Crystal Bay Anchorage
Crystal Bay, just off the north tip of Stansbury Island, has been one of the most popular overnight anchorages for many sailors over the numerous years people have been cruising the Great Salt Lake. The anchorage gets its name from the crystal clear water that can usually be found in the bay. The bottom is mostly sandy which lends itself to good holding for anchors. But, if you venture too far into the bay, you will encounter numerous tufa reef mounds. This can force sailors to anchor farther north where they may be exposed to swells from the north and the east.
Navigation to Crystal Bay
Navigation to Crystal Bay is straight forward. You will want to plot a course that will keep you about 2 miles east of Sandy Beach Bay so as to avoid the numerous bioherm (tufa) mounds located in that bay. Taking a heading of 305° magnetic for 16.8 nautical miles will keep you clear of the Sandy Beach Bay Reef. Following the coordinates below will keep you over deep sandy bottom with a lake level of 4196’ or more.
GPS Coordinates for Approach to Crystal Bay (Datum WGS 84)
NAME NORTH WEST
CRS 1 40° 56.039’ 112° 28.067’
CRS2 40° 56.248’ 112° 28.713’
CRS 3 40° 56.365’ 112° 29.251’
CRS 4 40° 56.431’ 112° 30.045’
CRS 5 40° 56.442’ 112° 30.507’
CRS6 40° 56.336’ 112° 30.763’
CRS 7 40° 56.181’ 112° 30.967’
If you plan to go ashore on Stansbury Island be aware that much of the Island is private and the land owner WILL prosecute for trespassing. With that said, the south end of the bay is Tooele County property and has some trails that can be walked. There is a tourist kiosk located there.
On the north tip of Stansbury Island is located a small marina owned and operated by the Brine Shrimp Co-op. The marina is included in the Safe Harbor agreement we have and can be used in rough weather. But it is frowned on to trespass onto the land base of the marina.
If you keep your visit to the island just to the beach you should be fine. There is some remnants of an old sailboat along the beach that has burned up.
Far to the south in the bay you will notice a collection of trailers. They are located at the OSI and Co-op marinas. DO NOT TRY to venture into these marinas unless you know very well what you are doing. There is a long narrow channel that leads into the marinas. The walls of the channel come up abruptly and one could have a very hard grounding. Although these two marinas are part of the Safe Harbor agreement navigation into the marinas is so tough that it leaves them almost useless for this purpose. If you can successfully navigate the channel the east marina offers great protection from the waves. Do not use the west marina. It is too shallow to get into.
Bring repellant. The bugs can be bad along the shore.