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Unlock Bonneville's Secrets: Prime Months for Salt Flat Magic

Ever wondered when to witness the Bonneville Salt Flats in all its shimmering glory? Buckle up, time-travelers, we're about to zoom into the best months for your ultimate salty adventure!

Tobi Miles
August 12, 2022

Bonneville Salt Flats offers one of the most stunning landscapes in the world. It cuts across long miles providing a fantastic view of beautiful salt crystals. So when is the best time to visit Bonneville Salt Flats?

The best time to visit Bonneville Salt Flats is from June to August, when the weather is warm, and temperatures are around 30°C/86°F. Hotel prices are usually quite reasonable and cost between $55 to $128 per night. You will be able to get the best experience when the Flats are dry during these summer months.  

The Bonneville Salt Flats have some lovely viewpoints and excellent spots for different recreational activities. The region is composed of desert salts which sometimes turn into a crystal glow under the sunny blue skies. The Salt Flats are free and accessible to visitors all year round. 

When Should You Not Visit Bonneville Salt Flats?

The worst time to visit Bonneville Salt Flats is during the winter and early spring, when the weather is gloomy and rainy. The salt flats are often wet and dull around this time, which makes the region a less attractive location to visit.

It is usually unsafe to drive during these conditions as you risk getting stuck in the muddy surface or damaging the salt crust. However, this region becomes much more appealing when the flats are dry in warmer weather. 

When is the Cheapest Time to go to Bonneville Salt Flats?

The cheapest time to visit Bonneville Salt Flats is in the winter. This is because the flats see fewer tourists due to the weather conditions. So hotel prices are discounted by up to 20%, and you can save up to $70 on air tickets compared to the summer rush months. 

This winter-off season offers very low precipitation and cooler weather, with temperatures usually around -6°C/ 28°F.

What Time of Year is the Best Weather in Bonneville Salt Flats?

January: Visit the Tree of Life 

January is the best time to get a view of astonishing scenery in Bonneville when the flats are wet. Daily temperatures are usually at an average high of 2°C/35°F and a low of -7°C/19°F.Despite this cold weather, you can still enjoy some fascinating views along Salt Lake City.

The "Tree of life" is an iconic abstract sculpture that adds beauty to the flats' landscape. You'll find this masterpiece at the edge of I-80 on the barren Bonneville Salt Flats west of Salt Lake City. The 87-foot-tall (27m) beautifully carved piece is an incredible sight for many visitors and passersby. So watch out for this sculpture on your way.

  • Take a picture of the "Tree of Life."

Related Read: 70 Best Things To Do in Utah

February: Have fun with Salt 

February is the best time to try new things in the salt desert when the flats are wet and soggy. Temperatures are usually at an average high of 6°C/42°F and a low of -4°C/24°F. You can take a spontaneous drive with your family to have a good time at the flats.

You can build a salt castle with wet salt crystals like snow. Salt ball fight is another activity kids would absolutely love to do. The harsh weather doesn't stop you from having some fun at Bonneville. 

Remember, you must be cautious when driving or walking on this wet surface to avoid getting stuck.

  • Salt ball fight
  • Build a Salt Castle

March: Go Hiking

March is the best time to go hiking along Salt Lake city when the weather is warmer with high precipitation. Temperatures are usually around an average high of 12°C/53°F and a low of 1°C/33°F. Several hiking trails near I-80 are perfect for walking exercises and hikes. 

The Bonneville salt flats is an attractive location for hiking for several miles and hours. The white salt crust makes this experience all the more enjoyable. Enjoy mind-blowing views of surrounding desert mountains and wide gravel paths on this scenic hike. 

  • Hiking along Leppy Hills

April: Camping on BLM Land

April is the best time to go camping in Bonneville Salt Flats when the ground is dry and less dreary. The weather is quite pleasant, with temperatures at an average high of 17°C/62°F and a low of 5°C/41°F. The salt flats are open for visitors to camp around and appreciate its stunning landscape scenery. 

The Bureau of Land Management(BLM) is an excellent camping site on Bonneville Salt Flats. The area is large enough to accommodate a lot of people. Feel free to pitch your tent or park your RV or camper van in this remote region.

And the best part is that camping in this area is free for all visitors!

  • Camping and sightseeing on BLM campground at Bonneville Salt Flats.
  • BLM Campground- I-80 Exit 4 at Leppy Pass Road.

May: Salt Flats Endurance Runs 

May is the best time to visit the flat for some athletic events when the weather is mild and pleasant. Temperatures are usually around an average high of 22°C/71°F and a low of 10°C/50°F. The flats offer an endless geological space suitable for long-distance sporting activities, mainly when dry.

Bonneville hosts the "Salt Flats Endurance Runs"— a four-course race event that features individuals running across various miles. Watch as several people join in the race/hike across 50, 100, 5,000, and 50,000 miles. This activity will test your limits if you're up for a physical challenge. 

  • Salt Flats Endurance Runs at Bonneville Salt flats.
  • May 6th-7th. 

Related Read: 15 Best National Parks, Monuments, and Trails in Utah

June: Ride An ATV

June is a lovely time to engage in exciting sports activities when the weather is hot with minimal rainfalls. As a result, temperature levels spike, averaging highs of 28°C/82°F and lows of 15°C/59°F. This summer month presents the most favourable conditions to experience the thrill of ATV riding.

The salt flats are usually dry during this period thanks to sunny skies and a low chance of precipitation. This makes driving on the land very easy and smooth. You can rent an ATV at Salt Lake City and go around the beautiful white salt crusts. 

