Best time to travel to Utah

Great Salt Lake in Utah

This famous lake is like the Dead Sea of the Western Hemisphere

Best time: April–May | September–October (all year round)

Great Salt Lake
Great Salt Lake
Great Salt Lake
Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is not only the largest saltwater lake in the state but also in all of the Western Hemisphere. It covers an area of 4,400 square kilometres with the depth of around 15 metres. Once this lake used to be a much broader freshwater lake—Lake Bonneville, but it shrank as a result of evaporation. This process influenced the content of salt in the lake. Nowadays it is around 27% which is eight times as high as the world’s oceans.

The Great Salt Lake is too salty to support fish or any other aquatic life. The southern part of the lake features bathing beaches and a recreation area. The Great Salt Lake is salty enough to float in it without sinking. It’s one of the unique experiences, but many locals have never swum in these waters. The best place for swimming and enjoying the beautiful white sand beaches is located at Antelope Island State Park. You can have a nice view over the lake from the hills of Antelope Island, especially from the Frary Peak and from the beaches as well. You can find lots of various activities around the lake like boating, kayaking, birdwatching, sunbathing, swimming, hiking, and biking.

This large and shallow lake is visited all year round but due to occasional winter snowfalls and summer thunderstorms, the very best time to visit the lake is considered spring (April–May) and autumn (September–October). It is also a good time for seeing migratory birds, which come to feed on brine shrimp and flies. Another benefit is less crowdedness comparing to always busy summer months.

Practical info

When is the peak season for visiting Great Salt Lake?

The best time to plan a visit to Great Salt Lake is during spring or autumn when the weather is moderate and fewer tourists visit. Spring months fall between April and May and autumn between September and October. A major attraction during these seasons is birdwatching. Traveling to the place in the summer may not be optimal due to the crowds and higher temperature. However, the lake remains accessible during all seasons. Show more

Is it a good idea to swim in Great Salt Lake? Where's the best place to do it?

Great Salt Lake's salt content is so high that no fish or other aquatic life can survive in it, making it a swimmer's paradise. The ideal beach for swimming in the lake is located in Antelope Island State Park. The park, which boasts beautiful white sand beaches, provides a perfect location to swim, sunbathe, and engage in other recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy various water sports, hiking, and biking trails in the area. Show more

How much salt is in Great Salt Lake?

Great Salt Lake may have been a freshwater lake called Lake Bonneville, but it evolved to become eight times saltier than the world's oceans. The lake has approximately 27% salt content, accounting for its unique properties. A considerable amount of the lake's size, salt concentration, and chemical composition result from the high evaporation rates and low precipitation rates the area receives. This combination ensures that the lake gets saltier each year. Show more

What activities can visitors participate in near the lake?

The Great Salt Lake is an excellent spot for numerous outdoor recreational activities. The southern region of the lake offers access to a recreational area, which houses beaches and swimming spots, bike trails, and hiking trails, among other things. Other activities available include kayaking, birdwatching, and boating. Antelope Island, situated in the lake, is a destination for many visitors to engage in activities such as horseback riding, hiking, camping, and picnicking. The state park also has several white sand beaches suitable for swimming and sunbathing. Show more

What attractions are available on Antelope Island, and why is it significant?

Antelope Island is an island situated in the Great Salt Lake, offering visitors various recreational activities. The island's main attraction is its outdoor activities, which include hiking, biking, and horseback riding. While exploring the park, you may come across bison herds in their natural habitat. Antelope Island State Park is an essential destination for outdoor enthusiasts and offers a variety of options, including camping, picnicking, and watching wildlife like mule deer and bighorn sheep. Furthermore, the island has beautiful white sandy beaches, creating an excellent location for swimming and sunbathing. Show more

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