Visit Bonneville Salt Flats Utah: 10 Important Tips to Know
A trip to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah lets you experience an extremely unusual environment in America. It is home to two types of salt deserts: the Great Salt Lake Desert and the Bonneville Salt Flats. The one is a dry, white desert. The other is a flat area transformed into an endless expanse of white crystals that sparkle with clear blue skies.
The Bonneville Salt Flats is not only home to world-record-setting land speed racers, but it also offers excellent hiking trails and camping options for those looking to leave their vehicles and explore. Although you may believe it isn’t easy to walk here because of the salt crust, however, there are many trails that traverse this stunning area. If you are there at the right time of the season (winter), it is possible to find fresh water lakes!
10 Important Things to Know Before Visiting Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah
1. Best Time to Visit Bonneville Salt Flats
The ideal time to visit the salt flats for anything other than an occasional pit stop is during an event. The area is exceptionally deserted, and there’s little to do during an occasion. The following events are available.
The Bonneville Salt Flats is a bucket list item for many tourists. But, if you’re planning to visit Utah’s Salt flats, you must prepare for the trip well. Salt flats aren’t always accessible because of weather conditions and could be hazardous in the event of rain. If you’d like to stay clear of these hazards and take incredible photos, read on!
In terms of weather, you should visit between June and September. May and October may be great weather-wise. Even though it’s hot during the middle of the season, it is more relaxed in November as there are fewer people, and you’ll have more chances of peace and tranquility. Also, there is a tendency to have snow in the winter months, which can lead to some fantastic photos with snowfall as background!
Bonneville Salt Flats comprises around 30,000 acres of salt, which is the remains of a dried-up lake Bonneville which was similar to Lake Michigan. The salt flats are approximately 110 miles to the west of Salt Lake City. We visited them during summer on our USA road trip in 2020.
2. You Are Allowed to Drive onto the Bonneville Salt Flats
The Salt Flats rest area has plenty of parking and space to drive to the salt. Salt is harsh and is easy to move on unless it’s damp. You’ll be amazed by the size of the area it covers and the distance you can drive! When traveling with an aspiring driver, this would be the perfect spot to test their driving abilities.
3. The Weather at Bonneville Salt Flats Can Be Extreme
The weather can be an aspect when you visit Bonneville. The last time we saw it was a night temperature of 90 degrees. Let’s say we got some air conditioner envy from our tiny tent. Summer is indeed the best time to travel because it’s dry. If we did the same thing again, we’d consider a motorhome or an RV with AC.
Average temperatures for March: 53/33 F (12/0 C), April 51/41 F (16/5 C), and May 72/50 F (22/10 C)
The spring season brings a dramatic shift in the weather from March through May. While the temperature might be ideal for a trip, you must be aware that these salt flats tend to be humid, and the rainy conditions can be quite a drag. It is possible to take fantastic photos of the water as the flats transform into reflections.
Average temperatures range from 90 F (32 C) and lows of 65F (18C)
Summer is hot Hot, hot, scorching! It’s a dry heat which isn’t too bad. However, there was no shade, and we were there; there was no breeze. The good thing is that it cools down at night. In the evening, it is possible for your salt flats dry enough to allow you to travel on the flats.
Average temperatures in September: 78/54 F (26/12 C), October 42/62 F (17/6 C), and November 47/29 F (8/-1 C) with 6-8 days of rain.
Similar to spring, fall experiences an abrupt temperature change from September through November. At the beginning of autumn, it is a great time to go on a trip. In October, the weather starts becoming cold and miserable.
Average temperatures range from 40F (-1C) and lows of 20F (-7C) with 8-10 days of snow or rain.
The temperature range from December to February is pretty consistent, with the month of February being a bit warmer, but let’s be honest, it’s cold! It’s also usually wet, and snow is possible. Prepare yourself with the appropriate equipment to keep warm.
4. But Don’t Drive on the Salt Flats When it Rains
Salt flats are delicate, even though you’ll encounter areas that seem surprisingly solid and solid. Under the perfectly white, salty crust lies soft mud. When driving on flats, they are damp and can cause salt damage and possibly your car.
A word of caution: We stopped at an area off the road, about 20 minutes prior to the flats, which deceivingly appeared as a great spot to take photos. Guy took a step on it wearing flip-flops, and the area immediately began sinking like rapid-fire sand.
