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Thread: Bonneville Salt Flats Question

  1. #1
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    Bonneville Salt Flats Question

    I am planning on attending Huntington Beach again this year from Alberta Canada. I am wondering if anybody has local knowledge of the area. Is the end of April too early to get on the lake bed? Is there a wet season, snow melt etc...
    Not really looking to do any high speed runs but more of a bucket list thing to do. Photo op time as well.

    Troy
    " The journey is the reward" Chinese Proverb
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  2. #2
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    Are you saying you want to run your car at Bonneville?
    If so have you looked at the requirements to pass tech?
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  3. #3
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    No I don't want to race my cars in an event. I would just like to drive on the lake bed and also do some photo shots. I'm going to be driving past the salt flats this year on my annual trip to Huntington Beach.

    Troy
    " The journey is the reward" Chinese Proverb
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  4. #4
    Out Drivin' Gumball's Avatar
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    Word of caution, I was looking at running my '65 Mustang vintage racer there and all of the stuff I read from past competitors said that the salt will get everywhere in the car - especially all the seams, nooks, and crannies on the underside. Once there, it will attract and hold moisture and contribute to some nasty corrosion - and you'll likely never get it all out unless you strip the car down to the bare elements and clean everything.

    Based on that, I took Bonneville off my bucket list and replaced it with the Pikes Peak hill climb. Now to just avoid falling off that big mountain.
    Later,
    Chris

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    Member Arvin's Avatar
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    I live just north of Salk Lake. April could be a bit sketchy for water. You may find a place for a photo but I wouldn't count on a long run down the salt flats.
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    Member Arvin's Avatar
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    https://rove.me/to/utah/flooded-bonneville-salt-flats

    "Approximately 15,000 years ago, there was an enormous lake that covered around two-thirds of Utah. Nowadays, it has completely dried up and turned into a vast salt carpet. Currently, its surface covers the area of 1,214 square km. It looks like a frozen lake covered with snow but only until the wet season. In winter and spring, namely November through May, the water collects on the surface of flats and creates a magical mirror effect."
    FFR Complete MKIV Kit (#8271)
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  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumball View Post
    Word of caution, I was looking at running my '65 Mustang vintage racer there and all of the stuff I read from past competitors said that the salt will get everywhere in the car - especially all the seams, nooks, and crannies on the underside. Once there, it will attract and hold moisture and contribute to some nasty corrosion - and you'll likely never get it all out unless you strip the car down to the bare elements and clean everything.
    You could take the Mustang to El Mirage, dry lake racing is on dirt not salt so similar experience with less damage to the car.
    It's less formal and a bit slower speeds from the shorter track and traction issues so tech isn't quite as extensive either.

    Dale

  10. #8

    Ol Skool

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    Antelope Island north of Salt Lake City might not be bad for a photo shoot. Just keep the car away from the Bison!! The bugs aren't as bad in the early spring and the water may be a little higher.

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    Senior Member TDSapp's Avatar
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    Depending on your driving route you might also consider the Black Rock desert in Northern Nevada. The desert is home of a few land speed records and some rocketry records as well. There is no salt but I will tell you that the sand is like talcum powder and will get everywhere. I went there 10 years ago for a rocket launch and still have some items with the sand in it.


    Driving on it is great though... You can do 90 mph out there and feel like you are sitting still because there is nothing around you to let you perceive your speed.
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    OK, I just Googled Black Rock Desert. I'm freaked out....what the hell is that semi-circular community in the South central part of the lake bed? Looks like a scene from a Mad Max movie!!

    Troy
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  15. #11
    Senior Member TDSapp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7tvette View Post
    OK, I just Googled Black Rock Desert. I'm freaked out....what the hell is that semi-circular community in the South central part of the lake bed? Looks like a scene from a Mad Max movie!!

    Troy


    Well the Black Rock Desert is home to a few annual events. For my other hobby of High Power Rocketry it is home to an annual Rocket launch called Balls. It attracts a few hundred guys with the biggest and baddest rockets to the site for a clear recovery area and high altitude waivers.

    In another part of the year Black Rock is home of Burning Man. Here is a clip of the description of Burning Man.

    "Dedicated to anti-consumerism and self-expression, the Burning Man art festival, which attracted more than 35,000 participants in 2005, traditionally culminates with the burning of a large wooden sculpture of a man. ... Today, Burning Man is celebrated on an empty lake bed in Nevada's Black Rock Desert."


    Basically it's Hippie Fest in the middle of the desert.
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  16. #12
    On a roll Al_C's Avatar
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    I've been talking about visiting Burning Man for several years. Haven't gotten much interest from my wife, though. I don't know if I could even interest the dog. Based on what I've read about it, and some of the "sculptures" I've seen, it's probably crazier than I could imagine. But, just picture a whole bunch of Factory Fives at the festival. It's held over Labor Day annually. Food for thought.
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    Member ztoolman44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7tvette View Post
    I am planning on attending Huntington Beach again this year from Alberta Canada. I am wondering if anybody has local knowledge of the area. Is the end of April too early to get on the lake bed? Is there a wet season, snow melt etc...
    Not really looking to do any high speed runs but more of a bucket list thing to do. Photo op time as well.

    Troy
    I lived in Salt Lake City for 25 years. April can go either way in that area. They had a really heavy snow this year but it depends how quickly things melt.

    If you are heading out on I-80 anyway its worth pulling in to take a look, not far off the freeway. Even just off the road in a few spots will get you some cool pics. Hell, even the rest stop is cool if you've never seen it before. If you are westbound from Salt Lake, the very next exit is Wendover and everyone there will be able to talk you through it.

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