Whether you’re planning an elopement or an engagement shoot, the Bonneville Salt Flats are a beautiful destination! But if you’re planning from outside of Utah, or even inside Utah, it can be hard to know what to plan for. This guide will give you a full explanation of how to get the most out of your Salt Flats experience.
The Bonneville Salt Flats are located about ten miles from Wendover, Utah. If you’re familiar with Utah you may know that Wendover is in the middle of nowhere. And that nowhere is made up of miles and miles of salty mud. In the middle of all that salty mud is an area of pristine, white, crystalized, salt. It’s become a popular destination in recent years for photoshoots and weddings, so you’ve probably seen it before. The salt crystalizing forms an interesting geometric texture on the ground, which in the summer when it’s dry creates the familiar raised ridges covering the ground of the Salt Flats. It’s also a popular destination for racing cars. The Bonneville Speedway is home of many land-speed records, and you can frequently see cars speeding across the flats. You can read all about the history of racing on the Salt Flats by clicking the button below.
If you’re planning a shoot at the flats there’s a few things you’ll want to know, such as:
We’ll start with the first one!
The Bonneville Salt Flats are dry for most of the summer! If you want to guarantee that there will be no water, plan your shoot for July or August. Historically speaking these months have very low chances of the Flats being flooded. When the flats are dry you’re able to drive on them! I recommend pulling off the highway at the Bonneville Salt Flats Rest Area Westbound. There’s a sign for it, and the rest area has a large, covered parking area you can see from the highway. Once there, you can drive directly onto the flats.
If you’d like water for your photoshoot, plan to go in March or Early April. Those times of year will have the highest chances of the Flats being flooded. Make sure you don’t drive onto the Flats when they’re flooded! Cars can get stuck in the salt and the towing fee for the Salt Flats is very expensive.
What time you plan your shoot for depends a little on what you want from your shoot. In my personal opinion, the best time for photos at the Flats is right after the sun has gone down. The sunsets are beautiful out there and the light is so soft and dreamy. But if you’d like some of both the golden hour look and the blue hour look, plan to be there about 30 minutes before the sun sets.
The Salt Flats are a dramatic location, so feel free to be dramatic in your clothing choices! It’s not uncommon to see people at the Flats for a photoshoot in full ballgowns and bright colors. But if drama isn’t your thing I’d recommend wearing some dark colors to help you stand out against the bright white of the ground, such as navy blue, black, or dark green. You can also wear colors that will compliment the beautiful sunset colors, such as pinks, light blues, and white.
If you’re bringing multiple outfits to the Bonneville Salt Flats, be prepared to change in your vehicle or hire a photographer who has a changing tent (like me!). Don’t be surprised if there’s a lot of people there. In recent years the Salt Flats have become very popular, there are always people there. But they’re also huge, so drive as long as you’d like until you feel comfortable that there aren’t too many people close to you. For this reason it’s also important to make sure you hire a photographer who’s comfortable correcting the background of your photos. There can be a lot of people and cars to remove! Finally, plan to get a carwash after the Salt Flats if your drove on them. The salt on the underside of your vehicle can damage it!
Have questions about planning your shoot at the Bonneville Salt Flats? Comment below or shoot me a message and I’ll be happy to help you plan for your dream photoshoot. Click the button below to get in touch!
Want some inspiration for your Bonneville Salt Flats elopement? Click the button below to read about my most recent Salt Flats elopement!