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.
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.