We condensed our Memorial Day weekend to one day of celebration. Wanting to check out the great Salt Lake, we decided to hike at Antelope Island, which is on the south end of the Salt Lake, and then head over to the great salt flats.
Antelope Island is kind of interesting because when the water levels are high, it’s an island. But when the water levels are low, it’s a peninsula. The drive was quick, 45 minutes, and as soon as we got to the visitor’s center, we could smell the foul sulfur from the salt lake. Driving with the windows up, we crossed the bridge to the island and saw bushes next to the lake that were covered with a black cloud. When we looked closely, we noticed the cloud was actually little bugs! We found out that they are harmless brine flies that are essential to the ecosystem of the island, but it was really gross nonetheless.
We walked on the beach before heading on our hike. The water levels are now low at the lake so we had to walk quite a ways to get to the lake. It wasn’t like a normal beach; the sand was really hard and felt like little rocks. There were flies that liked to hang out in the sand, but cleared away when we walked past. We were surprised that we couldn’t smell the lake from the beach. There were a few people swimming in the lake but Brad and I had no desire. Looking out into the lake, the mountains could be seen in the background, making for a really pretty view.
We noticed while driving to the other side of the island for our hike that one side was rolling green hills and the other was the lake with many groups of bison hanging out on the shore. We even saw an antelope running around on the hills!
It was a hot day and there was no shade along the almost seven-mile Sentry Loop trail. We saw a few other hikers on the trail along with some horseback riders. We got to the summit, the lake before us with the mountains in the background, and it was so quiet. We heard a rusting noise and looked up to discover a big horn sheep to our left! It didn’t see us at first so we just stood there and watched it grazing. After a few minutes, the big horn sheep looked up and saw us. He was more afraid of us than we were of him because he took off running and boy, could he run fast!
After the hike, we started out on our second part of our trip, to the great Bonneville Salt Flats. Since there isn’t a road that goes all the way through Antelope Island, we had to drive out of the island and then go around it to start our trek to the salt flats.
About an hour before we got to the salt flats, the highway got really flat and we noticed salt patches on both sides of the road and saw a Morton Salt factory. To see the flats, one just pulls into the visitor’s center off the highway. It was packed with people!
Why did we want to go to the flats? Hence the name, it’s one of the flattest places on Earth! It was super cool to see the white salty soil with the mountains in the background. (Imagine giant mounds of white salty soil with mountains peeking out in the background. So cool!) The mountains looked close enough to walk to them, but they were actually over 20 miles away! The soil just stuck to our shoes and felt really weird (but cool) to walk on. People were walking on the flats, taking photos, driving their cars, and there was even someone shooting a music video.
We hopped in the truck and drove to the actual spot were the salt flat racing starts. The racing season on the flats didn’t start for another few weeks (due to the salt being too wet) but there were still people out there trying to race each other for fun.
These are the type of days that we love and enjoy and why we started our RV journey. To see and experience things we normally wouldn’t see or do. We couldn’t have asked for a better day.
Till next time everyone!