I have fallen in love with many US National Parks, State Parks, Monuments, and destinations I have toured, knowing I will return to experience its unique beauty during a different season.
Bonnieville Salt Flats is one such location that is 110 miles west of Salt Lake City, Utah. On September 5, 2017, my first visit was during the afternoon, when the heat radiated from the desert’s salt floor.
The Bonneville Salt Flats Special Recreation Management Area is 30,000 acres of expansive hard, white salt crust on Utah’s western edge of the Great Salt Lake basin. Since 1914, the landscape has been the racing grounds for land speed racers worldwide. During the summer, temperatures on the salt flats can rise to over 100 degrees in summer and go below freezing in winter. Ultraviolet radiation coming off the salt can and will be intense, so wearing eye protection, sunscreen, and sun-protective clothing is necessary. Violent winds and storms can appear anytime during the year, so stay alert to monitor the weather conditions.
The salt flats are about 12 miles long and 5 miles wide, covering just over 46 square miles. It is one of the most remarkable natural wonders to see in person. Motor vehicle use can be limited due to seasonal closures in the spring when the salt is moist or has standing water on the surface. Closure dates will be posted by signage.
My first overland vehicle was the blizzard white Toyota Four Runner, pictured above, and the white colors were too much for the naked eyes.
A few years later, I’ve returned to experience the Salt Flats with a daytime temperature of 40 degrees with the wind blowing at a persistent 5–10 mph out of the south. The photo shoot was quick as the cold ripped through my jacket and summer cap. The overcast skies kept the glaring sun from straining my eyes too much.
I was fortunate to meet with the driver of a converted school bus pulling a full-size pickup truck with his wife and two kids in car seats inside. He made a U-turn on the salt flats reducing my anxiety to capture photos of overland Beast and Maxey the RV on the Salt Flats. I, of course, walked out onto the salt flats to test the solid surface to ensure my ability to return to the above pavement.