Bonneville Salt Flats

Quick Facts

Bonneville Salt Flats

Utah

(801) 977-4300

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

Managed by the BLM as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and Special Recreation Management Area, the Bonneville Salt Flats are a 30,000 acre expanse of hard, white salt crust on the western edge of the Great Salt Lake basin in Utah. "Bonneville" is also on the National Register of Historic Landmarks because of its contribution to land speed racing. The salt flats are about 12 miles long and 5 miles wide with total area coverage of just over 46 square miles. Near the center of the salt, the crust is almost 5 feet thick in places, with the depth tapering off to less than 1 inch as you get to the edges. Total salt crust volume has been estimated at 147 million tons or 99 million cubic yards of salt! The Bonneville Salt Flats are comprised of approximately 90% common table salt.

Map of Bonneville Salt Flats

Latitude, Longitude: 40.583803, -113.009589

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Activities

  • Camping

    To maintain public health & safety and protect natural resources, overnight camping is prohibited on the salt flats. There are no developed campground facilities. You may camp for free on adjacent public lands accessed via local roads.

  • Hiking

    Hiking is not available.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Driving on the salt flats is at your own risk. When the salt flats are dry, it is generally safe to drive on them. Try not to go within 100 yards of the edge of the salt crust as you may get stuck in the underlying mud. Salt residue will usually get onto the underside of your car but is easily washed off with fresh water. You must make sure to thoroughly wash your car (especially the undercarriage) to avoid corrosion problems later. When the salt flats are flooded, you should not drive on them unless you are thoroughly familiar with the area and take special precautions.

Seasonality/Weather

Daytime temperatures can range from below freezing in winter to triple digits in the summer. Average highs in July, August, and September are usually in the mid to upper 90s. Early spring and late fall can see highs in the 50s and 60s. Late spring and early fall temps are usually in the 70s and 80s. Strong winds and thunderstorms often occur in the afternoons during warm weather months. Ultraviolet solar radiation can be intense on hot, sunny days. Visitors need to come prepared with protective clothing such as broad-brimmed hats, UV sunglasses, high-SPF sunscreen, shelter from the sun, and lots of water. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are real dangers in the summer.

Directions

Driving

The Bonneville Salt Flats are located just off of Exit 4 on Interstate 80 in Utah, just before reaching the Nevada state line. They are approximately 100 miles and 1.5 hours driving time due west of Salt Lake City. After exiting the freeway, turn right and drive north past the truck stop. Stay on the paved road as it curves to the right away from the mountains and heads east out across the mud flats. In just over 4 miles, you will come to a cul-de-sac at the end of the pavement where a BLM sign is located. You may park here or continue onto the Salt Flats. Travel on the Salt Flats is at your own risk.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(801) 977-4300

Links