Silver Island Mountains
Bonneville Salt Flats

Wendover, Utah

Graham Peak 7,563'
Campbell Peak 7,272'
Jenkins Peak 7,268'
Cobb Peak 7,021'

My camera ran out of batteries right when the sun light came out. CompUSA told me that the batteries that they sold me were the new standard, 2-3 years later, they can't even be found on Ebay. ..wah .. wah.

Below are pictures of the area during a wind storm that kicked up plumes and columns of salt and sand high into the air. We drove right through a solid white-out column of kicked up sand. You couldn't see anything out of any of the windows for a second... it felt like you were driving into the nothing.

We drove around the Silver Island Mountains, through the Donner-Reed Pass, where in 1846, the Donner Party trekked through. There are still a few areas where you can see their 160 year old wagon tracks through the desert.

We went on a short hike near Donner Canyon to have a closer look at some caves, The wind was incredibly fierce, I was running fast to get my body temperature up.
The sheering cold made my lungs feel like they were bleeding and my head feel like two broomsticks had been shoved deep into my ears. Besides that I felt great.

Near the entrance to the Silver Island Mountains is Danger Cave, which has artifacts and evidence of humans have been in the area for 10,300 years.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Near Tetzlaff Peak, named after Terrible Teddy Tetzlaff,
who was a dare-devil who raced cars in the Bonneville Salt Flats back around 1915.
Looking northwest toward dust devils swirling 500 feet or more into the air.

Looking northwest toward the Silver Island Mountains, Lamus Peak 6,284'
Named after Blair Lamus, who helped build the long straight road from Knolls to Wendover.
It's actually the longest and straightest road in America.

Flat Face Rock

Salt, being vacuumed hundreds of feet up into the air.

The Sleeping Dragon, in the distance is Graham Peak
Named after Athol Graham who died on the Bonneville Salt Flats
trying to break the land speed world record in 1960.

Behind is Cobb Peak, Named after John Cobb a British race car driver,
who broke the world record in 1939 going 368 mph.

Cobb died in Loch Ness trying to race his boat over 200 miles per hour.

Looking northwest toward a dark and dreary scene as clouds loom above.

Geological Wonderland.

A telephoto of The Floating Island, surrounded by a mist of salt.

Looking northwest from near the eastern end of Cobb Peak
toward saltstorms brewing below the Newfoundland Mountains.

This was near a sign remembering the Hastings Cutoff.
The Hastings Cuttoff is the name of the infamous short-cut
that the Donner Party took after following a guidebook by Lansford Hastings.

They were actually trying to follow Hastings himself but were delayed.
Hastings had a difficult time crossing the Weber Canyon near Ogden,
and sent a message to the Donner Party to avoid it.
The Donner Party instead cut a path through Emigration Canyon.
(This path was later used by the Mormons to enter the Salt Lake valley)

The Donner Pary then followed the Hastings Cutoff,
through the barren salt flats.

After loosing almost half of their oxen on the salt flats,
they found a spring at the base of pilot peak,
From there they continued to present day Reno, Nevada,
and then up the Sierra Nevada mountains where they met their demise.

They were late getting to the mountains, but climbed them anyway.
It snowed continuously from the moment they entered.
The snow reached over 20 feet high.
They built cabins, and then after starvation set in,
they began to eat the deceased.
Less than half of the 88 members survived.
Most of the surviving members of the Donner Party
blamed their misfortune on Hastings' guidebook.

No one crossed the area for nearly 75 years after the tragedy.

From the northwestern end of Silver Island
looking southeast over the grampa of Utah Mountains,
freezing in the salty wind, huddled in hibernation.

Campbell Peak 7272 (Just over the otherside), named after Donald Campbell
a Briton, who competed against Anthol Graham with his 'Bluebird CN7'.
Campbell survived the fasted car accident in history (In 1960) at 325 miles an hour.

Graham Peak 7563, named after Anthol Graham,
who also crashed his car the same day as Campbell.

However, Graham died from his racing accident,
and therefore got the tallest mountain named after him.

The racetrack is famous for it's crosswinds, which was the cause of both crashes.

Campbell was only hurt, so he got the 2nd tallest mountain named after him.
Campbell was pretty shook up from his accident and from watching Graham crash,
he never raced in the area again.

Colorful ancient limestone cliffs near Donner Canyon.

Looking south over ancient limestone knobs toward Graham Peak.
Donner Canyon is to the right.

Giant caves along Donner Canyon
We didn't visit this one but it looks about 8-10 times bigger than the one we reached.

Walking along some interesting geology. The wind was bitter cold.
In places it had to be moving at least 50 mph.

Ancient Precambrian rock, near Donner Canyon.
It was almost difficult to enjoy the area it was so windy and cold.

Looking southeast toward Graham Peak
Can you see the caves near the bottom left?
They are just under the lower shoreline.

From near Donner Canyon looking west over some caves on the upper left.
On the right is the Donner-Reed Pass,
where the infamous Donnor party passed through the area,
on their way to their doom.

A cave big enough to fit a person inside,
though you'd have to share it with whatever's living at the end of it.

From the cave shown 2 pictures above,
looking northeast toward the Newfoundland Mountains.

Strange water deposits hanging from the cave walls.

The Newfoundland Mountains to the northwest.
Desert Peak is the highest point at 7,005'

The Crater Islands to the North, Donner Pass is on the right.

To the west is Pilot Peak, creating clouds with it's cold surface.

Pilot Peak 10,716' in Nevada, blanketed by thick clouds.

A rare antelope that ran alongside the car.

His strategy to get away from us wasn't working.
Looking north toward the Grouse Creek Mountains and the Bovine Mountains.
Ingham Peak 8490 and Red Butte 9000 are the high points.

Running with the Antelope.


Looking north toward the Crater Island Mountains. Where's the antelope?

Looking north toward the Crater Islands north of Silver Island.
Notice the giant plumes of sand and salt on the left.

From Silver Canyon looking southwest. The Sleeping Dragon is on the right.
Beyond looks like the ocean, but there is no water out there, just lifeless salt flats.

Pilot Peak 10,716 with it's cloud blanket lifting away.

The Silver Island Mountains in 2003

Video of an Antelope running on the north side of the Silver Island Mountains:
Antelope Running Video

For some pictures of the "Tree of Utah" and the Bonneville Salt Flats:
Bonneville Salt Flats


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© Copyright 1999-2019 Dale Meier, unless otherwise credited. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use is prohibited.