Want to kayak in the Great Salt Lake??? Me too! I tried it and I’ll tell you exactly what you can expect.
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Hey Friend, welcome! In this series I share how I overcame obstacles and ventured out on my first few kayak excursions. There were victories, mishaps, danger, glorious moments as well as some great life lessons learned along the way. In the end I climbed the mountain of doubt and uncertainty and gained confidence and achievement. I hope to inspire you to go after your own dreams with courage and creativity to make them happen. Life is too short to only wish for the life you long for. Instead, pick up that dream, dust it off, and start living it.
This is post 6 of 13 in the First Kayaking Adventures Series: The View from My Kayak.
If you haven’t had a chance to read my previous posts #1, #2 , #3, #4, #5 and #6 in this series you may want to check them out too!
See the end of this post for a navigation guide to all posts in this series.
During a run of unusually warm, sunny weather in November in Utah, I was dying to get out in my kayak. But busy schedules and commitments made it feel impossible to go. I knew I was racing against the impending winter and knew the coming weekend was the last of the warm days before cold would settle in for good. I desperately wanted to get out on the water somewhere before the cold moved in.
I admit…I cried tears of frustration.
I was determined to figure out a way to go. I brainstormed and schemed and a joyful MIRACLE occurred. My friend Des was able to work out her busy mom-schedule to come with me! My husband encouraged me to go. Not only to the Great Salt Lake on Saturday, but on an overnight excursion down to Sand Hollow in Southern Utah the following Monday and Tuesday. I was so GRATEFUL. It was a gift that things aligned that we could both go. Hallelujah!
I’ll write about our amazing trip to Sand Hollow (in my humble opinion one of the BEST PLACES in Utah to kayak) in future posts.
But first…the Great Salt Lake!
I’d never been to the Great Salt Lake even though I lived in Utah most of my life (!) I know. I can’t believe I have been missing out on this amazing place my whole life.
However, I was a bit apprehensive when Des and I decided to go kayaking in the Great Salt Lake. I’d heard the stink is unbearable. Also that the flies will eat you alive. I was a little skeptical but eager to find out for myself if the kayaking at the Great Salt Lake would make all my dreams come true or if it would be a disappointment.
I can tell you right now, it wasn’t a disappointment.
We paddled through a sea of clouds into a fiery sunset.
Keep reading and I’ll tell you what you can expect when you go kayaking in the Great Salt Lake on a golden, sunny day in November.
Where to Put In
When Des and I arrived at the Visitor’s Center at the Antelope Island State Park , we found a ranger that directed us to a peninsula near the marina with a rocky shoreline as the best place to put-in.
That kind ranger mistook us for strong, burly women because the steep rocky shoreline was tough to carry the kayaks down to the water. It took serious maneuvering, fancy footwork, and muscle to make our way over the boulders down the steep slope to the shoreline. But we made it!
In the picture above, the rocky descent started at the fringe of grass you see. Next time I’ll use the marina to put in instead. I later heard there’re facilities to spray off your kayaks when you’re done. If so, that’s a fabulous bonus.
Meet My Friend Fremont Island
As we entered the water and headed west, Fremont Island was our steady friend to the right as we paddled along the shore. It looked like a floating island in the sky. The changing clouds and sunlight created an ever-changing picture.
Every time I looked over at it the view changed. The marbled sky melted into the lake and it was hard to tell where the sky ended and the lake began.
Mirror, Mirror on the Lake
Behind us to the east the Wasatch Mountains reflected in the lake. I was amazed that from that distance they would still be mirrored on the surface of the water so perfectly.
What About the Stink and Flies???
I detected NO stink whatsoever. If anything, once we were on the water, there was a sweet musk smell, but it wasn’t offensive. I can imagine in the cooking summer sun that smell could go bad, but in the fall it wasn’t a problem. The temperature was about 55 degrees outside so there were no fly problems either.
I’ve read that the smell and flies could be a problem especially in the heat of summer, but it wasn’t for us that day in November. When the flies are bad it’s a nuisance but not dangerous – the flies don’t bite.
