain bike trails that have views of the Lake - so please contact us at explore@visitthegreatsaltlake.com if you know of a trail or route we don't have listed.

South Shore - Park at the Great Salt Lake Marina to ride round-trip along the frontage road that runs parallel to I-80.  This route runs east/west so plan your sunrise/sunset timing. There is a $2.00 fee for parking at the Great Salt Lake Marina State Park.  We encourage proper payment.

Antelope Island Causeway - This route is flat and great for roadies. It has great scenery and birds galore, but it is also where we have the most "Lake Stink" so be prepared because somedays it can be a little overwhelming but the views are well worth it. There are several ways to go once you are on Antelope Island and if the smell of the causeway bothers you, it might be best to park on the island and go from there. There is a $9.00 fee per car and a $3.00 fee per cyclist to head across the causeway to Antelope Island State Park and, as usual, we encourage proper payment at all parks.

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View Wildlife

One of the best places to view the abundant wildlife at Great Salt Lake is Antelope Island State Park.  Remember that Bison are wild animals and can charge if disturbed from a sound sleep at a speed of  30 mph! Our favorite saying is "Antelope Island is not a petting zoo."

Wildlife on Antelope Island includes: Bison, pronghorn antelope (of course), mule deer, fox, raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, badgers, porcupines, jackrabbits, and more. We suggest going to the visitor center and ask what's around... and remember the part about this not being a petting zoo!

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 Take a Hike                                                                                                                                                        Photo © Cindy Lund                                                        

There are hiking trails all around Great Salt Lake as well as some pretty spectacular hikes in the Wasatch Mountain which offer breathtaking views of the Lake. One of our favorites is the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. We are in the process of developing a Google map, similar to the one at the top of the page, listing all of the trail heads and then including information about each hike.

With the help of Wendy Wilson, Naturalist for Antelope Island, we will have this information, and the beginning of our Google map soon.

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 Go on a Scenic Drive                                                                                                                              Photo ©Paul Harrison

There are many beautiful locations to go on a senic drive around Great Salt Lake. Just remember to always take provisions, make sure your gas tank is full, and have some great tunes in the car. Hold on to your seats because you are in for an adventure!

Saftey note: NEVER drive on the Lake bed playa, not only is it against the law with a $750 fine; you will most likely get stuck in the mud.

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 Witness a Sunset                                                                                                                 photo © Paul Harrison

Sunsets at the Great Salt Lake are some of the most amazing you will see anywhere in Utah. Some of our favorite places are of course from a sailboat or airboat; yet you can also get a great photo or a romantic evening from the shorelines as well.

Blackrock offers unobstructed views of the Lake and beautiful sunsets. Antelope Island and the causeway is another one of our favorite locations to witness these miraculous events that only the Lake can offer.

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 Sailing                                                                                                                                    photo © Paul Harrison

Great Salt Lake is home to the World's saltiest sailors  with tradition of sailing and boating on this exclusive Lake dating back well over 100 years. Your experience here is guaranteed to be as diverse and unique as the Lake itself.  This Lake calls sailors far and wide to explore her waters and at some point you can count on her toying with you to keep you humble and remind you to heed her warning signs.  One day you can be sailing in chilly weather with waves between two and four feet high -- rivaling any mechanical bull I’ve ridden -- and on the next... She will be calm and peaceful with a wind that produces some of the best sailing anywhere in the world.

Check out Sailing Solution with Captain Jim Anderson at www.sailingsolution.net for sailing lessons and skippered charters.


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 Kayak, Canoe, or go Paddleboarding                                                                            photo © Nicole Anderson

Kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding are some of Great Salt Lake's best kept secrets. You can see the Lake at a water level allowing you a different perspective that others may not get. There are kayak rentals at both the Great Salt Lake Marina and Antelope Island Marinas as well as freshwater at both locations to rinse your equipment off after a dip in the Lake.

Canoeing is a great option for Great Salt Lake and we are home to the unique group Hui Paoakalani Outrigger Canoe Club, the first Hawaiian Outrigger Club here in Utah.  Another option for a great day at the Lake as well as an awesome core body workout is Paddleboarding.  Try one or all three of these exciting options for enjoying the Great Salt Lake.

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Explore by Horseback


R & G Horse and Wagon offers exclusive horseback trail rides on historic Antelope Island, a 28,000 acre island in the Great Salt Lake. The island itself was once in private ownership and included a working ranch, the Fielding Garr Ranch. It was subsequently purchased by the state of Utah and is now part of the Utah State Park system. This is some of the best areas for horseback riding anywhere in the wild west.

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 Learn about the Great Salt Lake                                                                                   map by USGS

More exciting information to come soon about Great Salt Lake and all she has to offer.

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Art and Earthworks                  

The art community here at Great Salt Lake will visually allow you insight into what Great Salt Lake is and what she has to offer you just by taking in a photograph or a more in depth sketch or painting. There are many artists that find their inspiration from the sunsets, the birds, and the waters here on Great Salt Lake. 

Earthworks are something entirely big! Here Great Salt Lake is home to not just one earthwork but three. We have the distinct privilege of being home to the world renowned, Sun Tunnels created by Nancy Holt.  The Tree of Life by Swedish artist, Karl Momen, and our favorite the Spiral Jetty created by Robert Smithson.

Please see our Artist Page to find out more information on how to visit these distinct art opportunities.

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