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Ancient lake bed that dried up thousands of years ago

Bonneville Salt Flats

The terrain is also incredibly picturesque and has been used in various movies

The Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah are a unique and stunningly beautiful area located in Utah’s western desert. Spanning around 30,000 acres of flat terrain covered with a thick layer of salt, this incredible area has been drawing people to it for decades - both for its beauty as well as its history.

The Bonneville Salt Flats became a well-known attraction in the early 20th century when automobile racers began using it to set land speed records. Since then, people have come from around the world to experience the thrill of driving on this unique surface. In recent years, Bonneville Salt Flats has become a destination for extreme sports, such as BMX and off-road racing.

The salt flats are the result of an ancient lake bed that dried up thousands of years ago. The area is incredibly flat with virtually no elevation change, making it an ideal location for setting speed records. The salty surface also provides excellent traction which allows drivers to reach extreme speeds.

The terrain is also incredibly picturesque and has been used in various movies and television shows over the years. It’s a popular spot for photographers due to its unique landscape, which includes mountains, salt flats, sand dunes, and dramatic clouds. The sunsets are particularly impressive as the sky turns a vivid orange and red.

One of the most exciting events to happen at Bonneville Salt Flats is the annual Speed Week, which takes place in August. Auto racers from all over the world gather here to attempt to set new land speed records. The races take place on a five-mile course where drivers try to reach speeds up to and even surpass 500 miles per hour.

Geology

The Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah consist of an underlying salt bed. This salt bed is a remnant from Lake Bonneville, which existed thousands of years ago and eventually evaporated, leaving behind this large area of flat terrain covered in salt. The salts found here are primarily composed of sodium chloride, calcium sulfate, magnesium carbonate, and potassium chloride.

History

The salt flats were originally formed from a prehistoric lake that dried up thousands of years ago. The area is now largely made up of hard, white salt flats with a few patches of wetter clay-like soil called playas scattered around the edges. It’s believed that the salt was distributed across the area by winds during times of higher rainfall in the area.

In the early 1900s, automobile racers began using the salt flats as a place to set new land speed records. In 1914, Teddy Tetzlaff became the first person to reach over 200 mph on this terrain. The area has since become famous for its adrenaline-fueled speed attempts and is now a popular destination for motorsports

Tree of Life Sculpture

As a way to honor the area’s unique beauty and history, a 30-foot steel sculpture called “Tree of Life” was erected in 1986. This towering structure was made from scrap metal that had been collected from junkyards and abandoned auto parts. The sculpture stands as a reminder of the area’s past and is an iconic symbol of the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Planning a trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats

The Bonneville Salt Flats are located roughly 130 miles west of Salt Lake City, Utah. The area is open to the public year-round and attracts visitors from all over the world. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to see some drivers attempting land speed records or participating in other types of motorsports.

When visiting, it’s important to remember that the area is very delicate and easily damaged. As such, visitors should take extra precautions to avoid leaving any trace of their presence. This includes only walking on paths that have been established and avoiding driving or walking off-road.

lodging/camping

There are several lodging options located near the Bonneville Salt Flats. These range from budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts. The Bonneville Salt Flats are about 10 miles from Wendover, Utah and 110 miles from Salt Lake City, Utah.

dining

The closest dining options are located in Wendover, Utah. The town has a variety of restaurants and cafes that offer everything from burgers to sushi.

Fees/permits

There are no fees to enter the Bonneville Salt Flats.

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