Great Salt Lake
Great Salt Lake Needs Your Visit
While you visit this mysterious natural wonder, you can also help save it.
Antelope Island State Park
Explorers of Antelope Island State Park can hike, bike, picnic, camp, ride horseback or float in the salty sea. The island hosts free-range bison, antelopes, bighorn sheep and mule deer. It’s also designated as an International Dark Sky Park (Bronze Tier) by the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Be sure to stop by the visitor center to learn more about the 42-square-mile island.
Ahoy, matey! Lake visitors launch sailboats, motorboats, kayaks and paddleboats from marinas in Antelope Island State Park and Great Salt Lake State Park. Great Salt Lake State Park, in particular, houses a search and rescue operations center, provides long-term boat slip rentals and is home to the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club.
Bonneville Salt Flats
Not your typical white sandy beach, Bonneville Salt Flats is made of a layer of salt so dry, thick and hard that certain portions are inhospitable to life. What the flats lack in ecological liveability, they make up for in out-of-this-world landscapes for sensational photos, especially at sunset or sunrise. The salt flats also entertain motorsport racing — along with several land-speed records — at the Bonneville Speedway.
Cycling — via mountain, road or e-bike – is a thrilling way to explore Great Salt Lake. Mountain bikers frequent the easy flats and moderate hills on Antelope Island. Antelope E-Bike Company provides guided tours of the island on custom electric bikes. Although Antelope Island reigns supreme for Great Salt Lake cyclists, road cyclists can choose from routes on the island or any roads leading to and from the lake.
The Spiral Jetty
Artists, historians and naturalists alike will appreciate the sensational sight of the Spiral Jetty. American sculptor Robert Smithson constructed this extraordinary coil-shaped earth sculpture in 1970 using 6,500 tons of black basalt rocks, limestone and mud. It measures 1,500-feet long by 15-feet wide and is considered the most famous large-scale earthwork of the period. Visitors should be mindful that low water levels at the Great Salt Lake have increased the natural presence of tar around the Spiral Jetty shoreline. Watch your step and keep dogs on leash.
The best access points to Great Salt Lake are via Antelope Island State Park or Great Salt Lake State Park.
Antelope Island State Park rests on the lake’s east side and is the most popular place to experience the lake, due to its easy-to-spot wildlife and variety of activities. Visitors can hike, bike, camp or ride horseback to explore the island’s habitat and wildlife.
Great Salt Lake State Park sits on the south shore. Here, you can visit a small visitor’s center, book a boat tour or stroll along the marina dock. Whatever you decide, beautiful views of Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island State Park and Black Rock are a guarantee.
Willard Bay State Park is another option for access, though it’s the least traveled for guests of Great Salt Lake. Willard Bay is a freshwater reservoir on the flood plains of the lake. Both its north marina and south marina are popular for boating, waterskiing and year-round fishing for crappie, walleye, wiper and catfish.
There is a day-use fee per vehicle at all Utah State Parks, check with the park for current pricing. The Annual Utah State Park Pass is accepted.
Help Keep Great Salt Lake Forever Mighty
The Great Salt Lake is essential to Utah’s environment and ecology – 10 million birds visit the lake annually as an essential stopover and breeding ground. But the lake has lost half its water due to human usage. According to the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council, 871 billion gallons of water is diverted annually before it enters the lake and anticipated water demand could lower the lake another 10 feet. Discover simple ways you can conserve water from the Utah Governor’s Water Conservation Team – visit slowtheflow.org.
Davis County in Northern Utah is home to Antelope Island State Park, Lagoon Amusement Park, Cherry Hills Recreation Park and much more.
Frary Peak Antelope Island
Hike to the highest point on Antelope Island for outstanding photography opportunities. Get valuable Frary Peak information here. Visit Utah
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City makes a great gateway for travelers making a trip to Utah's ski resorts or southward to Utah’s renowned red rock country.
A Matter of Geological Consent
A billion years of geological history surrounds Salt Lake City, where a modern landscape reflects ancient constraints.
Antelope Island's Bison Roundup
Antelope Island's annual bison round-up (October 28, 2017) takes place in relative obscurity, on a stunning landscape from another geologic era, making this event a wonderful opportunity to view bison close-up. Watching an authentic roundup is like being on the set of an old west movie or transported to a distant era — yet it’s only 25 miles northwest of Salt Lake City International Airport.
Best Trails for Horseback Riding Within an Hour of Salt Lake City
Here's a list of the best trails for horseback riding within an hour of Salt Lake City, Utah. Note, these five trails are for those with access to horses and trailers.
Seeking Starry Skies Near Salt Lake City
You don’t have to go far from the city to find dark skies filled with stars in Utah. Find out where you can see the Milky Way near the city or gaze into space from an observatory in Northern Utah.
Songbirds, Shorebirds and Migrating Birds, Oh My!
The Eccles Wildlife Education Center, sandwiched between Utah's Wasatch Mountains and the Great Salt Lake’s Antelope Island State Park, opened in 2018 and has become a bucket-list destination to see, study and photograph the state's diverse animals.
‘We Are All Great Salt Lake’: A Biologist Explains the Lake’s Mysteries
A career studying one of the most unique ecosystems in the world might be smelly, but Jaimi Butler wouldn’t trade her time on Great Salt Lake for anything.
At 50, the Spiral Jetty, Utah’s Most Iconic Land Art Sculpture, Keeps Drawing a Crowd
In April 1970, it took six days, 625 man-hours, 292 truck-hours, $9,000, and 6,500 tons of basalt, limestone and mud for Robert Smithson to construct the Spiral Jetty. His work still stands today. Visit and be inspired by this iconic piece of Utah's land art.
A Photographer’s Guide to Mindful Travel
Utah's deserts are a photographer's dream, yet very fragile. Find out how photographers can take a few simple steps to care for this unique environment.
Explore Antelope Island's Fielding Garr Ranch
Volunteers Beth and Dennis Simonsen show visitors around the historic Fielding Garr Ranch complex on Antelope Island State Park in Northern Utah.
A Quick Guide to the Bonneville Salt Flats
Here's everything you need to know to visit and plan for Salt Lake City's nearby Bonneville Salt Flats.
The 5 Rules for Selfies: How to Capture and Post Responsibly in Utah
Explore Utah and be our best influencer by capturing incomparable and lasting memories safely and responsibly.
A View From the Past
Follow a historian on a tour of the Transcontinental Railroad Backcountry Byway as he reconstructs forgotten history.
Hike + Dine: Davis County
Here are a few of Utah's Davis County’s best hiking trails and eateries to check out during your next visit.
There’s no better place to go birding in Utah than the Bear River Migratory Refuge. Learn more and start planning the ultimate nature getaway!
Q&A With the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Biologist