The most expensive item on the menu (the buffalo burger with fries) cost $11 when Michelle and I visited. It makes for a great cruising destination. The smell won’t bother you once you are in the water. Although it appears to be coming from the water itself, the smell is actually from bacteria in the sand just offshore. "If you can swim here you can swim pretty much anywhere," says Stacey Schluckebier, a surgical technician out of scrubs and in a bright plaid swimsuit … It's a unique, bucket list experience. You don't swim in the Great Salt Lake, you sit and float. Considering you can see the Great Salt Lake from most places in our town, it didn’t sound that exciting. But there are A LOT of them. We’d love to hear about your experience swimming in the Great Salt Lake. Nearby is the Saltair - a resort that has been rebuilt three times in its history, and is currently used as a concert venue. (. I am a married mom of two children, ages 11 and 14, living near Salt Lake City, Utah. We played frisbee and caught brine shrimp. Yes, you can, but make sure you have a way to clean off afterwards, because I did not notice any beach showers or anything there. The exceptionally high salt content of the lake makes the water incredibly buoyant. So I wrote this article to help you avoid some downers and get the most out of swimming in the Great Salt Lake. Golden Spike is the last place you'll find bathrooms and drinking water before you continue to Spiral Jetty. We were surrounded by hundreds of tiny brine shrimp! Log in. Thanks to the salinity, roughly six times that of the world's oceans, even the skinniest person can float effortlessly. And according to the Antelope Island State Park website they “are not present along the water’s edge.”. The largest lake west of the Mississippi, covering 2,100 square miles, with an average depth of 13 feet. (This article starts off with Michelle and I’s first experience swimming in the Great Salt Lake. The Island Buffalo Grill is the only restaurant on the island. Just walk until you find a decent spot. When people found out she was from Utah they always asked, “have you swam in the Great Salt Lake?” Although Michelle has lived in Utah since she was 13, she never had. Considering you can see the Great Salt Lake from most places in our town, it didn’t sound that exciting. Be ready for some serious fun and to grab some great pictures, but also remember this is different from other beach experiences. The lake is very shallow for starters. The lake’s salinity varies, but percentages have been as high as 27%. Great Salt Lake is definitely a worthwhile boating destination. Everybody should get on this water at least once. We didn’t check off that item until earlier this summer, when Michelle and I went to Antelope Island State Park on the Great Salt Lake to complete our long-awaited adventure. Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City: "Can you swim in the Great Salt Lake in the summer?" The response was quick: No wonder that when we got married she added to our summer bucket list “swim in the Great Salt Lake.” I laughed a little. Antelope Island has a nice marina with slips that can be rented on a transient and seasonal basis. (It's not dirt, it's the extra salt that does it.) Here are some ideas to add to your swimming trip: First thing that may disturb you is the smell. Can you swim in the Great Salt Lake? At the Great Salt Lake Marina you can launch a kayak or boat, go on a sunset cruise, or take in the spectacular view. Related: Can You Swim in the Great Salt Lake? Here is what you need to know if you'd like to swim in the Great Salt Lake. This will hit you on the causeway driving to Antelope Island. America’s Dead … The brine flies didn’t bother us, and even moved away as we approached. Because the Great Salt Lake is very shallow and in most places descends very gradually, we had to walk quite far to actually swim. However, if you're squeamish about flies, don't even bother packing the swimsuit. With salt levels reaching up to ten times the level of the ocean, you will float! Spiral Jetty and Golden Spike National Historic Site are on the same remote road, and neither takes more than an hour or so to visit. The smell hit us as we approached the water and I began to reconsider. After we were done, we went and played in the shallow part of the water. If you plan to spend some time at the beach, I recommend simply dipping yourself back in the water occasionally. This probably goes without saying, but I wouldn’t recommend getting salt water in your eyes. Overall, we had a great time. What to Expect at the International Car Forest, Winter Clothes Checklist – 8 Essentials for Outdoor Fun. Review of the Big Bus Night Tour of Washington D.C. 5 Tips for Your First Road Trip With Baby, What to Expect at Ogden Eccles Dinosaur Park, Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum for families, Itinerary for a Scenic Utah-Arizona Winter Road Trip, Summer Activities for Kids in Salt Lake City, 6 tips for visiting Spiral Jetty | Tips For Family Trips. You can check this website for current conditions on the island. Don’t worry, they don’t bite and they even fly out of the way as you approach. | Check out 5 