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Salt Lake Beach, Manitoba – A Wonderful Place to Visit

Salt Lake Beach in the morning with car camping set up

Introducing Salt Lake Beach

Hopefully you’re here because you were searching the Great Salt Lake in Utah and accidentally clicked on this link. I only say this because Salt Lake Beach in Manitoba is not nearly as hot of a commodity, but don’t go away! You’re about to learn plenty of cool stuff about an area that deserves attention. 

I happened upon Salt Lake Beach while on a recent road trip across Canada. If you have ever done this drive before, you are well aware of the lack of….. stuff, along the way. That’s why it’s especially nice to come across a body of water on such a long and dry (both literally and figuratively) journey. 

Salt Lake Beach is a great location to visit if you’re passing through, and it’s an even better location if you’re a local that never new about it before. This article is going to go through all that you need to know about visiting Salt Lake Beach, and the wonderful folks who keep it going. 

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Are you headed out on a road trip, too? We’ve prepared the Ultimate Packing List for a Road Trip here! Check it out!

Are you going to be camping along the way? We’ve got a list for that too! Here’s the Ultimate Packing List for Camping

We love lists around here. That’s why we also wrote a list for backpacking. Come on adventurers, and read the Ultimate Packing List for Backpacking

How do I get There? 

Nice nig picnic table on the shore of salt lake beach

Salt Lake Beach is located in southwestern Manitoba, and it’s only about 20 minutes off of the main south highway that takes you across Canada. It’s located in a small municipality called Lenore. If you’re looking on a map, you’ll notice that there is North Salt Lake, and Salt Lake. North Salt Lake is basically the bigger sibling of Salt Lake. 

Salt Lake Beach is just a short detour off of highway 1. You’ll be driving down a gravel road for about 10 minutes of the detour, so make sure that you have the appropriate vehicle to do such a road. The road is in great condition, but gravel is always subject to change if there’s intense weather. 

Once you’re down the gravel road there will be a sharp left turn to get you into the parking lot for Salt Lake Beach. We warned that it is quite a steep hill to get down to the beach area, but our Subaru did it no problem. It is not the easiest place to find, so be safe and just keep the area in your maps app to get you there. 

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What is there to do at Salt Lake Beach? 

Lovely grounds at salt lake beach with fire pits and tables

There was something really quaint about visiting Salt Lake Beach. It was rather late in the season when I visited, so I was the only person there with my dog. After a long day in the car, my dog was super happy to run around in the nicely maintained, green grass. 

Salt Lake Beach is a great place to spend the day, and I even camped there overnight without being disturbed! The lake itself is really quite small, with a nice splash of clean, fine sand. There is a small boat launch on the lake, large garbage cans in several areas, picnic tables, fire pits, and outhouses. 

If you’re planning on visiting Salt Lake Beach, you can spend the day however you would like. You can swim there, you can do a little fishing, some sunbathing, you could play frisbee, pack a picnic, build a fire, or just watch the sunset. There is a nearby farm with free range cows who often relax by the shore on the other side of the beach. 

The main thing that I noticed about Salt Lake Beach was that it felt like so much care was put into the place. The garbage cans were completely empty (which is incredibly rare for public beaches and parks), there was not a single piece of litter on the ground, and everything was just where it should be.

Where the care is most noticed, is in the outhouses. Just coming back from a 5 week road trip, I was pretty much relegated to only using outhouses the entire time, and lemme tell ya, it was bleak. The outhouses at Salt Lake Beach were freshly painted white, perfectly clean, completely stocked with toilet paper, and there was absolutely no foul smell. Honestly, they should receive an award for best place to go to the bathroom in Canada other than your own house. 

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Tossing another list at ya: we’ve created the Ultimate Packing List for a Day at the Beach. Check it out!

What is a Salt Lake?

The salt lake beach on a cloudy day

Now I’ve visited both the Great Salt Lake and this Salt Lake, but still had no idea why they were salt lakes and how they formed, so I did a little bit of research into that. If the Great Salt Lake is the biggest in the western hemisphere (with highs of 3,300 square miles), this one is probably the smallest at less than a mile wide. 

Salt lakes are formed when water flowing into a certain body of water cannot leave, because the water body is endorheic, meaning that it is terminal and has no outward flowing outlets. Because of this, the salt and minerals from the inward flow of water have nowhere to go, build up and create the salt lake. 

Since the only way that water can leave the water body is by evaporation, the salt and mineral content can become quite intense. Most salt lakes have a far higher salinity level than oceans, meaning that you are quite buoyant in this type of water. 

Most salt lakes (also known as brine lakes) form in arid climates around the world, and develop as a result of high evaporation rates. These types of lakes are subject to high evaporation which causes massive decreases in water throughout the year, and they could eventually dry up completely.

