The Utah mountains on one side and an endless stretch of salt flats on the other. Imagine this view at the Bonneville Salt Flats but magnify it by tenfold and add a pink sunset that dips behind the mountains. It was such an incredible sunset, especially because we were able to walk to the middle of the salt flats with nothing around us.
The Bonneville Salt Flats have a unique and intriguing landscape with crusty layers of salt that stretch for as far as your eyes can see. It’s also so flat that you start to question how something like this even exists. Being only an hour and a half away from Salt Lake City, the salt flats should be included on every itinerary and is a sight that’s definitely worth seeing.
The time of year matters when visiting the Bonneville Salt Flats. In the winter months there will be water on the flats while in the summer months the flats will be dry and crusty. We visited in April, so the salt flats were mostly dry, but we could still feel moisture when we touched it.
From Salt Lake City, there are two stops to view the salt flats from. It’s important to do them in order, otherwise you risk making a 1-hour detour to get on the right side of the highway.
The first stop is the Salt Flats Rest Area off the I-80 westbound direction. We made a quick stop here where we saw the salt flats for the first time and were surprised by how expansive they were! We also saw people drive onto the flats and even race their motorcycles across it.
We found a small pool of water that created really epic reflections of the mountains and the salt flats.
Next, we put in Bonneville Salt Flats in Google Maps and drove to the Bonneville International Speedway. We parked our cars, packed our backpacks with camping chairs, and trekked out onto the salt flats. There are no paths and you simply just walk out as far as you want, so after a few hundred feet, we set up our chairs to enjoy the sunset.
I was so fascinated by the landscape of the Bonneville Salt Flats and how remote, yet accessible, they were. How is it possible to have so much salt cover such a vast area of land? It really put things in perspective when the people and cars look like small specks in comparison to how enormous the salt flats are. The mountains in the background also make it more dramatic and add some contour against the salt flats.
We stayed through golden hour until sunset and caught some epic photos. On the drive home, the sky turned into a pink and purple hue to cap off an amazing time at the Bonneville Salt Flats. I’d highly recommend coming right before sunset and watch the sunset from the middle of the salt flats.