Road Trip USA 2022

Two days araound the Great Salt Lake in Utah

Today's destination is Salt Lake City. As it's still a 4-hour drive, I've planned a breakfast stop halfway. In bright sunshine, we enjoy a delicious breakfast at Ruca´s in Garden City on Bear Lake.

Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City

We follow Interstate 89 and reach Salt Lake City around midday. Our first destination in the city is the Utah State Capitol. Like many state capitols in the USA, it has a large dome and various huge columns. Fortunately, we can also visit it from the inside, which was not entirely clear as today is Sunday. It was different a few years earlier in Washington.

main hall of the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City conference room in Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City dome of the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City

Afterwards, we take a stroll through the district south of the Capitol and enjoy the beautiful houses with their old trees. Suddenly it is already late afternoon. Our hotel for the next night is further north in Farminton. So the idea is to drive past the shores of the Great Salt Lake and then take Highway 80 to Farmington. So we drive to "The Great Saltair", a venue right on the lake. On the way there, we make a detour into the neighborhood to get an impression of how people live here.

Homes on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City Homes on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City Homes on Capitol Hill in Salt Lake City

When we arrive at the Great Saltair, everything is there but no water. Obviously the lake is so dry at this time of year that you can't even guess how far it is to the water or whether there is any water in the lake at all.

The next day we drive to the Bonneville Salt Flats. This is a huge salt flat where people are always trying to set new speed records with all kinds of vehicles. I thought long and hard about whether it was even "worth" going there, because it's just 125 mi (200 km) from Salt Lake City and you have to drive the same distance back again. What's more, it's just a straight interstate and there's nothing else to see.

In the end, we decided to do it and I can tell you in advance that it was unique and well worth it. So cruise control on and off we went. By the way, there is still a little something to see on the way. "The tree of Utah": a sculpture that was erected in 1986 to bring some color to the barren salt desert.

A few kilometers further on, there is a large rest area from which you can drive directly into the salt desert. As far as the eye can see, the earth is covered in a thick crust of salt. It is also extremely bright and unbearable without sunglasses. Of course, we also have to drive over the salt flat. The salt crust is so hard that you hardly leave a mark with your car.

art installation 'The tree of Utah' Bonneville Salt Flats Raceway salt crust (Bonneville Salt Flats)

Tip: The rest area can only be reached coming from Salt Lake City, at least if you follow the traffic rules. So take this into account when planning your trip.
And keep an eye on your gas tank, because there are no gas stations between Salt Lake City and Wendover.

The actual Bonneville Raceway is a few kilometers further towards Wendover, but it looks similar there. However, there was a complete film of water on the salt and the surface was not as dry as at the rest area.

Now we still have to get to Wendover. That's nonsense, of course. Wendover is just a small town in the middle of nowhere. The only thing that makes it special is the fact that it lies right on the border between Utah and Navada. Unlike Utah, gambling is permitted in Nevada. That's why the first casinos are actually located right on the border. And Wendover also has a landmark, so to speak. The Neon Cowboy.

Casino at the border between Utah and Nevada Neon Cowboy in Wendover

Before we make our way back, we treat ourselves to a coffee and a small snack. The next hotel is in Springville on Utah Lake and it takes us a good two and a half hours to get there. We stop again in Provo because we liked the facades of the houses so much when we drove through that we want to take a closer look. So we park and take a stroll through the area around Center St. and University Ave.

Once we arrive at the hotel, our first task is to find a restaurant. I find the Strap Tank Brewery just on the other side of the highway. Unfortunately, as is so often the case. As there are no footpaths, let alone streetlights, we have to drive even this short distance.

However, the location is great. The entire area consists of stacked shipping containers in which stores and restaurants have been set up. It must have only recently opened, as it was still an empty space on Google Maps.

Provo Centre Springville - Shopping area made of shipping containers Springville - Shopping area made of shipping containers
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