Imagine a place so flat you seem to see the curvature of the planet, so barren not even the simplest life forms can exist. This is not an alien world far from earth; it is Utah’s famous Bonneville Salt Flats! We made a day trip to this picturesque natural wonder, while we were in Utah, to visit Yellowstone (more on that later!)
The Bonneville Salt Flats is one of the most unique natural features in Utah, stretching over 30,000 acres. It is located along I-80 near the Utah-Nevada border. The salt flats in Utah are the result of the drying up of ancient Lake Bonneville in the Pleistocene era, creating this concentration of mineral deposits. With their smooth, flat surface stretching a good 30,000 acres, this is one of the few places in the world where a person can actually see the curvature of the earth.
The most impressive spot to view the Salt Flats is along along I-80, about 10 miles east of Wendover. A rest stop has been established there (offering restrooms and water). The rest area is surrounded by perfectly flat land that looks like it is covered by snow. To the north and west, low mountains break the view. To the east and south, it looks like flat land extends virtually forever!
The famous Bonneville Speedway is located in the western portion of the flats, near Wendover. It is perfectly flat and has a thick crust of salty soil. It looks like a frozen lake bed covered with snow. No vegetation grows in that area. At the time we visited the flats, there was no racing scheduled, so missed it 😦
But the overall experience has been mesmerizing! There are things in the world, I think, that are so beautiful the human mind doesn’t know what to do with them. The best the mind can figure is that water runs uphill, and the rest—well, the rest we chalk up to optical illusion. 🙂