Salt Lake City. The plan was to visit the Great Salt Lake, the salt flats, dad wanted to visit the Mormon temple/capital building/historical center of the city, and Alissa wanted to visit East High School – filming spot of High School Musical. Sadly, because of all the nearby wildfires, the entire area was set under a smoky haze. You could smell it in the air and the visibility was very poor.
1. Stop at REI on the way in. Because why not. It’s an outdoor adventurer mecca and people tend to trade in or return pretty great stuff.
2. Downtown Salt Lake City – Mormon temples and East High. You can find 2 hour free parking in the parking garage at City Center. (3 hours if you get parking validation from the Cheesecake Factory.) Random fact, the mall above the parking garage is probably one of the nicest ones I’ve seen.
The Mormon temple center was pretty impressive. They have beautiful buildings and since the Mormons were the ones who settled and founded Salt Lake City the historical significance of it all is intriguing to read about.
From the city center Alissa and I grabbed scooters and rode 20 minutes to East High. She was in her glory as she fan girl’d the school.
3. Salt Lake to Salt Flats.
Originally we had wanted to find a place to float in the salt lake. But as we got closer the lake looked so dried up we could barely see the water from the road, and what we could see didn’t look super enticing. We decided to skip the swim. (There is a terrible drought out west currently so this could just be due to increasingly low water levels everywhere. The boat docks were totally dried up.)
We continued on to Bonneville Salt Flats State Park, the route of which takes you directly through the salt flats. There are no amenities for about an hour on the drive while you’re surrounded by nothing but a sea of Sandy, salty white. Interestingly, the pull of for the entrance of the park doubles as a rest area. Though “no trespassing” signs line the edge of the salt flats, there were cars and people everywhere out there so I’m not sure what the deal is with that… it was definitely unique. This section of the salt flats looked like you were on a frozen lake. It was really pretty. We continued on further into the park and speedway.
The week we happen to be here is also race week on the Bonneville Salt Flats where most of the land speed records are made. So as we neared the speedway, the flats were buzzing. There were campers, tenters, ATVs, Jeeps, dirt bikes, bikes and everything in between sprawled out everywhere. Sadly we were allowed onto the raceway since they had millions of dollars of cars on the other end waiting for race day next day, but regardless it was kind of fun to be a part of all the action. We ended up setting up camp amidst all the other campers speckled amongst the white salt flats. We fell asleep to revving motors and woke up to the same.
1. There aren’t many campground options near Bonneville Salt Flats. There are a couple off the route but they were all about 30-40 min out of the way, first come first serve so no guarantee we’d have a spot. Thus we decided to camp out on BLM land with everyone else that was there for the races. They had outhouses but I’m sure those were just there for the weekend. There is a gas station at the head of the park entrance where they have bathrooms, showers, and water refilling. There were other first come first serve campgrounds in the surrounding mountains about 15 minutes outside the flats but we never made it that far.