The Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve is a 1.3 mile loop through wetland habitat along the eastern shore of the Great Salt Lake in Layton, Utah. This boardwalk trail has little elevation gain which makes it great for quick strolls with the whole family. Located between Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area and the Antelope Island Causeway, this preserve is one of the western hemisphere’s most important stopovers for migrating birds. Along the route there are several educational opportunities to learn about the ecosystem that thrives in the Great Salt Lake and why it’s preservation is essential for migratory birds. This trail is a peaceful, non-strenuous walk that is teeming with life, you’ll like see several birds and be quite taken with the unassuming beauty of wetland reeds and cattails, especially if you go near sundown, this is a popular sunset spot.
Distance: 1.3 miles / Loop
Elevation Gain: 6 feet
Time: 30 min – 1 hr
Trail Type: Boardwalk
Dogs: Not Allowed
Parking: Parking lot (here)
Restroom: Yes – Port-a-potty in the parking lot
Trailhead Coordinates: 40.980827, -111.896492
Getting there: The preserve is in Layton and is easy to find with Google Maps. The boardwalk trail takes you on a 1.3-mile loop through the preserve with several educational opportunities throughout including bird species along the boardwalk, exhibits, an observational tower, and even an audio tour. Everything is marked and is easy to follow on the boardwalk and according to other recreators, this trail is very kid-friendly, stroller-friendly, and even wheelchair-friendly. The pavilion is a great spot to sit, relax, and take in the views (especially at sunset!) We recommend bringing binnoculars for bird spotting, which you’ll likely see at least one and having bug spray on hand is also a good tip.
The wetlands of the Great Salt Lake provide important nesting and foraging habitat for over 250 species of birds and the lake is a critical link in the Pacific Flyway between North and South America. Between four and six million birds visit, feed and nest at the lake and its wetland annually! (The Nature Conservancy). The preserve spans 4,400 acres of wetlands and uplands habitat along the eastern edge of the Great Salt Lake, a unique Utah natural treasure. This is the first of the Nature Conservancy’s preserves in Utah (formerly the Layton Wetlands Preserve).
For a detailed trail map and reviews on the Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve Trails, visit All Trails.
While visiting this trail, remember to practice #ResponsibleRecreation. Maintain social distancing, stay home if you are sick, and “pack it in – pack it out”. Please be mindful of others, be aware of your surroundings, and respect the locals (aka the wildlife). We’d love to see your photos, feel free to tag us (@discoverdavis) and have fun!