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Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve – Layton Utah
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Overview
Location

Layton Utah – Northern Utah

Sights

Waterfowl, grasslands, vistas of Antelope Island

Distance

1 mile loop from start to finish

Parking Lot Elevation

4223 ft

Summit Elevation

No summit

Elevation Gain/Loss

Varies slightly

Time Required

<1 hour

Pets

No pets allowed

Fees

Free – donations accepted near main pavilion

Water Info

Bring a water bottle – no drinking fountains. Swamp land area so there is water

Best Season

Spring, summer, fall

Hours

April – September: 7am to 8pm, October – March: 8am to 5pm

Sun Exposure

No shade except for 2 pavilions

Trail Condition

Raised Boardwalk.

Restrooms

North of visitor’s center (pavilion)

Visitor Center

Large open pavilion just south of the parking lot.

Camping

Not allowed

Food

Bring snacks if needed

Equipment

Binoculars (for bird watching), camera, bug spray (for warmer months)

You have the opportunity to see many types of birds in grasslands and swampy areas.  The entire trail is above ground on a 1 mile wooden boardwalk.  There is a 30 foot high tower at far end of the preserve that I recommend you visit.

GPS Coordinates

Trailhead:  41° 2’32.90″N, 112° 1’35.26″W
Visitor Center:   41° 2.410’N,  112° 1.530’W
Tower:  41° 2’11.40″N, 112° 1’44.02″W


Trail Map


Driving Directions:

If coming from Ogden or Salt Lake Areas, drive to Layton until the Layton Parkway exit.

Then get turn West and get off immediately at the Main Street exit in Layton (now heading North).

Keep driving for about .34 mile until you hit Gentile St. Turn Left (now heading West) and keep driving for another 3.1 miles until you hit the intersection at 3200 W.

Turn left (now heading South) on 3200 W and keep driving for another 1 mile until you see the gate to the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve.


The Trail:

Here is the entrance. If it is closed just use the small gate to the left

Here is the entrance. If it is closed just use the small gate to the left

This is a very fun activity for the entire family or for anyone looking to enjoy a quiet walk around the boardwalk.

From the parking lot head south on the gravel path until it ends up with a wooden boardwalk about 100 yards south.  You will curve around and wind up at the main pavilion (visitor center) which has interesting information regarding the shorelands preserve and the waterfowl that use the 4,400 acres.

Be prepared to see many different types of waterfowl – over 250 types use the general wetlands area and many can be seen as you stroll around.  I have personally seen owls, hawks, ravens and tons of other types of birds in the preserve.

A flock of Canadian Geese fly overhead

A flock of Canadian Geese fly overhead

Note: you may be surprised by the cattle roaming around in the area. The area surrounding the parking lot is a cattle pasture and for the most part the cattle stay out of the wetlands area.

Here is the visitor center area with information about the preserve.

Here is the visitor center main pavilion area with information about the preserve.


Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve

Once you reach the main pavilion you can either take the left or ride boardwalks.  They both eventually meet up with each other as it is one giant 1 mile loop.

The pavilion features information pamphlets and other information about the preserve.

I think coming out here right when the sun is setting is the best time to visit.  The sunsets and the quiet setting make the Shorelands Preserve the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature.

Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve

Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve

Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve

Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve

Along the way you will see over 30 information posts and facts on the boardwalk itself and on little displays along the way.

You will see a large 30 foot structure which you are allowed to climb to the top of.  The views from the tower are amazing and you will see other parts of the preserve such as ponds and water areas.

Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve


The Return:

To return to the parking lot, depending on which path you traveled, just continue down the boardwalk path until you reach the main pavilion again


Personal Thoughts:

I really enjoy the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve area especially at later times in the afternoon.  It is quiet and generally never busy when I visit.  It is definitely worth a trip.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself coming back many times throughout the year.

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Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve – Trek Planner Video

Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
1.5
Technicality
0.5
Enjoyment
6.0
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

6.0
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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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