The Otherworldly Salt Flats of Utah

The state of Utah is famous for it’s many National Parks that feature its unique landscapes, however, one of the more intriguing and relatively unknown natural wonders of Utah are not found in a National Park at all. The Bonneville Salt Flats are found just east of the Great Salt Lake in Northern Utah and form a scene unlike anywhere else in the country. 

The Bonneville Salt Flats were formed sometime after the ice age ended when an extinct lake called Lake Bonneville (which once covered up to ⅓ of Utah’s landmass) receded. Although the water was no longer present, the minerals (including magnesium, gypsum, and halite) that constituted the watershed on the bottom of the lake remained. The leftover result was a seemingly endless salt flat that extends across 46 square miles. How the salt flat looks will vary depending on what time of year you visit it. In the cooler months of the year, the water that is trickled into the salt flats as a result of rain and other nearby water sources stays on the ground. This causes the salt flat to appear to be a sand-like substance. In the drier months, however, the moisture evaporates from the ground with the minerals remaining, which creates a dry and cracked surface. 

Not only are the Bonneville Salt Flats a source of natural beauty, but they also have a fascinating history. Many gold miners during the gold rush attempted to cross the Salt Flats to varying degrees of success, leaving wagon trails remaining across the salt flats with various points of interest documenting gold rush history. The Bonneville Salt Flats are truly an impossible place to explain, as there is nothing else that can be compared to the type of scenery provided. I fully recommend taking a trip for yourself to see one of America’s lesser-known natural wonders. 

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