I never realized how much life the Salt Lakes provides! I actually thought it was a completely dead lake. Little did I know how much it provides for wildlife and the local communities a place to fish, camp, sailing, exploring and to enjoy the presteen beauty it offers. One of the other uniques aspects the salt lake has is that you will float like a cork because of the salt waters. I was afraid to try it out, but did venture out into the waters. If you use the Antelope Island camp facilities, they have picnic tables, restrooms and showers there.
Just a short drive from town is America's largest salt water lake. It is the remants of an inland sea that once covered most of the area. However given the brackish nature of the water, it's smell probably prevents it from ever being a major tourist draw.
The Great Salt Lake is the largest lake in the US west of the Mississippi, and it's about 75 miles long and 28 miles wide. Because the lake is so shallow, as the water level changes, the dimensions of the lake are greatly affected. For example, the average surface are is 1,700 square miles, but when the water level dropped 9 feet, the surface area was cut almost in half to only 950 square miles. Conversely, when the water level rose about 11 feet in 1987, the surface area almost doubled to 3,300 square miles.
The GSL is 3 to 5 times more salty than the oceans, and it is the world's 4th largest terminal lake. Because of the high salt content, the lake is devoid of fish, and boasts just shrimp and larvae of brine flies. The GSL is a major destination for migratory birds in North America.
10,000 to 30,000 years ago, Lake Bonneville covered some 20,000 square miles of land in what is now Utah, Nevada and Idaho. The Great Salt Lake is what is left of this lake.
Because the area is so flat, small changes in the water level of the lake make a big difference in the area that the lake covers. In an average year, the lake covers an area of about 1,700 square miles.
The salinity of the water averages about 12%, making it much saltier than the ocean. There are two Utah State Parks on the Great Salt Lake: Antelope Island State Park and Great Salt Lake State Park. The water is so salty, people can easily float. So swimming and aquatic sports are very popular in the lake.
A little known fact about the lake is that during the 1950s the harvesting of brine shrimp out of the lake started. Brine shrimp live in hypersaline lakes (salt content may be 25%) where there is a lot of algae to eat and not many other animals to eat them. Brine shrimp are also called "Sea Monkeys" and are harvested in the cyst form so that they can be 're-constituted' later for the amusement of aquariumists.
The salinity of the salt lake doesn't quite rival that of the dead sea, so if you want super-salinated waters, go to Israel. If that's too far or you want an easier, safer trip, the salt lake should do just fine!
Keep boats out, unless you want them to get eaten up by the salt!
You might want to check out the Great Salt Lake, which was rumored to me that you're able to just float there with ease since there's so much salt. Anyway, I've never been there, but it is a famous lake, no?
The south bank of the Great Salt Lake is about 20 minutes west of the city via I-80 and is a great place to watch the sun set. Of course, the high salinity of the water makes it smell pretty bad here.
Large salt lake in northwestern Utah and one of the most famous natural landmarks in the United States. The Great Salt Lake lies within the Great Basin, an area of inland drainage in the western United States. The Great Salt Lake is the largest body of water between the Great Lakes and the Pacific Ocean. It is also the largest salt lake in the western hemisphere and one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world.
Many people think that the Smell they experience when visiting the Great Salt Lake, especially at the South end of the lake at the Marina, is due to the salt water and brine shrimp. I have been sailing many times on the lake and have found that when one gets a mile or so from shore, there is no smell other than a slight salty smell that reminds me of the ocean. This is because the smell often associated with the lake is actually from the shallow marsh areas where fresh water allows a lot of vegitation to grow near the lake. The smell is especially pronounced in the hot summer months. If you have time and can find a boat, there is nothing else like sailing on the lake. It is relaxing to sail on a lake without any power boats or jet skiers to interrupt with their wakes or noise. There are very few places where you can do this. The salt water is very hard on motorized boating but sail boats rule the place.
The Great Salt Lake may be a scientific mystery, but its jade and azure expanse attracts tourists, artists and water enthusiasts as well. Seventeen miles northwest of Salt Lake City, the lake is nearly 90 miles long and 50 miles wide. The lake doesn't support much marine life (brine shrimp are a notable exception) but Antelope Island National Park located in the Southwestern portion of the lake supports bison, bighorn sheep and plenty of waterfowl. In certain areas of the lake, there is the distinct brine shrimp odor and I was told in the summertime there are millions of brine shrimp flies!