The Great Salt Lake, Sailing & Sunset Cruises

The Great Salt Lake, Sightseeing, Sailing

It's and we would like to welcome you to the Salt Lake Tourist & Visitor Centers official online edition. This page provides detailed information on the Great Salt Lake.

The Great Salt Lake Marina, Sailing

The Marina at the Great Salt Lake

The Great Salt Lake is only 15 miles west of Salt Lake City and is accessible by I-80. It is over 2,000 square miles, with an average depth of 12 feet and the deepest about 35 to 40 feet. The GSL was once was a part of the massive Lake Bonneville, which hundreds of years ago extended across 20,000 square miles including parts of Idaho and Nevada. Back then, nearly a quarter of Utah was covered by Lake Bonneville. It was a fresh water lake and was 900 feet deep at the site of where Salt Lake City is now. The lake is famous for its high salinity ( between 10 and 25%, and 6 times saltier than the ocean ), and is second only to the Dead Sea.

I had been telling visitors for over 30 years that there was no reason they should go out there. That the lake had a horrible odor, and there is nothing out there. Wow, was I wrong!!! I am now calling it "Utah's Best Kept Secret". I found out that once you arrive at the Saltair exit off I-80, it still smells a little bit, but it's not the lake, it's the wetlands that surround the lake and are home or a stop over for over 200 species of birds. Once you take a left at the Saltair Building and drive west on the access road for 2 to 3 miles and you come to the Saltair Marina, there's no more stinky smell, and it's beautiful. The yearly visitors and 300 + sailboat owners who have slips at the marina know this. I am a huge fan of this massive lake! The sunsets are incredible out there!

  • Main Attractions
  • This marina provides boat launching facilities on the south end of the Great Salt Lake, along I-80 west of Salt Lake City.

  • Location
  • Located about 16 miles west of Salt Lake City. From I-80, take Exit 104 to the marina.

  • Seasons/Open Hours
  • The park is open from March through October, with no holiday closures.
    April - September: Sunrise to Sunset.
    October - March: 8 am to 5 pm

  • Contact Information:
  • Great Salt Lake State Marina
    P.O. Box 16658
    Salt Lake City, UT 84116
    (801) 250-1898

  • Entrance Fees
  • $2 per vehicle
    $1 per vehicle with a Utah senior 62+
    $75 annual pass is available at the park
    $35 Senior Adventure (annual) Pass

  • Description
  • The Great Salt Lake is popular for sailing, kayaking and other boating, and this marina provides launch facilities including paved ramps. In addition, it houses a search and rescue operations center and provides shoreline access for lake enthusiasts, bird watchers and others.

    The marina channel has been dredged to provide safe boat access even when the lake's level is low.

    The beach adjacent to the marina allows people to wade or swim in the Great Salt Lake. When the lake level is high, the beach is quite pleasant and popular. In recent years the lake level has been low and and the beach has not been as attractive.

    A remnant of ancient Lake Bonneville, the Great Salt Lake covers more than 2,000 square miles and is two-to-seven times saltier than the ocean. The lake attracts more than 257 species of birds, depending on the season, and is a major stop for millions of migratory birds.

  • Activities
  • Boating
    Bird watching

  • Camping
  • None

  • Facilities
  • Marina boat ramp, Boat dry storage, Boatslips, Concession services, Marine pump out station, Modern restrooms, Showers, Picnic area.

    Bonneville Salt Flats:
    Driving west on I-80 about 90 minutes from Salt Lake are the Bonneville Flats, which has a race track and was the location for the land speed records set before the 1980s. Deterioration in the quality of the salt surface now means that these records are now attempted in a very remote area called Black Rock Desert which is in northwest Nevada.

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