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Interstate 80 - Utah

Interstate 80 West - Great Salt Lake Desert to Wendover

This view of Interstate 80 west is taken between Exits 49 (Clive) and 41 (Knolls). Vast empty lands abound in all directions as Interstate 80 prepares to cross the Great Salt Lake Desert. Photo taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith.

Interstate 80 west
Interstate 80 descends from the Cedar Mountains area toward the Great Salt Lake Desert, a vast expanse that is the lowest point. Water from the surrounding mountains will drain into the desert, eventually evaporating or flowing into a sink or lake. Photos taken 09/08/05.
The next exit along Interstate 80 west is Exit 56, Hastings Pass Road to Aragonite. A diamond interchange ties the freeway into local roads at Aragonite. Photo taken 09/08/05.
This view is taken one-half mile east of the Exit 56 off-ramp with Hastings Pass Road near Aragonite. A frontage road parallels the westbound lanes of Interstate 80 from milepost 58 through to Exit 41. Photo taken 09/08/05.
A rest area lies just west of the Exit 56 on-ramp near Aragonite. Services at the rest area include restrooms and water. The next rest area is at Exit 10, just east of Wendover near the western edge of the Great Salt Lake Desert. Now is a good time to use the restroom if needed. Photos taken 09/08/05.

Interstate 80 leaves the Aragonite rest area and descends into wide open desert west of Exit 56. The light blue mountains along the horizon are in the state of Nevada. Photo taken 09/08/05.
Knolls (Exit 41) lies 12 miles ahead and is the last exit before Interstate 80 crosses the Great Salt Lake Desert and enters Wendover near the Utah-Nevada state line. Photo taken 09/08/05.
The next interchange along Interstate 80 west is Exit 49, Clive Road (diamond interchange). This sign advises that the next set of travelers services lies 48 miles to the west of here at Wendover. Photo taken 09/08/05.
This view looks north from the freeway about one-half mile east of the Exit 49 off-ramp to Clive Road on Interstate 80 west. Visible from here are the Newfoundland Mountains to the west and Lakeside Mountains to the east. Photos taken 09/08/05.
Interstate 80 west approaches Exit 49, Clive Road (one-half mile). Photo taken 09/08/05.
Westbound Interstate 80 meets Exit 49, Clive Road. The north-south road stems south from the adjoining frontage road (Old U.S. 40) to Clive and desert areas outside Wendover Air Force Range. No services are available here. Continue ahead to Exit 4, Bonneville Speedway and Exit 2, Junction Business Loop I-80 in Wendover for gas and food. Photo taken 09/08/05.
A reassurance route marker for Interstate 80 west is posted after the onramp from Clive Road. Photo taken 09/08/05.
This mileage sign posted on Interstate 80 west between Exit 49 (Clive) and Exit 41 (Knolls) provides the distance to Knolls (five miles), Wendover (47 miles), and Reno (453 miles). No services are available here. Continue ahead to Exit 4, Bonneville Speedway and Exit 2, Junction Business Loop I-80 in Wendover for gas and food. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
Drowsy driving signs were added along this section of Interstate 80 by 2011. They were not present in 2005. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith.
The next exit joins the freeway with the Interstate 80 frontage road at Knolls, a small unincorporated area. Knolls itself lies along a local road west of Exit 41 along the Union Pacific Railroad line. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
The 0.50-mile guide sign for Knolls (Exit 41) posted on Interstate 80 west. The sage brush and other vegetation gives way to salt flats west of the upcoming diamond interchange. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
Westbound Interstate 80 reaches exit 41, Knolls. This is the last exit for 37 miles. A local road (old U.S. 40) parallels the freeway from Exit 41 through to Blair at Exit 4; however, this road is not nearly as well maintained as the freeway. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
Interstate 80 enters the Great Salt Lake Desert and the vastly empty Bonneville Salt Flats west of Exit 41. The next exit is Exit 10, Rest Area, followed by Exit 4, Salt Flats Road to Bonneville Speedway. The next exit with services will be Exit 2 (Business Loop I-80) and Exit 1 serving Wendover and West Wendover. Photos taken 09/08/05.
Metaphor: The Tree of Utah lies along Interstate 80 at milepost 26. Created between 1982-86 by European artist Karl Momen and standing 87 feet tall, the sculpture features several "fruits" protruding from its branches. The fruits, painted spheres essentially, represent "color, circles, and cosmic space in a personal hymn to the universe". Several broken spheres lie along the ground representing those that have fallen from the tree. Unfortunately for prospective visitors, there is no access to the sculpture and parking is prohibited along the freeway. Photos taken 09/08/05.
This series of pictures shows more perspectives of the vastly empty Great Salt Lake Desert. To the northwest are the Silver Island Mountains. Areas to the north where the Bonneville Salt Flats continue to the horizon reveal the curvature of the earth where the mountains meet the horizon. This swath of land is home to the Newfoundland Evaporation Basin. Note the mirages created by the bending of light rays. Photos taken 09/08/05.
Another northern look at the Silver Island Mountains. In the foreground are lands a part of Bonneville Salt Flats State Park. For the road weary, a rest area is located about ten miles west of the Utah-Nevada State Line. Photo taken 09/08/05.
A potentially welcome sight to the weary traveler, a rest area (Exit 10) lies along Interstate 80 westbound six miles east of Exit 4 (Pilot Peak Road). Photos taken 09/08/05.
Leaving the rest area on Interstate 80 west is another mileage sign. Wendover lies nine miles ahead at the Nevada state line. The Silver Island Mountains kiss the north edge of Interstate 80 at Wendover. The Toana Range meanwhile dominates the Silver State skyline. Photo taken 09/08/05.
