The Great Salt Lake
A Sea of Activity
Leader Photos/Ellen Cook
With the Great Salt Lake as a background, this train makes a run from Ogden along the causeway.
The red water is a brilliant contrast to the salt-covered rocks and the bright, white foam churned up wat the lake’s waves.
Part one of a three-part article on the history and happenings in the Great Salt Lake and their impact on Box Elder County.
Box Elder County can lay claim to many interesting and unusual marvels, but few can hold a candle to the unique body of water called the Great Salt Lake, the largest salt lake (technically a sea) in the western hemisphere. Salt content can be up to 27 percent, especially in the northern end of the lake, with the only fresh water source coming from Locomotive Springs.
While it covers some 17,000 square feet as it meanders through Salt Lake, Davis, Tooele and Weber counties, it makes its biggest impact right here in Box Elder where the majority of its salty ripples reverberate. Stretching 20 miles across and 30 miles long, the water is seldom over 14 feet deep, depending on the lake’s level. The sediment below, however, can be up to two miles in depth.
Beneath the surface of the Great Salt Lake, a beehive of activity roils, while its startling pink hue reflects the algae and bacteria living in its hydro-saline waters. Harbormaster Dave Shearer, a ten-year employee with the Utah Department of Parks and Recreation, Division of Natural Resources, said of the watery wonder, “You are closer to being on a different planet (at the Great Salt Lake) than anywhere else on the earth.”
County dignitaries and guests had a chance to view the northern portion of this natural anomaly firsthand during a tour last week conducted by the DNR. Shearer helped guide that tour, along with former county resident Chris Haramoto, who now serves as the assistant manager at Antelope Island, one of 11 official islands in the Great Salt Lake.
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