“Rich in scenic beauty and natural features”
Rich in scenic beauty and natural features, Antelope Island is the perfect place to view the Great Salt Lake and get a taste of the vast open country found in the Great Basin. Related Articles The largest of the Great Salt Lake's 9 islands, Antelope Island is part of the Utah State Park System. Visitors can reach the park by boat or via automobile over a causeway that extends west from the Layton area. Recreational opportunities abound. White sand beaches beckon to sunbathers and picnickers. Hiking, biking and horseback trails lead to scenic points on the island. A marina serves sailboats, powerboats and kayakers. Campers come to watch beautiful sunrises and sunsets in seclusion found only minutes from their urban homes.
Many people enjoy swimming in the Great Salt Lake's salty water, which is several times more salty than the ocean. Because it is so salty, the water is extra buoyant and people float easily on its surface. From the mainland, the island's 28,022 acres appear barren and deserted. But Antelope Island is home to an astonishing variety of flora and fauna native to the Great Basin. This is a great place to view wildlife.
The island was without its namesake antelope for many years, but they were reintroduced in 1993 and can now be seen in many areas of the park. Deer, bobcats, coyotes, many varieties of birds and waterfowl also call the island home. But most famous are Antelope Island's American Bison, introduced to the island in 1893 and now numbering some 600 animals. Wild animals are often seen by people driving the backroads and hiking or biking the park's trails.
The annual bison roundup each November is a particularly good time to view the bison, and to see techniques used on a working buffalo ranch. Facilities include a marina, beach picnic area and camping areas. RVs are welcome but there are no hookups. The campgrounds have vault toilets. Water is available at the Bridger Bay Beach area on the sides of the beach buildings. Showers are also available at the beach area. A restaurant is available on the island and concessionaires provide other limited goods and services.
Antelope Island is beautiful, but beware if you are heading there to camp in hot summer months - there is very little shade and only a few sites have shaded picnic tables. There are swarms of (non-biting) bugs, and it doesn't cool down too much at night. Bridger Bay is closer to showers and seemed to have more shaded sites than White Cliffs.
I visited a few years back in April. It was a tad chilly but the views were unbelievable. You can see Buffalo around the island as well as spectacular birds and other wildlife. I love the mountain skyline across the lake, it's gorgeous!
I visited in July, and wish I could have stayed longer (which means I must return!). We only had time for a quick day trip, but it was an incredibly impressive one. Aside from the fact that the landscape is gorgeous and you feel at times as though you are alone in the world, there are animals galore. We saw bison all over the place (which was a bit disconcerting at times), antelope (of course!), a snake and other little creatures. It was a perfect day to get out of the city, and next time I'll take a picnic. As well as mosquito repellent.
The park entrance fee is $10 by car. We saw buffalo as we drove around the island, but didn't see much else. Beware starting in April/May for the swarms of biting gnats.
Absolutely beautiful! The campsites were nice with pull throughs. Well maintained with an absolutely beautiful view of the water and mountains. Unfortunately we went in the off season so it was very windy and cold, it also rained over night. The view was truly stunning though. There were covered tables and pits to build a fire and grill in. The bathrooms did not have running water which was really the only downside. There were showers down closer to the water. The visitors center was nice, we didn't really get a chance to look around much unfortunately. The land bridge onto the island provided a very cool view! We saw bison on a hill off in the distance shortly after getting onto the island as well as a couple huge jack rabbits. Would absolutely love to come back and see this island again in the summer!!
Fun place to go, especially if you're into hiking or swimming in giant salty puddles, but beware the smell of the lake that can sometimes be overpowering. Trillions of insects swarm the beaches, but they're harmless and you can check out the bison ranch. Pretty neat.
I visited in January. It was amazing, despite being during the presumably off-peak wildlife viewing time, camping, or swimming season. Don't think of the island as only a summer recreation destination. It has wildlife viewing, hiking, and history available all year.
I saw all of the wildlife I had hope to see except bighorn sheep while driving to and from the Ranch! Northern shoveler, bald eagle, porcupine, pronghorn, bison, mule deer, and many small birds. It was an amazing few hours.
There are many trails on the island. There are trails for all types of hikers and all distances. Ladyfinger Point is 1/4 mile but takes you out to a fun outcropping of rocks to climb on and a great view of Egg Island, a huge rookery. On the other end of difficulty is the 6.5 mile, 2000 ft change in elevation Summit Point trail. There are trails for quick family drive-thrus and trails for avid hikers that are interested in spending all day on the island.
The Ranch has a fun tour through history with a pamphlet you can pick up. At the Ranch you can also book horseback tours of the island. I do not know if this is offered year round, it didn't seem to be open in January.
Apparently there are antelope and bison on this island. I didn't see any, but we only drove as far as the guest/welcome center and then turned back. The park is very pretty. It was very dry during our visit (they had a bad wildfire since then) and as you drive to the island it's almost like going through a white desert. The lake itself is very blue and very still. Lovely reflections. The shoreline is swarming with bugs (they didn't bother me) and lots of sea birds enjoying the bugs. The scrub brush along the entrance has hundreds of spiders, I think they eat the bugs too. The roadway leading to the island and the first pull over on the right once you reach the island are quite smelly (it smells like dead things.) But once you get a bit further into the park it is less noticeable. I loved all of the views and would recommend the trip!
We got some great views and great pictures on Antelope Island. I would recommend hiking and camping as opposed to just driving through. You'll get much more out of it. Also, the lake is in a huge drought right now so the tide is very low.
We saw buffalo here which was VERY cool. We swam in an area, not sure what its called, however it was pretty gross. There were shrimp-like things swimming all around... When we got to our hotel an hour later we found the shrimp things in our bathing suits EW. This was in August of 2014. It was our first time visiting the great salt lake and I'm not sure if the water is usually this yucky but I wouldn't swim in it again.
Overall the area was BEAUTIFUL, I definitely recommend visiting.
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Antelope Island State Park
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