Challenging the Land Speed Record, Bonneville Salt Flats

We couldn’t visit Salt Lake City without visiting the nearby Salt Flats.  Mainly because we didn’t go to Bolivia on our South America trip, and I wasn’t sure I’d ever get to a salt flat otherwise. And it was only an inch away on the map. Unfortunately I had failed to spot the scale of the map, so I did not realise that 1 inch on the map was frickin’ ages in real life! One straight road and 2 hours later we were glad we had cruise control on our car. I’ve never had cruise control before, but it’s like putting a brick on the accelerator. (I would imagine…!)

After a false-start where we thought we were there but in fact I was hallucinating and seeing sand not salt (who can tell the difference?!), we arrived at Bonneville Salt Flats.

Bonneville Salt FlatThis is where the land speed records were set in the 1930s by Malcolm Campbell in Bluebird, and subsequently by others. I suspect that they weren’t actually attempting to break any records; they were just supremely bored on the mammoth drive from SLC, so put their foot down. Nevertheless, we were glad to finally arrive and it was worth the drive. It looked almost like the vast surface of a lake, so it felt unnatural to step into it! The surface was just crystals of salt that crunched underfoot.

Surface of Salt FlatWe did the obligatory “I’m holding a tiny person in my hand” photos, making use of the lack of perspective on the white background, and then steeled ourselves for the long drive back to SLC! It wasn’t all bad though – the scenery helped me along!

View from road to SLCEn route back we stopped at the Great Salt Lake, after which SLC gets its name. I heard that you can float in it, like the Dead Sea. I really wanted to float in it, however sadly it was far too cold! The only access to the lake we could find was through some derelict property, which was a bit eerie. We climbed over a fence and joined a few other people taking photos and watching the sun set over the lake. It was really peaceful. People were probably subdued from all the trespassing.

Great Salt LakeNext blog: Skiing around SLC

Previous blog: Salt Lake City, Utah


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