However, I think spring or fall is going to be my go-to time for kayaking here in the future to avoid any fly trauma 🙂
The picture above is our view of Antelope Island.
What’s the Water Like?
Because the water is so salty (3.5 to 8 times saltier than the ocean) there is a different feel to paddling on it. It feels thicker, like paddling through syrup, but not more difficult.
Although the water wasn’t clear, the way the lake mirrored the sky it just didn’t matter. It was beautiful. This paddle adventure was about the panoramic view, not the water that my paddle pushed around. The atmosphere was silent and surreal. The air was still with no wind at all. The lake’s surface was smooth and shiny like a sheet of glass.
What Can I See Kayaking the Great Salt Lake?
We arrived in the afternoon and took our time paddling the north shore heading west from the marina. We only had about an hour and a half of daylight before the sunset. We hoped to round the western tip and get a glimpse of Egg Island and all the nesting birds there, but the sun fell fast and we didn’t have time.
Next time we’ll explore Egg Island and Bridger Bay. The reflections of Antelope Island, Fremont Island, and the Wasatch Mountains were plenty inspiring though.
A Fiery Ending
As the sun set a golden light enveloped everything.
We paddled into the bright, bold sun and its reflection off the water for the first part of our trip.
Heading back to our car, our backs were to the sunset. We kept turning in circles and stopping to watch the sky light up as the sun dipped further into the horizon. Each time we looked the sky became increasingly spectacular. When we reached the car and tied up the kayaks, the sky burst into glorious red fire then settled into glowing embers over the lake.
All we could keep saying to each other was how incredible and beautiful it was. It was truly AWE-some!
The Bottom Line
Needless to say, kayaking in the Great Salt Lake didn’t disappoint in the least.
Our adventure ended with us driving home in the dark with a sense of awe at the beauty we’d been in that evening. That’s the thing about kayaking. I don’t feel like a spectator watching the beauty happen. I’m IN the beauty. It’s all around me, engulfing me.
I’m already planning my next trip kayaking in the Great Salt Lake. I know there is a lot more to see there from inside my kayak. Places have different personalities depending on the time of year and day.
I’m just getting to know the Great Salt Lake but I’ve a feeling we’re going to be good friends. Can you see yourself making friends with it too?
If you want more adventure in your future, such as your own kayak trip to the Great Salt Lake, or somewhere else that sparks your imagination, check out my Big Dream Planning Worksheet to help you get that adventure out of your dreams and into your life.
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Read the rest of the articles in this series:
- Pick Up that Dream, Dust it Off, and Start Living It! My Story of Choosing to Live My Dream.
- First Solo Kayak Trip: 3 Steps to Start Living Your Dream
- Close Call to Catastrophe and What I Learned When Things Went Wrong .
- Payson Lakes in the Fall: Finding Places of Connection and Wholeness
- 3 Life Lessons I Learned Paddling Provo River Alone for the First Time
- Paddling Utah Lake: Getting Un-Stuck in Life
- Kayaking the Great Salt Lake: Paddling through a Sea of Clouds
- I Blame Them for this Crazy Obsession
- Chasing the Sun to Sand Hollow Day 1: Why Sand Hollow is One of the Best Kayak Destinations in Utah
- Getting Past Panic at Sand Hollow Reservoir
- Chasing the Sun to Sand Hollow Day 2: The Joy of Being Surprised by the Unexpected
- The One Thing That Makes it Possible to PursueYour Dreams
- Life Seasons: Six Things You Can Do Right Now When Your Dream Feels Out of Reach
Do you want more abundance in your life? Start with the Abundance Toolkit! It’s my FREE gift to you.
The Abundant Toolkit is my gift to you when you subscribe to receive inspirational notes from me in your inbox (don’t worry! I’ll only send great stuff and never send spam!). When you sign up you’ll have access to my private Gifts for You Collection here at my website where I keep the Abundance Toolkit and a whole lot of other awesome resources to help you live life more abundantly.
What’s in the Abundance Toolkit?
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