You Don’t Have to Drive to Utah to Experience A Great Salt Lake
We've all heard of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The Bible is full of stories about The Dead Sea in Israel. Until recently, I was unaware that Texas has it's own Great Salt Lake.
It's called La Sal Del Ray or "The King's Salt". This incredible inland lake sits on top of four million tons of salt and is roughly ten times saltier than the ocean. It is situated in the southern most part of Texas near Edinburg, Texas about 7 hours drive from San Angelo.
The lake is 530 acres and is naturally-occurring. The pristine blue clear waters are like the waters of the Dead Sea. Few people swim in the waters, but if you do, you will want to keep your mouth and your eyes shut. There are crunchy sand deposits on the beaches and visitors often find beautiful salt crystals amongst the salt sands.
There are two other smaller salt lakes nearby. East Lake, La Sal Blanca is right next to La Sal Del Ray still within the confines of the Rio Grande National Wildlife Refuge. There is also La Sal Vieja which is about 30 minutes by car from the other two salt lakes.
The Great Salt Lake of Texas is an incredible place to see native birds. Nearly 10% of the world's population of Long-Billed Curlews use the lakes as their roosting sites during winter months. The Long-billed Curlew is the largest shorebird in North America and is on the highly imperiled species list.
At La Sal Del Rey there are also large populations of Black-necked Stilts Killdeer, Sonwy Lover and Least Terns who nest. For that reason predator fencing is installed and access to the lake is limited in winter months. The lakes are also a stopover point for Wilson's Phalaropes and Eared Grebes as well as Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese.
Whenever you visit the salt lakes of Texas, your friends won't believe your social media snapshots when you tell them they were taken in Texas. The views are spectacular and the rare birds make the experience even more dramatic. It seems you can experience the world, and never leave the state.