Luckily, he could get out. However, some of his footwear was as fortunate. If you go to Bonneville Salt Flats, be mindful of where you walk, especially in the rainy season.
5. Camping on BLM Land at Bonneville Salt Flats is Free!
Bonneville Salt Flats camping is situated on Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The land is extraordinary! It is possible to drive up using an RV, camper van, or even your vehicle and pitch the tent. There’s plenty of space to locate a quiet site with stunning views.
The ground is a tough covered layer of salt and dirt which makes it the ideal flat area for setting up an outdoor tent or needing to have a place to sit in your RV. It’s relatively clean, but not muddy and bugs-free, at least when it was our visit. There is one drawback, it gets hot during summer if you’re camping there or in a van that doesn’t have A/C.
To locate the BLM campsite, exit I-80 at 4, Leppy Pass Road, and go left. You’ll see areas for camping on the two sides, at an intersection between Leppy Pass Road and Bonneville Speedway Road. It’s right next to the highway, yet tranquil. If you’re looking for hookups, there are private campgrounds in Wendover.
Because you’re in a location with few resources, we’ve made an inventory of campervan equipment and accessories that can be very useful to carry around!
6. Bonneville Salt Flats Kayak Location is Off Limits
You’ve probably seen the stunning pictures that became viral of kayakers in the incredibly blue waters of Utah and wondered how you could achieve this. Unfortunately, these Potash Canals have been designed for industrial use in nature and are not intended for any recreation.
Furthermore, the only option to reach the destination is to park on I-80. I-80, which is unsafe and illegal. Don’t be one person who appears in the news and does stupid things to get an Instagram image.
7. There Are Lots of Bonneville Salt Flats Photography Options
Mirror Photos: There are numerous photo opportunities on the Bonneville Salt Flats. If it rains, and an overcoat of water is deposited on this salt layer, the area transforms into a gigantic mirror. Remember that you must be very careful if your flats become wet.
Photo-Optical Illusions You can also experiment with the fantastic optical illusions you can create when you have a flat backdrop. We were having an amount of fun, but we struggled to keep the dogs out of the picture. It’s much easier when you have someone else in charge of the photo instead of doing it by yourself, but it’s
Sunset and sunrise photos If you can get on the flats at sunrise or sunset, it’s gorgeous. We found that sunrise photos were better since the light was longer. If you are camping on BLM land near Bonneville, You can see both and let us know which you believe is the most effective.
Astrophotography Bonneville salt plateau is the ideal place to photograph images of the Milky Way. Without light pollution, the night sky with stars is breathtaking.
8. Big Events at Bonneville Speedway
There are some genuinely unique activities to be found in Bonneville Salt Flats. Bonneville Salt Flats if you make the right time to go. We were fortunate and were able to visit the region in the middle of Bonneville Speed Week. My dad had told me of the fast cars on the salt flats during my childhood, and I was pretty excited.
Salt Flats Endurance Runs
The Salt Flats Endurance runs offer four courses: 5K, 50K, 50-mile, and 100-mile races in May. It’s a fantastic race for those who want to undertake an enormous physical effort.
Bonneville International Speedway is well-loved by car enthusiasts since it’s where land speed records are set by vehicles resembling rocket ships. We attended Speed Week, and IT WAS AMAZING!!
9. Getting From Salt Lake City to Bonneville Salt Flats is Easy
Salt Lake City to Bonneville Salt Flats is about a 1.5 hours drive. The route is I-80 West toward Reno. It’s about 109 miles from the I-80 or I-15 interchange. In comparison, it’s only about three hours of driving time to see Bonneville Salt Flats as a Salt Lake City Day Trip. It’s well worthwhile – particularly as an event.
10. Bonneville Salt Flats is Near West Wendover, Nevada
Why would you want to know this little bit of information? If you do not enjoy camping but are looking to stay for a night in the area, then the Best Western Plus Wendover Hotel is the ideal option. There are fast food restaurants, casinos, gas stations, casinos, and supermarkets within the vicinity.
A visit to Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah will be a memory you’ll cherish forever. We strongly suggest coordinating your visit to coincide with an event such as Bonneville Speed Week. It’s an ideal stop for a Utah and USA Road Trip.
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