Bonneville Salt Flats looking north toward the Silver Island Mountains and Floating Island (small and to the right).
While on our recent trip to Ogden, Utah, MOH and I stopped at the northern of two view-oriented rest stops located on I-80 near the Salduro railroad siding about 8 miles east of the Utah-Nevada border (MSRMaps location). Both rest stops provide good viewing of the Bonneville Salt Flats. From the northern rest stop parking lot you can walk out onto the flats, or at least to the edge of the flats, depending on water level or dryness.
I didn't walk out very far, just to water's edge. A few other people were out a little farther; someone was collecting salt in large bags, probably for personal use.
A chunk of salt in its native habitat.
MOH brought a small piece of salt home, to add to our mostly unlabeled mineral collection. This is the side with the largest crystals.
Side view of same salt chunk.
View of the opposite side. One of the two sides had encrusted a surface of some kind; I'm not really sure which side was up and which was down.
Salt, more properly known as halite or NaCl, is a cubic mineral.
Cubes on top of cubes.
Halite is a relatively soft mineral with a Mohs Hardness of 2½, meaning that it's barely not scratchable with your fingernail (which is also 2½), but it can be scratched by almost anything else, including a copper penny, a knife, a piece of glass, and steel. Halite tastes salty (surprise!), but not as bitter as the related potassium salt, sylvite (KCl).
Potash (mostly KCl) is mined from the Bonneville Salt Flats, as is magnesium chloride brine, which is used to produce magnesium metal and chlorine gas (for various purposes), and magnesium chloride, which is used as a dust suppressant on dirt roads and for other products.
A Few Links:
Mineral production from the Great Salt Lake
Mining and land speed records come together at Bonneville Salt Flats
View halite with a petrographic scope at Life in Plane Light