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Dave Beedon | profile | all galleries >> Places >> Utah >> Wendover Area >> Floating Island tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Wendover: Miscellaneous | Wendover: Military History | Bonneville Salt Flats and Speedway | Floating Island | Silver Island Mountains

Floating Island


Floating Island is an isolated mountain that sits by itself just northeast of the Bonneville Speedway and 25 miles (40km) northeast of Wendover, Utah. In photographs of the Speedway that look toward its far end, Floating Island is the low, ugly mountain in the distance, sitting by itself. It is named after the fact that mirages distort its extremities at ground level, giving the appearance that it is floating on the playa or salt---as shown here.

This island mountain in a sea of salt and mud flats is not on any list of sights to see in Utah. It's a lonely, bleak environment that only a lover of the unusual could enjoy. The mountainís isolated position, obscure access route, and bleak appearance conspire to keep the place quiet and seldom visited. Being on the summit affords the visitor a fantastic view and the exhilarating feeling of being utterly alone.

My first glimpse of Floating Island was in 2002, on a whirlwind return drive from the East Coast to my home near Seattle. When I drove onto the salt flats (to be able to say that I had done it) I saw Floating Island off in the distance but did not know anything about it. It seemed like a lonely place. Later, while I poured over topographic maps of the area, it called to me to be explored---I wanted to know what the salt flats looked like from its summit. In response to the call, I ventured to its summit in 2004 and again in 2006. Variety is the spice of life, so in 2007 I scrambled to the top of the modest south summit. It still calls to me: a circumnavigation on foot sounds like fun.

Floating Island appears at the center of this WikiMapia aerial view.

Floating Island's Main Summit ( 2004)
:: Floating Island's Main Summit ( 2004) ::
Floating Island's Main Summit (2006)
:: Floating Island's Main Summit (2006) ::
Floating Island 's South Summit
:: Floating Island 's South Summit ::
Floating Island: Gate 74 Re-visited
:: Floating Island: Gate 74 Re-visited ::
Floating Island: Miscellaneous Photos
:: Floating Island: Miscellaneous Photos ::