• 04-20-2014
    Trip report: Overnight in the Utah salt flats for Easter
    So I ventured to the Silver Island Mountains which are the mountains that rise up from the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. That's where people race cars about all fast. It's on the Utah-Nevada border just outside of Wendover. It was a gravel grinder with just a tough hike a bike toward the end when I chose to go up and over the range on an old mining road jeep trail.

    My trusty old Subaru is not so trusty right now as it's broke down. So I rented the cheapest car they had. It was a Fiat. Turns out you can easily fit a bike in it so long as you take the wheels off.

    Here we are at the trailhead. I chose to drive down and start at the 10 mile mark. I then rode the road then followed a trail across the flats to Floating island to camp, then back then continued north on the main road then up and over Silver Island Canyon then back to car. For a total of around 40-45 miles.

    This is what it looked like much of the time

    Camp for the night was at the north point of that butte. It's called Floating Island because from afar, including I-80, it looks like an island amongst a mirage sea.

    This must've been from the Donner Party. They came right through here where I camped

    Shots from the Floating Island and camp. The next day I was going up and over these mountains

    The Salt Flats. I went on a night hike to see the stars and was more creeped out than anything. So isolated and weird out there plus a howling wind throughout the night.

    Doesn't this look like George Washington with a runny nose?

    Marker for the California Trail (Hastings Cutoff) out in the middle of the playa. The Donner Party came through here, a month behind schedule thus trapping them in the snowy mountains to their demise.

    The next morning. That's Pilot Peak in Nevada in the distance

    A grueling mash up a loose gravel mining road turned Jeep trail. Over 1000k in about 3 miles. I ride a dinglespeed so had to switch from my 36:16 to 32:20. At least my water and food weight had gone down.

    Summiting the pass

    Oh yeah my bike. A Spot Brand rigid with Kenda Karma 29x 1.9 tires for dirt with a traditional rack and panniers and frame bag. It's a dinglespeed (36:16 and 32:20) and has monster mustache bars.

    For more info on the area:
    Silver Island Mountains

    Ride Around the Silver Island Mountains ? Bike Overnights

    Silver Island Mtn Range (UT) : Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering : SummitPost
  • 04-22-2014
    Cool report. I've toyed around with doing that same ride, and this would seem to be the time of year to do it.
  • 04-24-2014
    Nice report thanks for taking the time to post it.
    Did you have to haul all your water?
  • 04-24-2014

    Originally Posted by johnnyspoke View Post
    Cool report. I've toyed around with doing that same ride, and this would seem to be the time of year to do it.

    Now is definitely the time before the temperature jumps. Or in the fall or a mild spell during the winter. The wind gets crazy (full sand storm status) so you have to plan around still wind forecasts. Also, you don't want be out there with wet ground as it turns to mud.
  • 04-24-2014

    Originally Posted by SingleTrackLovr View Post
    Nice report thanks for taking the time to post it.
    Did you have to haul all your water?

    Yes. There is no water source at all. There may be small springs in the mountains I'm not aware of but the mountains are pretty well gutted by historical mining so I'd be wary of heavy metal contamination.

    After a big storm you might find puddles but the ground turns to mud easily so not a good time to be out there.

    I was out for about 24 hours and used all together about 5-6 liters for cooking and all. The high was around 75 Fahrenheit.