Lakeside is the small spit of land on the western side of the Lake where the Lucin cutoff and its associated train traffic transitions from exposed salt flats to lakeshore. The site has been used by railroad workers for various support tasks. To its south lie the Lakeside mountains, a 13 mile long north-south trending group of mountains with a high point of 6,625 feet at Craner Peak. Western Shoshone peoples called the Lakeside Mountains Pokotsi-Kate, for “lizard seat”.

Aerial view over Lakeside Mountains, looking southeast toward Great Salt Lake, with Gunnison Island in middle distance. Photo taken on March 14th 1995, From Utah Test and Training Range Photograph Collection, Marriott Digital Library.

Click here for the full oral history with Bonnie Baxter

Bonnie Baxter is a professor of biology at Westminster College in Salt Lake City and the director of the Great Salt Lake Institute. Fascinated by science from a young age, she pursued work in genetics and DNA. Her interest has always been in liberal arts education, which is how she found Westminster College, and, in turn, began her relationship with the Great Salt Lake. She studies halophiles (salt-loving bacteria) and works with people of widely divergent backgrounds who are also interested in the Lake. Through the Great Salt Lake Institute, she has encouraged interdisciplinary relationships between people all over the world. Dr. Baxter discusses her work with the Lake at some length and shares her favorite areas. She also emphasizes the importance of interaction with the ecosystem and believes strongly that children need to be involved with that interaction.

Aerial view of munitions storage bunkers on the Utah Test and Training Range near the Lakeside Mountains west of the Great Salt Lake. Photo taken Amrch 14th 1995. From the Utah Test and Training Range Photograph Collection, Marriott Digital Library. 

Southern Pacific locomotive 6881 being rerailed at Lakeside, Utah on the west side of the Great Salt Lake. The two mobile cranes were required to put this locomotive back on the track after a derailment because the locomotive weights over 200 tons. Taken in 1990. Donor and Photog: Mike B. Davis. From Classified Photo Collection, Copyright Utah State Historical Society. 

View of the Lucin Cutoff from Lakeside, on the West side of the Great Salt Lake. August 4th, 2020. Photo by Greg Smoak.