Great Salt Lake
Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Mountains ©
This huge, shallow lake is the second saltiest body of water in the world after the Dead Sea and is several times saltier than the ocean as well as rich in minerals. Floating weightlessly in the water of the Salt Lake is one of the main attractions of the region; however, although this natural wonder is worth seeing, the facilities are somewhat limited. The Great Salt Lake State Marina has a beach at one end and boat launching ramps, but there are no boat rentals available. The northwest arm of the lake contains a work of land art by Robert Smithson, called the spiral Jetty, that only becomes visible when the lake's water level sinks below 4,197.8 feet (1,280.2m) above sea level. Great Salt Lake has been declared a World Heritage Bird Sanctuary due to the numbers of migrating birds that are attracted to the brine flies and brine shrimp that survive in the saline waters. Antelope Island is the largest of the lake's ten islands and can be reached either by boat or by a causeway, offering excellent picnicking, hiking and camping opportunities. The island also boasts a herd of about 600 American Bison, introduced in 1893, and other interesting animals such as coyotes, bobcats, deer and a small herd of elk. Early mornings along the shore of this vast expanse of water can be extremely beautiful.