The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve Photo Essay

My brother and I took the kids to the Great Shorelands Preserve last week. It was a middling hot day and I wore flip flops, not a smart choice for walking the mile-long boardwalk trail. I finally took them off and walked on the hot wooden planks. The positive is that this gave me the opportunity to observe the kids look for frogs in the lime green water, scampering quickly down the boardwalk, while I brought up the rear of our group.  

The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve is beautiful and pristine. If you're lucky you will see blue cranes and pelicans, white-faced ibis and Arctic terns, Wilson's phalaropes and American avocets, snowy plovers and bald eagles, rufous, calliope and broad-tailed hummingbirds. If you're especially lucky, you may see Pink Floyd fly overhead to his new home Antelope Island, ( he's the renegade pink flamingo that escaped from SLC's Liberty Park aviary).

Because the preserve is located on swampland, the usually dry Utah climate is a little on the humid side.

Both the Visitor Center and Observation Tower provide educational exhibits, a spectacular view of the preserve, The Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island.

 Unless there's a tour, it's very likely you will be the only human at the site.

The best time to see birds is either early in the morning or towards sunset. We went when the majority of birds are sheltering from the hot sun.

Be certain to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring bottled water.
The following is from the official site:
The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve (formerly called the Layton Wetlands Preserve) was The Nature Conservancy's first preserve in Utah. The wetlands of the Great Salt Lake provide important nesting and foraging habitat for over 250 species of birds. The lake is a critical link in the Pacific Flyway between North and South America. In fact, so many birds (between four and six million!) visit, feed and nest at the lake and its wetlands annually, it has been named as one of only seventeen sites of Hemispheric Importance in the Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network, an internationally important designation.

This award-winning visitor center is located at the heart of the 4,400-acre
Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve near Layton. The center features an open-air pavilion, one-mile boardwalk trail through prime birdwatching habitat, and a 30-foot-high observation tower.

Visitors will find more than 34 educational exhibits located throughout the center, featuring fun facts, art, and poetry that teach targeted lessons about the unique Lake system, habitats and spectacular birdlife.
The visitor center is free of charge and is open seven days per week, April - September: 7am to 8pm, and October - March: 8am to 5pm.

The visitor center is located near Layton, at the end of 3200 West.
Visitor Center

View of roof

View from Visitor Center
View of Observation Tower and Antelope Island

Observation Tower

View from Observation Tower

Eastern Boardwalk Trail 

Northern Boardwalk Trail

Rest Area Facility

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