The Utah Great Salt Flats: Are They Worth Visiting?

Salt Lake City, Utah, surrounded by majestic natural beauty, recently surprised me with its vibrant spirit and stunning landscapes. My visit was for the Women in Travel Summit, with a trip to the Salt Flats sponsored by the Visit Utah Tourism Board uniting dynamic women bloggers, allowing us to connect and share experiences.

Salt Flats pose

Many people wonder if it’s worth visiting the salt flats. Each year, these vast white fields attract travelers seeking unique experiences. These dazzling landscapes, formed by ancient lakes, offer stunning photo opportunities and surreal views. In this blog post, we’ll dive into what makes the salt flats so unique and help you decide if they should be on your travel bucket list.

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Salt Lake City, Utah, a city framed by majestic natural beauty, recently captivated me with its vibrant spirit and stunning landscapes. My visit coincided with the Women in Travel Summit. This special event, sponsored by the Visit Utah Tourism Board, gathered a dynamic group of women content creators, providing an opportunity to connect and collaborate.

After leaving our hotel at 4:30 PM, we embarked on a 90-minute journey to one of Utah’s treasures, the mesmerizing Salt Flats. Our excitement was palpable at the thought of exploring this unique landscape. We were also accompanied by a tour guide and professional photographer who to guide us out onto the salt and help us take the best pictures possible.

So, Was the Salt Flats Worth Visiting?

The short answer is yes. The ride from Salt Lake City to the Salt Flats is breathtaking by itself. The scenery shifts dramatically as you travel. Located in northwestern Utah, about 110 miles west of Salt Lake City near the Utah-Nevada border. Traveling along I-80 here feels like stepping into another world.

What are the Salt Flats?

The Salt Flats were shaped from the remnants of ancient Lake Bonneville after the last Ice Age. Over thousands of years, wind and rain transformed this vast land into the flat, smooth, crystalline surface we see today. It’s a striking example of nature’s artistry that I’ve long wanted to see.

Covering about 30,000 acres, the Salt Flats are a haven for photographers and nature enthusiasts. The unbroken horizon stirs wonder and offers a unique sense of scale and openness that’s hard to find elsewhere. The vastness of the Salt Flats provides exceptional photo opportunities and deepens our appreciation for the immense beauty of the natural world.

They are beautiful, duh!! Their sheer, unending flatness and brilliant white salt make the Salt Flats popular for various activities. They are famous for land speed racing, where enthusiasts worldwide attempt to break speed records in custom-built vehicles. The reflective surface also makes for surreal photography, often creating a mirror effect that blends sky and ground in a seamless vista when the ground is covered with water. I found several puddles to create that neverending panorama.

One of the most notable events held here is Speed Week, usually in August. This event draws racing fans and speedsters alike to witness or participate in setting new speed records.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Salt Flats is in late spring or early fall. During these seasons, the weather is cooler and the area remains dry, ideal for exploration and photography. In summer, the heat can be intense, and in winter, a thin, reflective layer of water covers the salt, making it beautiful but challenging to navigate. We visited in early April. When I stepped off the bus, I almost wished I’d brought a jacket. However, as I explored the salt flats, it warmed up and the cool air didn’t bother me. My sneakers with thick soles kept my feet dry and let me enjoy the stunning reflections beneath me.

I loved how the light changed above and below me. You should definitely make time to witness the sunset. It offers a totally different experience – a chance to play with reflections, shadows, and light. It’s also a chance to experiment with the wind and color palettes. In conclusion, any time is the right time if you have imagination.

Things to Know

When planning a visit to the Salt Flats, it’s crucial to come prepared. This remote area offers few amenities, so bring essentials like water, sun protection, and perhaps a hat or sunglasses. I also lost cell service. Dress comfortably, as the beauty of this place shines in any attire, but bring layers as well.

I met Mike, a truck driver from L.A. who shares my passion for photography. He offered to take my photo, which I appreciated. He used a Mark IV camera with a wide-angle lens. I had my Samsung 21 Ultra, but his camera captured much more detail, especially as the sun set. He later sent me 8-9 edited photos.

Other Pertinent Information

Although I brought my phone stand, I think it would have been more fun to take pictures with a friend. I should have partnered up with one of the other bloggers.

I also brought my drone but it was too windy to use it. The Salt Flats were particularly memorable for their unique beauty. This trip also allowed me to connect with another traveler and photographer. My first trip to Salt Lake City opened my eyes to Utah’s peaceful yet stunning landscapes. Whether you love speed, photography or just want to see something extraordinary, the Salt Flats are well worth your time.

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