answers, plus see 937 reviews, articles, and 607 photos of Great Salt Lake, ranked No.29 on Tripadvisor among 380 attractions in Salt Lake City. If you want to swim in the Great Salt Lake, Antelope Island (30 miles north of Salt Lake City) has one of the lake's most popular beaches. It has a variety of islands that you can explore, each with their own history. These are called brine shrimp. Unfortunately, there aren't showers available at Antelope Island. Thanks in advance. No wonder that when we got married she added to our summer bucket list “swim in the Great Salt Lake.” I laughed a little. If you want to see the Great Salt Lake, do so from Antelope Island. Granted its salty, but you get used to it. Sounds bad, right? If there is anything we should add to this article, please let us know in the comments below. The marina offers a pump-out station. As soon as the weather heats up they die. Your email address will not be published. If you make the effort to forge through the smell and battle the flies, you should get in the water! This trail was the gem of Antelope Island for us. But since parts of the Great Salt Lake are ten times saltier than the ocean, it is quite different from regular swimming. Visit Golden Spike National Historical Park. Swimming in Utah Lakes. Here is what you need to know if you'd like to swim in the Great Salt Lake. The lake, which is two to seven times saltier than the ocean, is also a popular destination for bird watching as it … (No, we aren’t five years old, even though we act like it sometimes. _____ There are several lakes less than an hour away. But you will certainly want to have a good shower immediately after coming out of the water. ), I had heard of brine shrimp that live in the water, but didn’t think we’d see any. (Click below to see for yourself…), You will notice the water doesn’t look very clean. They don’t bite; they don’t cling to your skin. The lake's turquoise waters attract sailors, its white sand beaches are popular with swimmers and sunbathers, and craggy outcroppings on Antelope Island and some shoreline areas dra… I could even curl up into a ball and float! The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of the U.S. state of Utah, is the largest salt water lake in the Western Hemisphere, and the eighth-largest terminal lake in the world. It will also hit you again as you walk out to the water. You don't swim in the Great Salt Lake, you sit and float. Here’s a video we made of our experience: Swimming in the Great Salt Lake can be a ton of fun. I am the founder of Tips for Family Trips. But you can skip ahead to the tips for first-timers by clicking here. The Real Reason Locals Don’t Swim in the Salt Lake. Gently kneeling down in the water, I noticed the water caught me. I'd just want to make sure that you knew what you were getting into. They’ve already done the worst part. It's open year-round and there's only a $5 per vehicle entrance fee. I usually struggle to even float on my back, but without any effort I could just lie there in the water. Yes you can. Top 10 family activities in Utah (she: Allison) - Or so she says... How Far in Advance Should You Plan a Vacation? In historical time, the lake’s salinity has ranged from a little less than 5 percent, (just above that of sea water), to nearly 27 percent (beyond which water cannot hold more salt). A concessionaire operates a few carnival rides and a snack shop. “Great Salt Lake. It can be seen from both freeways I … But you will certainly want to have a good shower immediately after coming out of the water. (Click here to see on a map.) Insect Repellant (Michelle and I didn’t need any on our trip, but mosquitoes are not uncommon), Good shoes or sandels for the walk to the beach, (While the outdoor showers are free to rinse off in, there are some private showers for more thorough cleaning that cost a few quarters.). However, as we started to wade into the water I realized that the little floaties in the water were actually moving. When we got in to our waists, we decided to go for it. It's a unique, bucket list experience. “How’s the water?” I asked. Jul 1, 2016 - Yes you can. In addition, the Utah Highway Patrol has indicated that parking along I-80 to access to the canals is illegal and extremely dangerous due to the proximity to the interstate highway. May 9, 2016 - Yes you can. It costs $10 per vehicle to use the causeway, but there is a lot to do on Antelope Island. Keep sharing your fun adventures!! Because the water levels were low, we had to walk for quite a while to get down to the water from the parking lot. Sunsets over the lake can be breathtaking. Catch a few to get a close up look…. Swimming in the Great Salt Lake outside of those months and the water is quite nice. This State Park provides boat slips, public viewpoints of Great Salt Lake, sail and motorboat access, and a search and rescue operations center. Can't say if it's normal to have itchy/sore skin after floating in the lake. We took our first child on a two-week road trip when she was four weeks old and we have been traveling as a family ever since. If you only want to get in once, just plan to shower soon after swimming. Registration for the Utah Open