Paddling in Another World
Instagram Handle: @handmedownexperience
Location: Great Salt Lake,UT
Board: 11′ Explorer
There’s a little-known spot on the north side of the Great Salt Lake that provides an ethereal lake day that fills the very soul. Most people stop by to see the art work of the Spiral Jetty, visit the shoreline, then turn around and go home. The barren wasteland of salt that stretches for acres around the lake is not at all inviting. However, when you explore a little further, the entire atmosphere changes.
Arriving at the parking lot, we pulled out coolers, chairs, towels, and our paddle board. We then hiked over half a mile past the Spiral Jetty over crunchy salt crystals. Coming to the edge of the water, our group set up chairs and coolers, settling in to say awhile, while the other tourists just dipped their toes in for a few moments before wandering back to the parking lot.
Kenon knew that the water was supposed to be vibrantly pink this time of year. When we approached the shore it did not look pink at all. Disappointed, we inflated our Explorer anyway, determined to get some paddling time in. Paddling on the Salt Lake is so fun because the water creates intense buoyancy. The Salt Lake is known for sudden, rough weather, making it a beloved destination for sailboats. I have yet to experience this on this particular end of the lake, but it’s something to look into if you like paddling challenges!
We carried our board out onto the water, trying not to scar it across the unforgiving salt crystals lining the lake bottom. As we walked out onto the water, the color became more and more pink! To our delight, the water was an opaque shade of bubblegum by the time we were mere yards from the shore. It is a blast to paddle, swim, and float in a great big bowl of pink Kool-Aid!
- Wear water shoes with a thick sole. The salt crystals can wreck bare feet. Kenon cut his finger trying to get a salt crystal.
- Bring PLENTY of water to rinse off afterward. The salty water, when evaporated, creates a thin layer of itchy salt over the skin. Sitting in the car with that can create a very grumpy journey home.
- Go in the fall — the water is so pink and hardly stinky at all.
- If you type “Spiral Jetty” into Google Maps it will lead you straight to the parking lot. The road turns to gravel for the last few miles.
- Go early in the morning. The clouds and calm water make a reflection that seem like you are looking into a mirror.