This post is the third in a series of articles exploring Utah's inland sea. When you see two similar images side-by-side, the photos can be viewed in 3D by gently crossing the eyes until both images become one. It's EZ to see 3D.
This time our explorations of Utah's salty inland sea took us to where Interstate 80 meets State Highway 201 - where the Oquirrh Mountains meet the Great Salt Lake.
It's hard to believe that at one time there was even a popular resort that was frequented by travelers and locals alike. Today, receding waters reveal old rotting pilings, the remnants of the old piers - ghostly shadows of what this place once was.
Black Rock is usually surrounded by water, but the recent drought has lowered the water level considerably. When Captain Howard Stansbury surveyed this region in 1850, his team took a boat to Black Rock where they constructed a timber triangulation station atop the highly visible landmark.
The ill fated Donner Party stayed here and carved their names in the wall of nearby Black Rock Cave. If you know where to look, the cave can be seen looking southwest at the base of some cliffs.
The cave** can be viewed more easily from the scenic view exit located between State Highway 201 exchange and exit 99 on Interstate 80. The entrance is mostly obscured by a mound of dirt, part of which came from an incident when the former land proprietors attempted to cover the entrance. Fortunately, a local preservation activist seated himself on the cliffs above the cave and prevented the dozer from covering the entrance entirely. Unfortunately, Black Rock Cave is on private property and inaccessible to the public.
Next time, we travel all the way to the Northern tip of the lake to visit the famous Spiral Jetty. See ya there!
* Black Rock GPS coordinates
40° 43' 29.96" N 112° 13' 39.70" W
** GPS coordinates for Black Rock Cave
40° 42' 34.10 N 112° 14' 28.39" W