Eardley Spit Ancorages


Eardley Spit Anchorages
Eardley Spit is one of the nicest and well protected anchorages on the Great Salt Lake. The spit is a fault line running from west to east out approximately five miles into the Great Salt Lake forming the north border of Grantsville Bay. It offers good holding for anchors and protection from the two predominant wind directions. If the wind is blowing from the north you can tuck into the south end of the spit. When the wind is coming from the south you can move to the north end of the spit.
The south end is good holding ground with a sandy bottom and relatively free of bioherms. The north end also has good holding ground with a sandy bottom. But you must be careful how far you venture west on the north end of the spit. There is a large bioherm complex to the north and west of the spit. This bioherm complex is known as Atlantis and has grounded many sailboats and even a few planes.
The eastern third of Eardley Spit is just barely under the water surface at a lake level of 4198’. During higher water levels most of the spit will be under water. The rest of the spit forms nice sandy beaches. Never try to cross over the spit. It is just too shallow. The spit rises abruptly from the lake bottom on each side. It is like a steep ridge. Pay close attention to your depth sounder as you approach the spit.
There is a warning buoy about a quarter mile due east of the end of the spit. This buoy is white and has a white light that blinks every two seconds. The spit begins to rise abruptly just west of the buoy.
When leaving the Great Salt Lake Marina head on a bearing of 257°. This should put your bow pointing towards the very northern tip of Stansbury Mountain range.   Stay well north of Black Rock to avoid running aground on Black Rock Reef. It sticks out a few miles north of Black Rock.  Keep on a bearing of 257° for 3.7 miles until you see the Eardley Spit warning buoy. From here you will need to choose the southern or northern path around the spit.
Eardley spit is on State Lands so feel free to go ashore there.   Open fires are NOT permitted though.
Southern Eardley Spit Anchorage
The southern Eardley Spit Anchorage is the more popular of the two anchorages. Grantsville Bay to the south of the spit is a relatively deep bay with 15’ to 20’ of water in the bay. The favored anchorage is in about 10 feet of water just as the spit starts to rise abruptly.   Follow the red path shown above. ES1 is your first waypoint. Keep following the path to ES2 and ES3. This will keep you in deep water from 13’ to 20’ depending on the lake level.
The preferred anchoring site is between waypoints ES3 and ES4. You can venture as far west as ES5 but you may start to encounter bioherms.   Once reaching the preferred waypoint start heading north until you see the bottom begin to abruptly rise. Choose an anchor site that is about 10’ of water. 
GPS Coordinates for the Southern Approach
NAME                   NORTH                 WEST                     NOTE
Eardley                 40° 44.513’          112° 17.899’        Warning Buoy
ES1                      40° 44.079’          112° 17.916’        Just south of the Eardley Spit Warning buoy
ES2                         40° 43.921’          112°18.752’
ES3                         40° 43.838’          112° 19.739’        Starting of the anchorage area
ES4                         40° 43.796’          112° 20.649’        Good anchorage here
ES5                         40° 43.782’          112° 21.800’        Use only when water is higher
All Coordinates are in Datum WGS 84
Northern Eardley Spit Anchorage
The northern Eardley Spit Anchorage is a fine anchorage. But do not venture too far west or you will start to encounter large bioherms. Follow the orange path shown above. EN1 will be your first waypoint. Keep following the path until you get to EN3.  This is the preferred anchorage site.   You can venture farther west to EN4 but you will start to encounter bioherms any farther west.
Once you reach waypoint EN3 start turning south until you reach a depth of about 10’ of water. Drop anchor here. This should put you on a good sandy bottom with good anchorage holding.
GPS Coordinates for the Northern Approach
NAME                   NORTH                 WEST                     NOTE
EN1                        40° 44.761’          112° 17.964’        Start your approach here
EN2                        40° 44.850’          112° 18.826’
EN3                        40° 44.994’          112° 19.778’        Good anchorage here
EN4                        40° 45.090           112° 20.714’        Watch for bioherms
ALL Coordinates are in Datum WGS 84