Idaho - Day 5 - Iosepa, Saltair & Great Salt Lake and Salt Lake City
As we packed up the tent one last time, the wind continued to rage. We threw everything in the car and enjoyed our coffee from the inside. It was a sad, but exciting day. We were going to be able to shower and check out another city, but it was also the last full day of the trip.
On our way to Salt Lake City, we had a few more roadside stops we wanted to make. Iosepa, Utah is a ghost town of sorts. 7 miles off the highway in the middle of nowhere, was once a thriving Hawaiian settlement. They founded the area in 1889 and the population peaked in 1915. Yet, only two years later, many returned to the islands and Iosepa became deserted.
Now-a-days, the once “town” is only bustling one weekend a year. Many islanders and westerners will return on Memorial Day weekend to celebrate their heritage and their family who settled here.
After jumping back on the highway, it was off to the Great Salt Lake! Saltair - The Cursed Resort, sits on the shore. The original Saltair Pavilion opened in 1893 as an entertainment and amusement hub. A fire destroyed the building in 1925 and a second Saltair was built on the same spot. 6 years later - another fire. Then, the lake receded and the pavilion was no longer “on the water”. A third fire completely destroyed the second building in 1970. The building you see today was built in the ‘80s, about a mile from the location of the first two. It mostly sits empty, but is used as a concert venue from time to time.
We walked around the building to check out the architecture and saw some hang gliders flying above. Behind the Saltair, a mile or so roundtrip walk takes you to the edge of the water. We walked across the salt bed and enjoyed the “beach” for a bit.
At this point, we were so ready to get to our Airbnb and shower, but we had a few hours until check-in. In some neighborhood just outside of Salt Lake City, apparently someone bought a house and turned it into a replica of the house from the movie Up.
We drove by and it was cool to see, but there’s not much to it. At this point, we were starving and hadn’t heard back from our host and were tired of driving. So naturally, the drive from the Up house to our Airbnb was the worst of the trip.
After cooking hot dogs in a gas station parking lot, we decided to just go to our Airbnb and wait until check-in. After eventually getting in and hauling all of our semi-packed camping gear upstairs, it was finally time to shower!
At this point, it was mid-afternoon and we weren’t totally ready for dinner, but we didn’t want to spend our last night just sitting in our Airbnb. We were hoping to find somewhere to get a drink or two, explore downtown and then grab our last meal. If you didn’t know, Utah has the most insane drinking laws and it can be very difficult to find a bar to just grab a drink, without also getting food. We took a chance with a place and called an Uber. It turned out to be our favorite spot and we even ended the night with one last drink there. Check out Bar X, if you’re ever in the city. Beer Bar is attached and has the food if you want to eat as well.
It was a relaxing, but enjoyable final night. We loved getting back to nature and also having the chance to enjoy a couple downtown areas during the same trip. Boise and the entire state of Idaho are definitely underrated and we highly recommend giving it a visit!
Thanks for following along on our journey, we can’t wait to be on the road again!