Welcome to Utah
Words and Photos from @the.wilderness.collective (Glen & Alana)
Our neighboring state to the west holds some notable features known throughout the country. As Coloradans and travelers, Utah is mostly known for its amazing backcountry roads and towering landmarks in Moab. Many overlanders and off-roaders travel here to be lost in the desert heat and traverse through the sculpted rocks, but not many people take the time to travel two hours west of Salt Lake City to discover another world in Utah
On our way to Oregon, we traveled through the Great Salt Flats which lie only a couple hours away from Salt Lake City. Many people have heard of the great salt flats and can’t miss the crusted white surfaces when traveling down I-80. This stretch of highway also holds the record of being completely straight for 50 miles. It is an easy and scenic drive to do. You can watch all the salts on both sides of the road. By the end of the highway, you will see many pull outs and onlookers walking on the great flats and taking pictures of the wide expanse. Although these are some great photography spots, the real prize is just down the road.
The Bonneville Salt Flats….
Are also located on the Great Salt Flats but are unique in that vehicles are permitted to venture into the salty surface. Many travelers miss this area because it is about 12 miles off the main highway, but it is well worth the detour. Arriving at our destination before sunrise and we greeted complete darkness as there are no cars illuminating the roads besides our own. Our LED light bar helped us cross the vast crust but were still met with an endless emptiness filling us with exhilaration and delight. Seeing how empty the isolated we are, we wished we would have camped here last night to capture the stars in the cloudless night. Nonetheless, we made the best of it and started taking photos in the early hours of the morning.
It wasn’t long till the sun started rising and completely changed the atmosphere in the area. The tiniest amount of sunlight easily spreads on the white surface and lifts the darkness away to show the great length of the salt flats. It stretches out to the horizon where it touches the sky and the light reveals the hidden mountains to the north. There is still not another car in sight, giving us endless opportunity to take perfect pictures. With a change of lighting, we got to work and revved up the engine.
Testing Top Speed…
Bonneville Speed Way is where many speed cars are tested on The Bonneville Salt Flats and some holding world records in this same location. With this in mind, we strived to do the same or try to at least. Walking around the salt to make sure the ground was nice and durable since it rained in the past few days. We didn’t want to be bogged or even worse flip while driving top speed through the flats, but we determine it to be safe by the surrounding area.
As we started kicking it higher into gear, we could slowly hear more and more salt hurling off our tires and onto the car body. We can see the salts flying off into the air and the streaks of our tires cracked into the crust. Still, we pushed through the noise and made it up to our top speed of 75 mph on the salts. Not bad for a two-ton SUV if you ask me.
By this time, the sun was fully up and everything became pure white and eye-blindingly bright. We let out Tucker from the car so he can lick the salt crystals off the ground. The temperature rose exponentially and the heat waves started to pound the flats. We took a couple more photographs before hitting our allotted time in the Great Salt Flats and
The most important thing that most people don’t realize to do is wash the undercarriage of your car after driving on the flats. All the loose salt does stick to the body and will slowly oxidize your car. As our car will be our home for the next month and a half, we did a little house cleaning and took our 4Runner to a hand spray car wash and made sure to spray all visible salt crystals from the car. The closest town to do spray your car is in Nevada but luckily it’s only 15 miles from Bonneville Salt Flats. With this out of the way, we started heading to Oregon.
Cirque is looking forward to continuing to support the adventures of Glen, Alana, and Trucker on their road to Alaska.
Stay up to date on all of their adventures here –>
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