The Bonneville Salt Flats is a densely-packed salt pan in Tooele County in northwestern Utah. The property is public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Federally classified as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and Special Recreation Management Area, the Bonneville Salt Flats is a 30,000-acre expanse of hard, white salt crust on the western edge of the Great Salt Lake basin in Utah. "Bonneville" is also on the National Register of Historic Landmarks because of its contribution to land speed racing.
The salt flats are about 12 miles long and 5 miles wide with total area coverage of just over 46 square miles. Near the center of the salt, the crust is almost 5 feet thick in places, with the depth tapering off to less than 1 inch as you get to the edges. Total salt crust volume has been estimated at 147 million tons, or 99 million cubic yards of salt.
The Bonneville Salt Flats are comprised of approximately 90% common table salt.
Whatever you've heard about the Bonneville Salt Flats, it is probably true. The vastness will humble you. The Bonneville Salt Flats are one of the most unique natural features in the United States. Motor vehicle use is limited by seasonal closure during the spring when the salt is moist or has standing water on the surface.
You can take a look at the current conditions within a mile of our launch site here:
One of the great things about holding a launch on the Bonneville Salt Flats is the launch site’s proximity to the town of Wendover (about 15 minutes away from the launch site.) The town is perched on the border of Utah and Nevada. Because of this, it has become an oasis for Utahns wanting to experience some “night-life”.
The Weather at Bonneville
The weather will be HOT. Usually in the 90’s. Bonneville's heat can cook you alive. We've all experienced bright sunlight, but at Bonneville its intensity is reinforced by being prismatically reflected off the ocean of salt that surrounds you. You're going to need to block the sun from your face and arms. Bring some good lip balm and sun block, and use them both throughout the day. Protect your eyes and head.
There is no running water on-site, so you should bring plenty of drinking water for yourself. Bring a hat for sun and wear sunscreen. You WILL want to have a portable shade structure (EZ-Up) and be sure to wear sunscreen and drink lots of water to stay hydrated. The shade part of the tent will need to be taken down each day due to late afternoon winds.
Toilets and Garbage
There will be portable toilets on site.
There will be portable toilets on site. The Bonneville Salt Flats are considered to be a “Pack out what you pack in” site. There will be a dumpster, but in general please plan on packing out and disposing of everything you bring onto the site.
Food and Drink
We anticipate having multiple food and drink vendors on site during LDRS 39 however we still recommend bringing your own water. You can never have too much.
The gas station at exit 4 off of Interstate 80 will be a good spot to pick up water and ice each day. It's approximately 5 miles away from the launch site, so it's not a long drive to refill your supplies.
Camping at Bonneville
Overnight stays are prohibited on the Salt Flats;, however camping is encouraged on the surrounding public lands. You will be allowed to leave your rocket camp up on the Salt Flats for the duration of the event. You just cannot sleep/camp on the salt due to Federal restrictions. You should plan on removing the cover from any canopy and fold up your chairs as the winds do pick up on the salt at night.
Private campgrounds and hookups are available in nearby Wendover, ten miles west of the Bonneville Salt Flats. We recommend staying at one of the event hotels or other accommodations available in Wendover.
You may want to wash your car off sometime during the event. There are two high-power car washes located in Wendover, NV. Both are open all day-night.