An Interstate 80 reassurance route marker is posted thereafter, and it appears that the mileage sign had moved by 2011 as evidenced by this picture. Photo taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith.
After long lull in exits, the next exit along Intestate 80 west is Exit 4, Salt Flats Road. This north-south road links old U.S. 40, Interstate 80 Exit 4, and Bonneville Speedway. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
Salt Flats Road travels 1.3 miles north to Pilot Peak Road from Interstate 80. There Salt Flats Road turns east to Bonneville Speedway. Pilot Peak Road stems northwest toward Pilot Peak Mountain in Nevada. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
Westbound Interstate 80 reaches Exit 4, Salt Flats Road to the Bonneville Speedway. Salt Flats Road leaves the Interstate and will end at old U.S. 40 just south of Interstate 80 at Blair. Old U.S. 40 continues west to Business Loop I-80 and Utah 58 outside of Wendover. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
Regulatory signs for the Weigh Station/Port of Entry were added by 2011. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith.
The next exit along Interstate 80 west is Exit 3, Utah Port of Entry. This weigh station lies along Interstate 80 westbound between Exits 4 and Exit 2 (Junction Business Loop I-80 west to Wendover). All commercial trucks and vehicles with livestock must enter the facility. Photo taken 09/08/05.
Regulatory signs for the Weigh Station/Port of Entry were added by 2011. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith.
Westbound Interstate 80 reaches Exit 3, Wendover Port of Entry. Photo taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
The next interchange along Interstate 80 west is Exit 2, Junction Business Loop I-80 and Utah 58/Wendover Boulevard to the city of Wendover, which had a population of 1,537 as of the 2000 Census. A partial-access trumpet interchange facilitates the movements between the two highways. There is no westbound on-ramp from the eastbound business loop. Following this interchange will be Exit 1, which ties into the central area of Wendover and West Wendover. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
Utah 58 and Business Loop I-80 follow Old U.S. 40 for 1.3 miles until reaching the state line of Utah and Nevada. Utah 58 ends at the state line, but Business Loop I-80 continues into Nevada along former Nevada 224 and Old U.S. 40 in West Wendover. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
Westbound Interstate 80 meets Exit 2, Junction Business Loop I-80 and Utah 58 to Historic U.S. 40 on the outskirts of Wendover. From there Wendover Boulevard enters town and crosses the state line at a casino. There Business Loop Interstate 80 enters Nevada and Utah 58 ends. U.S. 93 Alternate joins the Business Loop (named Wendover Road in Nevada) before the loop returns to Interstate 80 at Exit 410. Exit 2 is the first of four interchanges to serve the Wendover-West Wendover area. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
The Silver Island Mountains overlook the Exit 2 interchange of Interstate 80 from the north. The areas north of town are home to Danger Cave State Park, a National Historic Landmark. Photo taken 09/08/05.
This Interstate 80 route marker is posted after the exit to Business Loop I-80. It is the final reassurance shield along Interstate 80 west in Utah. Photo taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith.
The final Utah exit along Interstate 80 west is Exit 1, Aria Boulevard (one-half mile). Aria Boulevard travels north-south between Interstate 80 and Business Loop I-80 (Utah 58)/Wendover Boulevard, staying just east of the Utah-Nevada state line. Use this exit to the Montego Bay Casino & Resort and Wendover Nugget Hotel & Casino. Use Exit 410 to other casinos (including the Peppermill). South of Wendover Boulevard, Aria Boulevard becomes First Street and leads into a residential area. Photo taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith.
The next two exits along Interstate 80 west are Exit 1, Aria Boulevard, followed by Exit 410, Junction Alternate U.S. 93 southwest to Ely and Business Loop I-80 (former Nevada 224) east to West Wendover. Alternate U.S. 93, which was formerly Alternate U.S. 50 until 1976, ventures 59 miles southwest from West Wendover to meet its parent, U.S. 93, at Lages Station northeast of Ely. Lincoln Highway enthusiasts can depart here to rejoin the highway at Ely and take U.S. 50 to cross the Silver State of Nevada. Photos taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith and 09/08/05.
Westbound Interstate 80 reaches Exit 1, Aria Boulevard. This half-diamond interchange is relatively new, having been built in the latter part of the 2000s. It has been proposed to make this into a full diamond interchange in the future. Photo taken 10/28/11 by Garrett Smith.
All motorist services are available in Wendover and West Wendover (gas, food, lodging) -- use Exits 2, 1, or 410 to access Wendover and West Wendover. To the northwest of here, the next services are 32 miles ahead via Interstate 80 west and Alternate U.S. 93 northwest. The next gas and food are at Oasis (Exit 378). Photo taken 09/08/05.
Interstate 80 leaves Utah at milepost zero and enters the Silver State of Nevada and the city of West Wendover (population 4,721 as of the 2000 Census). Although most of Nevada is in Pacific Time, West Wendover remains in Mountain Time. Upon departing West Wendover, motorists will leave the Mountain Time Zone and enter the Pacific Time Zone. West Wendover successfully lobbied to join the Mountain Time Zone to strengthen its economic ties with Utah in October 1999. Like many border communities elsewhere in Nevada, one of the principal draws to West Wendover is the casinos. Photo taken 09/08/05.

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Page Updated May 15, 2012.