The iconic Great Salt Lake in Utah is one of the saltiest bodies of water in the world. Most people who live there have at least waded into the lake once in their lives. That’s about all they do because this unique place can smell quite putrid, with flies and brine shrimp even in the shallows.
Because the water salinity is so high, it is effortless to float in the water. Even people who are average swimmers could probably go from shore-to-shore if they wanted to do so.
If you are thinking about swimming in the Great Salt Lake, here are some tips to consider.
How to Make Swimming in the Great Salt Lake a Positive Experience
Before you head out to the lake, you’ll want to check the website for Antelope Island state park. You will find warnings posted about biting gnats or other potential troubles that you might encounter when trying to swim from shore-to-shore.
Then you’ll be ready to implement these additional tips to have a fun experience.
Do Not Swallow the Water When Swimming
The salt content of the water in the Great Salt Lake is five times higher than what it is in the ocean. If you accidentally swallow some of it when swimming, then you could end up throwing up in the middle of the lake. Keep your mouth closed as much as possible, breathing out through your nostrils whenever possible. That will prevent you from accidentally swallowing some flies too.
Put on Some Grease to Protect Your Skin
The salty water of the lake will feel like sandpaper rubbing against your skin as you’re swimming from shore-to-shore. It won’t take long for blisters to start forming, even if you are in cold air and water during a winter excursion. You’ll want to slather on some lanoline and Vaseline before you start swimming. You’ll need goggles to protect your eyes, and an orange inflatable bag that contains a phone, GPS device, drinks, and snacks is helpful. It will also make you more visible to boaters.
Cover Any Stings or Cuts That You Might Have
The high salt content will make any open wound sting unmercifully when swimming in the Great Salt Lake. You will need to cover them with a waterproof bandage to reduce your discomfort. Your only other option is to wait for the cuts to heal.
Wash Off With Fresh Water Before Calling it a Day
Once you have finished your swim in the Great Salt Lake, you will want to rinse off with fresh water. Your skin and tongue could receive enough exposure to start the pickling process, so you’ll want to reverse that trend. If you get out of the water and dry off without the rinse, there will still be a layer of salt on your skin and clothing.
The Great Salt Lake has minimal waves and a gentle surface. If you get tired while swimming, the salt content lets you float effortlessly until your energy returns. Make sure that you bring some grease to protect your skin, and then swimming shore-to-shore could be a fantastic experience.