Where in the world is Antelope Island? In the wonderful state of Utah! Less than an hour north of Salt Lake City is a fantastic State Park for hiking, outdoor activities and the best views of the Great Salt Lake. The island is over 28,000 acres. When visiting Utah I didn’t want to miss a chance to hike this one!
John C. Fremont and Kit Carson explored Antelope Island in 1845 and Fielding Garr established the first permanent residence on the island in 1848. His ranch house is the oldest Anglo-built structure in Utah still on its original foundation and still occupied. Antelope Island has a unique history of farming and mining. The State Park opened to the public in 1993 and the reintroduction of the prong horned antelope on the island that same year.
When you first drive on the island stop by the visitor center to pick up a map of the different hiking trails, discover the different activities to do, learn about the island’s history, and any daily or monthly events happening in the park. As you begin your journey around the island you will see a variety of wildlife including pronghorn antelope, deer, and a large bison herd. You can even visit the island in the fall and watch the annual bison round-up.
We decided to head out on the trails. We chose the Frary Peak Trailhead which is the highest point on Antelope Island at 6,596 feet and 7 miles round trip. This is a moderate hike. In some areas, the trail seems to disappear and you will climb rocky areas to pick the trail back up.
Once at the top you have magnificent 360-degree view of the island and the Great Salt Lake. We just had to stay awhile and take it all in. Coming back down we diverted somewhat from the trail and saw more wildlife and a variety of birds including owls. Although it took longer to come back, getting off the path sometimes you can find amazing sights!
Antelope Island is a great place to explore. You can mountain bike or horseback ride and the island allows camping and self-contained RV’s. Sunset dinner cruises on the lake are available as well. After a day of exploring head over to the Island Buffalo Grill for a bison burger (the grill is seasonal from March-Nov).
We spent the entire day here. Without a doubt, Antelope Island is one of the many hidden gems in Utah.
TIPS: **Bikes are not allowed on Frary Trail. ***A few of the trails are closed during Mar-May.
For more info on Antelope Island and other Utah State Parks:https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/