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Great Salt Lake State Park adds another date after overwhelming signups for mirabilite mound tours

Posted at 8:05 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-30 16:40:33-05

SALT LAKE CITY — After receiving a massive increase in people signing up for what was supposed to be the final day of mirabilite mound tours on Sunday, the Great Salt Lake State Park has added another tour date.

Rangers are taking visitors on tours of the mounds, just as they have the past two years after they were discovered in 2019. The mounds build up when sodium-sulfate-rich spring water hits the cold winter air, according to the state parks service.

Sunday was scheduled as the final day that these unique tours would be offered, but the park said it received more than 70 requests to sign up for a tour between Friday and Saturday. Officials said more people signed up than they had enough spots for, so requests will be approved in the order they were received.

The state park announced the new tour date of Feb. 12. More information and a link to sign up can be found on the park's website.

"These salt mineral deposits can only be seen during specific winter conditions and we do not know how long these formations will last this year," Utah State Parks wrote.

For those who are approved for a tour, park rangers suggest wearing boots that are water-resistant or waterproof, as the tour may include walking through deep mud.

In late 2019, a ranger at the Great Salt Lake State Park noticed the mounds on the north shore of the lake. In January 2020, just a few months after they were discovered, geologists said these are typically found on polar ice caps and on Mars. October 2019 was the first time they had been seen — or at least, officially documented — at the Great Salt Lake.