Visiting the Great Salt Lake

March 6, 2015
Great Salt Lake - Things To Do

Great Salt LakeEric Schramm/Salt Lake City Convention & Visitors Bureau

  • Type: Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sightseeing
  • Time to Spend: Half Day to Full Day

Clocking in at approximately 1, 700 square miles, the Great Salt Lake is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River. The lake's name comes from the nature of the water: The evaporation process (the only exit available for the lake's water) leaves behind salty mineral deposits. Salt Lake City's visitors and residents enjoy the area's many hiking trails, ample picnic spots and boating and fishing opportunities.

According to recent travelers, the Great Salt Lake is also an excellent swimming spot. "The water is very dense and salty and you really float, " writes one TripAdvisor user. "Just stretch your arms, lie on your back on the water and enjoy the scenery."

One of the most popular access points is Antelope Island, a state park located just over 40 miles west of Salt Lake City. You can reach the island by following I-15 to Exit 332. The lake area is open every day starting at 6 a.m., though closing times vary depending on the season. If you decide to use Antelope Island as your jumping-off point, expect a $10 entrance fee per vehicle. However, there are also plenty of free access points closer to town. To learn more about the Great Salt Lake, visit the Utah Tourism Board's website.

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