Water Swim Series, including the Great Salt Lake Open Water Swim, Bear Lake Monster Swim and Deer Creek Open Water Marathon Swim, is available through the following link: In the summer, the lake reeks of rotting brine shrimp carcasses. In fact, you won’t feel them at all. If you want to see the Great Salt Lake, do so from Antelope Island. Literally floating on the water is fun and exciting, however, being swarmed by biting gnats is not. Because the Great Salt Lake increases in depth very slowly, there is a lot of space by the shore with the optimal depth: water you can play in, but shallow enough to be able to run. I haven't been out there recently. I laid on my stomach, then on my back again. Some of the long beaches are the best in the state. No, thank you - See 290 traveler reviews, 314 candid photos, and great deals for Salt Lake City, UT, at Tripadvisor. The lake is very shallow for starters. But to make matters worse, they are practically invisible, fly in swarms, and aren’t deterred by insect repellant. Today, few consider the Great Salt Lake a swimming destination. At this point, I realized that the smell was gone. . But in the late 1800s, the Mormon Church built the Saltair resort on its shores 16 miles from Salt Lake City. I was floating! You can witness the wonder for yourself at the Great Salt Lake State Park. Be prepared to see lots of brine flies by the water’s edge. It's a unique, bucket list experience. Amazing red, orange, lavender and magenta hues slowly dissolve in the evening sky. . What You Should Know About The Meteor Shower This Month, But you can skip ahead to the tips for first-timers by clicking here. But since parts of the Great Salt Lake are ten times saltier than the ocean, it is quite different from regular swimming. Any clues? We originally thought … We love to get out of the house to see and do fun things, both far away and in our own neighborhood. Hi there! (Fortunately, they don’t bite and are so small you don’t even feel them.). I'd just want to make sure that you knew what you were getting into. But when she asked if I had swam in it I realized that I hadn’t. There are lots of smooth rocks along the shore. Literally floating on the water is fun and exciting, however, being swarmed by biting gnats is not. Of course! Great Salt Lake This State Park provides boat slips, public viewpoints of the Great Salt Lake, sail and motorboat access, ... Willard Bay Boat, swim, waterski, and fish on the warm waters of Willard Bay. Great Salt Lake State Park west of SLC is another option. Only the Dead Sea has a higher salt content than the Great Salt Lake. Required fields are marked *, Swimming In The Great Salt Lake: A Guide For First-Timers. Your email address will not be published. Best time of year to swim in the Great Salt Lake is year round except from end of June thru September, due to the high water temperature and extreme numbers of brine flies. “How’s the water?” I asked. Can't say if it's normal to have itchy/sore skin after floating in the lake. It costs, Go to Bridger Bay and park near the Island Buffalo Grill. While there are many locations to swim in the Great Salt Lake, I recommend heading out to Antelope Island State Park. Thanks for reading! Unfortunately, there aren't showers available at Antelope Island. The Great Salt Lake: the largest lake in the Great Basin, the namesake of Salt Lake City, and the body of water everyone ignores just northwest of town. Can you swim in the Great Salt Lake? The lake is formed by collecting water from several rivers and streams, but it has no outlets. Of course! In the Great Salt Lake’s heyday, eight different lakeshore resorts were operating, offering “floating like a cork.” Famous naturalist John Muir visited and bathed in the Great Salt Lake on a cool and windy day in early May of 1877. (It only exists a little off shore, about the location of the flies. If you can’t travel far from Salt Lake City you could try swimming at the beach by Saltair or the Great Salt Lake Marina, which is on I-80 just west of Salt Lake City. But soon my thoughts were turned to the hundreds of tiny brine flies that line the water’s edge. We love Google Photos, mostly because it’s free, but also because you can create movies so easily. The Great Salt Lake State Park has swimming beaches, changing rooms with showers, picnic tables, a primitive campground and a boat ramp and marina. In an average year the lake covers an area of approximately 1,700 square miles (4,400 km 2), but the lake's size fluctuates substantially due to its shallowness. The deepest point is 34 feet. https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/antelope-island/, What to Expect at Rush Funplex (near Antelope Island). Hike the Buffalo Point Trail. (No wonder, considering parts of the Great Salt Lake are ¼ salt!) If you get the chance, take it. At the park, you and your friends can rent a boat or go for a swim. Most weekends in the summer also have events so ask around at the visitor’s center. I wouldn't discourage you from going for a "swim" (a "float" actually, because you can't really swim in the Great Salt Lake). Last of all, as the salt water dries on your skin it is uncomfortable and might itch some.