Fun Fact Alert!!!: did you know that at it’s lowest point, the Great Salt Lake in Utah went from a massive 3,300 square miles to a mere 950 square miles in a year? If the lake shrunk to extinction, it would turn into a toxic dust bowl and literally poison the area of Salt Lake city. Creepy! 

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I noticed a common question being asked about salt lakes: can you swim in a salt lake? The answer is, yes and no. It really depends on the lake that you are visiting. The dead sea is one of the most famous salt lakes on the planet, and people far and wide go there to try and swim.

You cannot actually swim in the dead sea because it’s so saline that you can’t submerge completely. In a water body this salty, it is advised not to enter with any wounds or cuts or if you’ve recently shaved. You also should avoid dunking your head or getting any in your mouth, and stay in for a maximum of 10 minutes. 

The water at Salt Lake Beach isn’t that saline, but it still is very salty. Some folks make not like the smell or the feeling of water that salty, but as long as you don’t stay in for a super long amount of time, you’ll be alright. And don’t drink it! 

Why is Salt Lake Beach Special? 

Lovely lawn and outhouses at salt lake beach manitoba

Now the reason why I felt like Salt Lake Beach deserved such a big shout out was because this beach is completely volunteer-run by the locals of Lenore. The “Salt Lake Committee” formed in 2008 in an effort to clean up the beach.

The committee applied for grants to get new sand added to the shoreline, and to have more water added to the lake when it was at a severely low level. Locals donated all of the picnic tables, benches, and fire pits, and the Oak Lake Foundation donated trees and shrubs to plant. 

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The cleanliness of the area and the inviting nature of it is entirely thanks to the committee and the volunteers who are so dedicated to keeping it a nice place to visit for their community. Salt Lake Beach is so special because of these people, and their efforts can be noticed the minute you arrive. 

FAQs

Is there drinking water at Salt Lake Beach?

If you’re headed out for a day at the beach with your loved ones, make sure that you pack a ton of water with you! There is no potable water available at the beach itself, so it’s always a good idea to bring more than you need. After all, water bottles tend to get spilled! 

It’s also important to note that the average water filter won’t be able to make the salt water of the lake itself clean and safe enough for you to drink. 

Does it get busy at Salt Lake Beach? 

Salt Lake Beach may not be well known by the world, but it’s certainly well known by locals! It’s a great place to cool down in the summer months, or to have a fire or bbq when it gets a little bit cooler. The Salt Lake Beach Committee recently had a 10 year anniversary and over 100 people showed up! 

Can you camp at Salt Lake Beach?

Though there are not campsites at the beach, there are also no signs that are prohibiting overnight camping. I stayed there for car camping for an evening, but that was mostly because I was completely alone at the beach. It may not be the best idea if it’s a super busy evening, but it’s a peaceful and tranquil place to sleep without anybody around. 

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Are there bathrooms are Salt Lake Beach?

The bathrooms at Salt Lake Beach are AMAZING. Now they are outhouses, but they are the most nicely maintained and clean outhouses I have ever seen. The stalls are recently painted white, they are perfectly clean, and they somehow managed to get rid of any foul smells. Honestly, 10/10 outhouse. 

Does it cost money to visit Salt Lake Beach?

Visiting Salt Lake Beach is entirely free for visitors. There is a little donation box at the front to help support the committee that maintains the grounds. 

How much parking is there at Salt Lake Beach? 

On a busy day, one may have to park along the side of the gravel road coming into the beach area. There is a large grassy area and a small gravel area where cars could fit as well. 

Can you bring pets to Salt Lake Beach?

Pets are totally allowed at Salt Lake Beach as long as owners are respectful and diligent about cleaning up after their pets! I let my dog off leash while I was there because there was nobody around and she really needed to stretch her legs. If the beach were busy, it would be more considerate to keep your pet on a leash. 

Is swimming allowed at Salt Lake Beach? 

I noticed a common question being asked about salt lakes: can you swim in a salt lake? The answer is, yes and no. It really depends on the lake that you are visiting. The dead sea is one of the most famous salt lakes on the planet, and people far and wide go there to try and swim.

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You cannot actually swim in the dead sea because it’s so saline that you can’t submerge completely. In a water body this salty, it is advised not to enter with any wounds or cuts or if you’ve recently shaved. You also should avoid dunking your head or getting any in your mouth, and stay in for a maximum of 10 minutes. 

The water at Salt Lake Beach isn’t that saline, but it still is very salty. Some folks make not like the smell or the feeling of water that salty, but as long as you don’t stay in for a super long amount of time, you’ll be alright. And don’t drink it!