Great Salt Lake State Park

Post 2 – Observation Deck


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From the observation deck, you can see the two largest islands of Great Salt Lake. One is Stansbury Island, ahead and to your left. Antelope Island is ahead and to the right. When the lake level is low, these islands are actually peninsulas, still connected to the mainland.

Great Salt Lake is what remains of the massive prehistoric Lake Bonneville that existed between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago. Bonneville covered 20,000 square miles and stretched out over parts of Idaho, Utah, and Nevada. Over centuries, various climate changes and one epic flood led to Lake Bonneville eventually dwindling down to the lake you see today. As you look around at the mountains, you can see natural terraces left behind by the ancient lake.

A long standing Great Salt Lake tradition is to go float in the lake. The salinity of the water makes people super buoyant, so it is an incredible experience. It is pretty much impossible to sink! Refer to the map to locate foot rinse stations and outdoor showers to wash off afterwards.


During the warmer months of the year, you may see spiders covering the park with their webs. These are Western Spotted Orb-Weaver spiders, also known as Saltair Spiders. They may be big, but they are not dangerous, and are actually very shy. These orb-weavers feed on brine flies and benefit the park by pushing out dangerous species like black widow spiders.



Self-Guided Tour Home

Post 1: Behind the Visitor Center

Post 3: Marina Lake Entry

Post 4: Walk Along the Water

Post 5: Silver Sands Beach