Overview"Sal del Rey" is an ancient salt lake in northern Hidalgo county. Some years back the land around it was pruchased and made into a wildlife refuge. This lake is only about 30 ft above sea level and below the surface there is a salt dome that comes up out of the ground. As a resust, the lake is always at maximum salt saturation. the shores are mainly sand with some mud flats also. Although it is only about 6 miles around, it is a real workout because of the sand and mud. There is an abundance of wildlife in the area including some Neilgy an Asian antelope that can grow to over 500 lbs. In the winter there are many shore birds roosting in the area, and if you go early in the morning or late in the afternoon, you will at least see them leaving or arriving. It is really a great sight.
At certain times of the year (mainly in winter) the north wind will cause water to push up on the south shore causing a thick layer of salt to from from the wave action. It looks like ice!
Trail DescriptionThere are two entrances and either can be hiked or ridden. On the south side off HY 186 there is a parking lot and the trail goes north on a gravel road all the way to the lake shore where it is washed out.
One the east side, off Brush Line Rd. there is also a smaller parking lot and entrance over a grassy double track going west. There are two ways to get to the lake from the east. After traveling west for about 3/4 mile, the road splits into three branches.
Going to the right, (North) parallels the lake for about 1/2 mile along the edge of some brush. Then this road is washed out and there are several places where you can get down into the wash and ride west to the lake. Watch for thorns and catcus!!
Going straight into the brush takes you to an overgrown and washed out single track to the north-west for about 1/4 mile bringing you out to the lake bed. At this point you will see some flowing wells (piped up springs) delivering semi-fresh water. One of the times I went through there there was a herd of javalinas enjoying the water hole.
Going to the left takes you away from the lake along the brush.
As mentioned already, riding around the lake takes a lot of energy due to the soft sand and mud banks in some areas.