A Secret Gem: Antelope Island

I wonder how many Utahans have lived here their whole life and not visited Antelope Island. Morning on Antelope Island

Antelope Island is a literal island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake.  About 30 minutes north of downtown Salt Lake, it’s a quick jaunt but appears to be another world all together.

In stark contrast from the rest of Utah, when you stand on Antelope Island, you no longer feel landlocked.  If you can tune out the terrible smell of dying brine shrimp and salt (yes, really..) then you can really enjoy yourself here.  There is some great hiking and wildlife viewing on the island.  We always see pronghorn antelope, foxes, mule deer, and sometimes if you are lucky- a bighorn sheep.  And of course Antelope Island is most well known for it’s 900 free range bison that roam the island.  Rounding the corner and seeing herd of bison along the water is a pretty amazing sight.

Photo break during our hike on Buffalo Point Trail    Millie, the best hiking pal

Our most recent weekend trip to the island was filled with hiking and wildlife scrambling.  We love to take a short trail called Buffalo Point Trail and then scramble on tons of large, crackily, boulders. (Crackily, that’s a word right? I mean, you get it.)  We actually ran into a small group of about 8 mule deer during this hike.  We were so close to them, but our loud voices scared them away! We should always be quieter hikers 🙂

Another fun thing to do on the island is to drive down to the ranch.  They will sometimes herd bison to the ranch, but is also a cool place to explore.  They have free tours that give you history and information about the area, and there are some cool things for kiddos to try out like lassoing and checking out old farm equipment.  At the very least, a drive down to the ranch ensures you will see some more bison.

AntelopeIsland_014   AntelopeIsland_016

In conclusion- any Utahans looking for a fun day hike need to check out Antelope Island! It’s $10 per car to get in and well worth the fee to explore this 11 mile long island full of hiking, bison, and scenic vistas.

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