Great Salt Lake – a perfect place for floating this summer

Stef Zisovska
The Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is the largest lake west of Mississippi River and the largest salt lake in the Western Hemisphere. It’s often referred to as the Dead Sea of Utah because of its salinity.

It is an important refuge for various types of birds and it’s federally managed.

It is also home to several types of algae, brine shrimp, and brine flies and at certain times of the year, these can even be a bit overwhelming so pick when you go and visit.


The Great Salt Lake is an attraction for visitors with its several islands, a railroad, three state parks, and an earthwork sculpture called the Spiral Jetty.

The lake is a very popular destination for swimmers, sailors, and hikers. If your training for ocean swimming this is a great place to do it.


Spiral Jetty Photo Credit

The Great Salt Lake is enormous. Its surface area is 1,700 square miles in an average year. It’s 75 miles long, 28 miles wide and a maximum depth of 33 feet. The total watershed area is 21,000 square miles bounding most of northern Utah and parts of Nevada, Idaho, and Wyoming.


The Great Salt Lake Photo Credit

The Great Salt Lake has the Wasatch Range rising to the east and the Great Salt Lake Desert on the west. The lake is a leftover of what was Lake Bonneville in the Ice Age. Lake Bonneville was a freshwater lake 325 miles long and 135 miles wide. Native American Tribes knew about the Great Salt Lake long time before the first non-native discovered it.

Salinity of the Great Salt Lake

The fact that the Great Salt Lake is just a small part of the once existing Lake Bonneville leads us to a conclusion that all the minerals are now concentrated into less water.

Every year, 2.2 million tons of salt flows into the lake from the Bear, Jordan, and Weber Rivers. All the amounts of salt brought by the rivers stay in the lake because it has no outlet. The salinity of the lake is so high that it cannot support any fish life.  It’s also a good idea to keep your mouth closed when you’re in the water as it’s not pleasant swallowing it while swimming about.


The Great Salt Lake Photo Credit

The Great Salt Lake has eleven islands including Antelope Island which has Americas biggest area of free-roaming bisons. Antelope Island has the best beach on the entire lake. Bridger Bay Beach is a white sand beach where many people go for a floating adventure.

You can’t actually sink in the Great Salt Lake because of the salt concentration. To lie back and relax with the sounds of the singing gulls is quite a unique experience hard to forget.

Gunnison Island is home to a large population of pelicans.


Antelope Island Sunset Photo Credit

The Great Salt Lake is a perfect place for knowledge-hungry travelers. Here you can learn lots about geology and history of the whole area. Next time you decide to travel it would be well worth a visit here.


Saltair Pavilion Photo Credit

Places like the Great Salt Lake are simply amazing.


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