Great Salt Lake State Park in Salt Lake City, Utah is a haven for wildlife, with over 300 species of birds, including the bald eagle, peregrine falcon, and great blue heron. The lake is also home to many mammals such as badgers, beavers and muskrats. Additionally, the park is home to numerous reptiles and amphibians including the western painted turtle, spadefoot toad and tiger salamander. One of the most well-known creatures that live in the Great Salt Lake is the brine shrimp, a small shrimp-like creature. With over 50 million pounds of these creatures being harvested, the Great Salt Lake is responsible for nearly half of the supply of brine shrimp in the world. Not only is brine shrimp responsible for 70 to 100 million dollars worth of money annually for the fishing industry, they are great food for fish and shellfish that are then raised for human consumption.
Counting the exact number of islands is complicated due to the dramatic changes in water level dependent on rainfall in a particular year. There are 11 islands that have been named.
is 30 minutes north of Salt Lake City and is the most visited of the Great Salt Lake islands. Antelope Island is a great location for wildlife lovers. The island is home to one of the largest herds of free-roam bison amongst other interesting creatures. Visitors come to Antelope Island for a time filled with outdoor adventure, mountain biking, hiking, floating, swimming, picnicking, camping, and more.
The west beach of Antelope Island offers a unique opportunity to experience oolitic sand. This sand is tiny rounded pieces of sand with a core that is often made of the fecal pellet of a brine shrimp. The sediment rolls along the bottom of the lake collecting layers and developing an interesting rounded sand so different from the fragment sand found on most other beaches.
The Great Saltair is situated along Interstate 80 on the Great Salt Lake between Salt Lake City
and Tooele Utah. The Great Saltair has a rich history of entertainment from swimming to amusement parks. Today this structure stands as the third and is most frequently utilized as a concert and event venue.
The Bonneville Salt Flats, also referred to as Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway, is near the Nevada border on the western side of this state park. They are salty and they are flat, attracting visitors from all over the world with their jaw dropping, bright white, salt crust layer that appears to go on forever. This landscape makes for some incredible photography, cinematography, and driving really really fast. Many of the highest land speed records have been made here in Utah at the Bonneville Salt Flats International Speedway.
There is a visitors center, boat slips, and the Great Salt Lake Campground with RV hookups. See the website
for fees and availability that can be affected by water levels. Visitors to the Great Salt Lake State Park utilize the area for short hikes, camping, sailing, and boating.
The Spiral Jetty is a 1,500 foot earthwork rock sculpture that has been constructed on the edge of a northern portion of The Great Salt Lake. It is made out of black basalt rock and was created by Robert Smithson in 1970. On your way to the Spiral Jetty it is hard to pass up the opportunity to see the Golden Spike National Historic Site, where the transcontinental railroad was connected in 1869.
While driving around the Salt Lake area, you may run into some seemingly out of place whale sculptures or artwork. These art pieces are a tribute to a rumored release of 2 whales into The Great Salt Lake in 1875.
There are several legends of lake monsters in The Great Salt Lake, from horse headed crocodiles to dolphin like creatures, The Great Salt Lake is an adventure not to be missed.