The Bonneville Salt Flats (BSF) is the densely-packed salt remnants of an ancient lake bed formed over thousands of years. Originally 96,000 acres in size, the unique geologic phenomenon in northwestern Utah has been reduced to about 30,000 acres. The State of Utah nominated the BSF for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It was designated in 1975. Besides sodium chloride (table salt), the BSF is composed of potassium, magnesium lithium and other minerals. Water and wind shape the BSF throughout the year. A shallow layer of standing water floods the surface during the cooler months (November-May). The water slowly evaporates over the warmer spring and summer months while the wind acts to smooth the surface.
Beyond its irreplaceable beauty, the BSF possesses rare physical qualities which make it a destination for land speed racing, filmmaking and sightseers. The BSF has been used for racing since 1914 and countless land speed records have been set at the site. For example, the 300, 400, 500, and 600 mile per hour land speed barriers were broken on its natural straightway. The world-famous Speed Week dates back to 1949 and the BSF’s protected status recognizes the importance of racing as a compatible use.