The flats offer a large area that allows you to drive as far as you want—if you're a beginner, this is the perfect place to hone your riding skills.

  • ATV riding at Bonneville Salt Flats

July: Visit Salt Lake City 

July is the best time to visit Salt Lake City when the weather is hot with rare rainfall. Temperatures are around an average high of 33°C/99°F and a low of 20°C/68°F. You can take a guided tour around Salt Lake City and enjoy a nice close-up experience.

Enjoy an entertaining bus tour as you discover some of the city's top attractions. In addition, you'll discover many trails that are quite conducive for hikes and walks. Unfortunately, the Salt flats plains do not have any shade or leaves to protect against hot sunlight, so take sunscreens with you.

  • Great Salt Lake boat tour
  • Salt Lake City bus tour

August: Attend Speed Week

The Bonneville International speed week is an annual event organized primarily for racing. It takes place in August when the weather is warm and the flats are dry. As a result, temperature levels rise, averaging daily highs of 32°C/90°F and lows of 18°C/64°F. You can participate in this thrilling contest with your custom-made vehicles. 

This popular racing event is held in mid-August and lasts for one week. You can pick up the racing schedule at the Salts Center for more details about the event. Spectators are welcome to watch rocket-shaped cars and motorcycles race to break various speed records. 

  • Bonneville International speed week
  • Car racing, motorcycle speed contests 

Related Read: 10 Top Park City Hiking Trails

September: Visit Bonneville State Park

September is a perfect time to check out Bonneville Salt Flats State Park while the weather is still relatively warm and pleasant. Unfortunately, daily temperatures drop lower, usually at an average high of 26°C/78°F and a low of 12°C/54°F. This creates a lovely opportunity to go sightseeing as many tourists return home. 

Bonneville State Park is a great place to start your tour, which is a 2-hour drive(about 7 miles) from Salt Lake City. This location presents the perfect spot to watch the beautiful sunset light up the entire flats. 

The Bonneville State Park is open 24 hours a day. A late afternoon scenic drive to the park will provide a unique experience. Remember to grab your camera as you'll get plenty of amazing sights to capture.

  • Capture lovely scenes at Bonneville Salt Flats State Park
  • Take a Scenic drive along the park. 

October: Photography Sessions

October is the best time for some photography shoots when the weather is mild and pleasant. Daily temperatures begin to dip, averaging highs of 17°C/62°F and lows of 6°C/42°F. You can seize this opportunity to take some photographic pictures in the crystal salt desert.

The Salt flats offer some great spots to take beautiful pictures. From wedding shoots to nature photography to astrophotography, Bonneville Salt Flats is a unique location for all types of shots. In addition, photographers often come along with cameras and props to create fascinating concepts for individual, portrait, or couple photography. 

You can also take some amazing sunset or sunrise photos. The Milky way comes alive at night, providing a spectacular sight for astrology lovers as the sky lights up the Bonneville. Seize the opportunity to capture some stunning night photos.  

  • Photography shoots at Bonneville Salt Flats
  • Sunrise/Sunset Photoshoots on BLM land at Bonneville. 
  • Salt Flats Rest Area (Westbound I-80)

November: Horseback Riding 

As we slowly approach the winter season, November still offers a good time to enjoy some outdoor activities at the flats. Again, the weather is mild, with temperatures around a daily average high of 8°C/47°F and a low of -1°C/29°F. Precipitation is average, making the plains conducive for activities like Horse riding.

Escape the city life and spend the day riding on horseback near Bonneville. Bring your cowboy hat along with you to experience this relaxing adventure. Alternatively, you could spend the day watching people riding horses while you take some photos. 

  • Horse Riding at Salt Lake City.

December: Visit West Wendover

December is the best time to visit other neighbouring locations in the area. However, the weather is often cold and damp, with temperatures falling to a daily average high of 2°C/ 35°F and a low of -7°C/19°F. Hotel prices are usually relatively cheap and stay at $55 due to fewer tourist visits. 

West Wendover is a nearby town offering a lovely place to stay and warm up during this winter. It takes about 10.2 miles to reach Wendover from Bonneville. Unfortunately, the area often gets wet during this period, making it impossible to stay overnight or go camping at the flats. 

Visit the Best Western Plus Wendover Inn for a comfortable and lovely experience. Here you'll find various minimarts, restaurants, gas stations, shops, hotels, and casinos. You can stop by the inn to enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast.

Prepare yourself for the cold weather by taking some winter coats and gear. 

  • Visit the Western Plus Wendover Inn near Bonneville, Nevada
  • Lodge in the best hotels at Wendover
  • Montego Bay Casino resort
  • Rainbow Casino Hotel

How Many Days Should You Spend at Bonneville Salt Flats?

You can explore all Bonneville Salt Flats has to offer within a day. However, if you intend to visit other places in Salt Lake City, then you can choose to take longer!

There are some renovated rooms and accommodation at Wendover, close to the salt flats.  

What is The Best Time to Visit Bonneville Salt Flats With Family?

The best time to visit Bonneville Salt Flats with family is from July to August, when the weather is charming for various fun activities.

The international Speedway week is one of the most popular events that occur during this time. So enjoy a lovely time with your family watching many rocket cars and motorcycles against one another. 

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Park City, Utah

Best Month to Visit Bonneville Salt Flats to Avoid Crowds

October is the best month to visit Bonneville Salt Flats and avoid the typically large crowds. The flats become less crowded this month, with many tourists favouring a visit to the area in the summer. 

You'll also get to experience pleasant weather conditions and discounted hotel prices. This helps save on money so you can spend it somewhere else to get some souvenirs or ice cream!

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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