Sailfest returns after 5 years at Great Salt Lake State Park

Jun 16, 2024, 5:00 AM | Updated: Jun 17, 2024, 1:29 pm

Celebration of the sail fest at the Marina at Great Salt Lake Park....

Celebration of the sail fest at the Marina at Great Salt Lake Park. (KSL TV)


SALT LAKE CITY — Rising water levels allowed Sailfest to return to the marina at Great Salt Lake State Park this weekend after a five-year hiatus.

According to Grow the Flow, Sailfest is a family-friendly event of sailboat and cardboard boat racing, live music,  film exhibitions, food trucks, among other activities. Organizers created the event to raise awareness about the Great Salt Lake but also to gather communities together for cultural connection and recreation. 

Related:  Great Salt Lake levels have peaked for the year, expected to drop this summer.

Grow the Flow and the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club sponsor the event. They advocate for the protection and restoration of the Great Salt Lake, according to a news release.

Event organizers believe the Great Salt Lake has lost connection and identity with Utah residents over time.  Jake Dreyfous, managing director of Grow the Flow, said Utahns can play a vital role in rescuing the Great Salt Lake. Dreyfous hopes that this event will revive the connection and motivate the community to save the Great Salt Lake.

If you want to get involved in the rescue of the Great Salt Lake, you can go to Grow the Flow Website for more information.

Related: Despite strong state averages, Yuba Reservoir is not even half full.

Great Salt Lake History

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources describes the Great Salt Lake as the remainder of the ancient Lake Bonneville. Lake Bonneville covered 20,000 square miles of land around 32,000 years ago. It depths of 1,000 feet. By comparison, today’s Great Salt Lake measures 33 feet at its deepest point, with an average depth of 13.

In 1983, rising lake levels flooded houses, farmland, and the closest freeway. The state built huge pumps to move excess water into Utah’s west desert, according to Utah.com. GSL elevation hit its highest recorded mark in 1986 at 4211.65. 

Lake elevation dropped to 4188.5 feet in November 2022, a record low according to The Utah Division of Water Resources.

Currently, lake levels have rebounded to 4194.5 feet of elevation. State officials consider a healthy range for the lake to be between 4196 and 4200 feet in elevation. 

Read more stories about the Great Salt Lake from KSL NewsRadio.

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Sailfest returns after 5 years at Great Salt Lake State Park