To gearheads, the Bonneville Salt Flats may be most famous for its International Speedway, where numerous land speed records have been set. But the area, located 100 miles east of Salt Lake City, is on public land and open to anyone who wants to experience the bright white, otherworldly landscape. Just make sure to check the weather before you go since heavy rain can cause flooding and mudslides on the flats.
“An alien like world”
Imagine a place so flat you seem to see the curvature of the planet, so barren not even the simplest life forms can exist. Imagine the passing thunder of strange vehicles hurtling by on a vast dazzling white plain. This is not an alien world far from earth; it is Utah's famous Bonneville Salt Flats. The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the most unique natural features in Utah. Stretching over 30,000 acres, the Bonneville Salt Flats is a fragile resource administered by the Bureau of Land Management. It is located along I-80 near the Utah-Nevada border. Wendover is the closest city. Thousands of visitors, commercial filmmakers, and of course, high speed auto racers, make the Bonneville Salt Flats a world famous destination. We hope you enjoy your visit to this natural wonder on Utah's public land. It is said that these flats are disappearing due to the extraction of salts for fertilizers.
Fun fact: When Captain Jack Sparrow finds himself wandering a sandy purgatory in "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," he's actually wandering the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
This place is magical. The sunset is unreal and you HAVE to see it. The rest-stop is the best place to actually experience the salt and walk right out on it. You can't get there on the way back east, unless you drive another 25/30 minutes and turn around again, so plan accordingly. There are actually a handful of hotels on the Nevada border, which is only about 5 minutes away, so its an easy stop for the night. I cannot wait to go back, I absolutely loved it.
We stayed at a nearby KOA on our way East and had to check them out: we were stunned. They are beautiful. The earth is a crystal white that glows and cracks.
We tasted the salt to make sure it was real. You can even drive on it (which is SO much fun) and it’s a gorgeous photo op as well.
There’s one gas station near by that sometimes runs out of gas so be sure to fill up on the way!
5 stars for the flats, 1 for the address. I didn’t realize that most people stop at the Salt Flats Westbound rest stop, which isn’t what I wanted but time constraints. Instead, I pass it (which, apparently, you have to drive back 30 minutes to do a Uturn for an hour long round trip from the truck stop back to the Westbound rest stop).
But. It also wanted me to drive two hours on some road north (same one that goes to the speedway - but I guess it turns off somewhere?
Really needs to be updated.
Was there in September, my gps told me to park and walk like 15 miles, I didn’t, I actually followed a van for like 10 miles before I stopped. The road was extremely bumpy, and very dusty. I however was not disappointed. What we were able to see was totally cool. If you have a 4 wheel drive, would totally be worth going even farther. Free camping, saw several campers, and lots of open spots with fire rings. Will definitely return.
We went in early June and it was magical! Out of this world. It hurts to walk on the salt barefoot, though. So bring some sort of beach slippers.
For anyone who likes cars or bikes, this is a cool side trip. You can drive on the salt flats. Take Polaroid sunglasses as it is very bright and glaring!
This is also where For King and Country's music video 'Amen' was filmed. Pretty cool
We were driving from Reno to Salt Lake City in I-80 eastbound. If you are coming from the west going east you MUST stop at Exit 4 to see the nice white sand. After exiting follow the signs to the left to the Bonneville Speedway, about a 8 min drive till the road comes to a dead end. Here tourists were driving out onto the sand. Don’t do it if there is water. And another poster mentioned some hazard but I’m not sure what.
You can stop at the rest area going eastbound but you will be on the wrong side of the interstate to truly enjoy the salt flat.
Most definitely somewhere you need to stop! When flooded they produce some of the nicest photos. Would love to come back when it's dry as well
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Bonneville Salt Flats
- Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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- Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
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