LOCAL (NEW)

‘It was fantastic.’ Pilot revels in Great Salt Lake’s wonders

May 6, 2023, 3:33 PM | Updated: 3:45 pm

The railroad causeway is breached on the Great Salt Lake as photographed on Wednesday, May 3, 2023....

The railroad causeway is breached on the Great Salt Lake as photographed on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

This article is published through the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that partners news, education, and media organizations to help inform people about the history and the plight of the Great Salt Lake.

SALT LAKE CITY — Pilot Gary Kraft has flown over the Great Salt Lake at 15,000 feet, but this week was a different experience.

At an altitude of 1,500 feet, Kraft and his guests were treated to a closer look at the many facets of the largest saline lake in the Western Hemisphere and the eighth largest in the world.

“It was fantastic,” he said. “I didn’t know the natural beauty of the Great Salt Lake,” he commented, after the flight in the Cessna 210 ended.

On Wednesday, the lake was a kaleidoscope of colors. Bright red in the north arm, patches of barren-looking playas, a brilliant blue bouncing off the clear sky and shimmering white squares denoting evaporation ponds. From the air, you could see the causeway berm that separates the saline-filled north arm from the south arm.

The berm was raised four feet in July 2022, but due to this year’s snowpack, water flowing into the Great Salt Lake from the south arm is starting to trickle north. The lake has come up 3.5 feet.

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‘It was fantastic.’ Pilot revels in Great Salt Lake’s wonders