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Antelope Island State Park
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Overview
Location

Antelope Island State Park, Davis County, Utah

Sights

Wildlife, many different hiking trails, Great Salt Lake

Distance

Depends on what you do

Parking Lot Elevation

4208 ft

Summit Elevation

Frary Peak is 6596 ft

Elevation Gain/Loss

Varies greatly

Time Required

Could be a few hours or a few days

Pets

Allowed on leash but not on trails

Fees

There are entrance fees into the park.

Water Info

Bring 1-3 liters depending on your activity

Best Season

Spring, Fall. Summer is good too but here are lots of bugs

Hours

Open year round but hours vary by season

Sun Exposure

Not a lot of shade on the island

Trail Condition

Great trails and paths for use

Restrooms

Yes. In many locations.

Visitor Center

Yes

Camping

Yes. Reservations required and there are also fees

Food

Bring snacks and meals as needed

Equipment

Bug spray (for warmer months), hat, sunglasses, pack for food and water, camera

Antelope Island is a great place to visit or even camp.  I have been to Antelope Island State Park many times during my life and it is one of my favorite places in Utah.  It is completely surrounded by water from the Great Salt Lake which is incredibly salty!  If you visit in the warmer months I suggest you take a dip in the lake.  

Also, It’s my opinion that Antelope Island has one of the best locations in Utah to view sunsets.

GPS Coordinates:

Park Entrance:  41.089229°, -112.120621°
Visitor Center: 41.055643°, -112.241067°
Antelope Island Marina: 41.060905°, -112.237187°
Bridger Bay Campground: 41.039635°, -112.259636°
White Rocks Campground: 41.027498°, -112.242781°
Fielding Garr Ranch: 40.925750°, -112.167367°

Trail Map


Driving Directions

The only way to access Antelope Island is through the causeway located in Syracuse Utah.  There is a small guard station where you will need to pay an entrance fee depending on the vehicle you are using (bike, car, bus etc).

You are allowed to ride your bike in and it is actually quite fun.  I have biked from the guard station all the way to Bridger Bay and back and next I would love to bike all the way to Fielding Garr Ranch.  The island is popular for biking.

Antelope Island State Park:

Antelope Island has an area of 42 square miles; larger than Manhattan Island by comparison which is only 22.7 square miles.  The island is rich in history from Native Americans and even early pioneer settlers.  John Freemont and even Kit Carson explored the island.  If you love history then I would suggest you visit the visitor center and the Fielding Garr Ranch.

American Bison

American Bison

Antelope Island State Park Antelope Island State Park Antelope Island State Park

Looking towards Antelope Island from Davis County

Looking towards Antelope Island from Davis County

Hiking on the trail

Hiking on the Frary Peak Trail

The island is home to many different types of wildlife such as American bison, bighorn sheep, mule deer and of course antelope.  On every single visit to the island, I have always seen bison along the roadways or even on some of the trails.  It is fascinating to me that even on the highest point on the island, Frary Peak, I have found cow pies, or are they called buffalo pies?  They truly have free reign on the island.

Antelope Island Marina

Antelope Island Marina

American Bison

American Bison

Antelope

Antelope

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You aren’t allowed to hike on the southern portion of the island.  When I asked a ranger why, they said that the southern portion is set up as a conservation area and only guided hikes are allowed.

Antelope Island State Park is open year round but that doesn’t mean all of the services are available year round. For example, the grill at the Bridger Bay Beach has limited winter hours.  Just ask the ranger at the guard station if you have any specific questions.  They are very friendly and love chatting about the island.

Antelope Island State Park

Antelope Island State Park

The island has great activities year round that I would recommend you join.  Some of the activities include tours of the Fielding Garr Ranch, hikes to natural springs, history lectures, cowboy poetry, biking, marathons and the annual buffalo round up.

Birding on Antelope Island

There are millions of birds that pass through the Great Salt Lake on their migratory paths throughout the year and chances are you will have ample opportunities to spot many different kinds.  Here are some of the great pics Josh1990 took (he also provided many other photos in this trek).

Long Billed Curlew

Long Billed Curlew

Yellow Headed Blackbird

Yellow Headed Blackbird

Western Meadowlark

Western Meadowlark

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Hiking on Antelope Island

There are many hiking trails on the island.  I have done almost all of them but my favorite is Fray’s Peak hike which is steep the entire way but offers incredible views of the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Mountains.

Frary Peak and Dooly Knob

Click here to learn about the Frary Peak Hike

Frary Peak

Frary Peak Trail

Buffalo Point

Click here to learn about the Buffalo Point Hike

Buffalo Point Hike

Buffalo Point Hike

Leisure Adventures

There are many low key activities that you can participate in on Antelope Island.  If you want to relax on a white sand beach and enjoy the sun I would suggest you visit Bridger Bay Beach.  If you are interested in the history of the island then you should visit Fielding Garr Ranch

Bridger Bay Beach

Click here to learn more about Bridger Bay Beach

Bridger Bay Beach

Fielding Garr Ranch

Please click here to learn more about the Fielding Garr Ranch

Fielding Garr Ranch

Camping

There are several great places to go camping on the island.  The White Rocks Campground is very large and open and perfect for big groups and horses.  There is also the Bridger Bay Campground which is great for tents and RVs.  Both are open year round and provide restrooms and fire pits.

Mining Activities on Antelope Island

I love mining history and naturally I had to dig pretty deep (pun intended) to find anything about the mines on Antelope Island.  Since Antelope Island is under the jurisdiction in Davis County, I had to go to the Davis County Recorder’s Office to find any mining records.  I found evidence that there were mining activities conducted but to what level and degree is left unknown.  I found hundreds of mining claims filed for the island but it sounds like there wasn’t any significant mining operations going on.

There were several iron mines, which may be impossible to get to due to the fact that they are located on the southern part of the island which is blocked.  On Google earth I can see what may be some tailings but I have yet to personally go visit and check it out but I imagine that when the island was made a state park, rangers came by and closed all the mines for safety and liability concerns.  I have spoken with several rangers about mines and even springs on the island and I got very vague answers saying “there might have been mines on the island but nothing big”.  They are pretty tight lipped about the water springs, mines and Native American artifacts – can you blame them?

Regardless, I will post the gps coordinates for where I think the mines were located below.

GPS Coordinates to mines on Antelope Island

Mine 1:  40.954636°, -112.215790°
Mine 1:  40.930469°, -112.221173°
Mine 1:  40.943449°, -112.202566°

Personal Thoughts:

I really enjoy coming out here to Antelope Island.  It is quiet and peaceful and I feel like I’m in a different world.   If you want a quick escape from the city then you should come visit the park. Bring family and friends and have a picnic!

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Ratings (out of 10)
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Difficulty
2.5
2.2
Technicality
2.0
1.8
Enjoyment
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6.6
The Bottom Line

Difficulty is basically the length, duration and stress of the Trek. If the Trek is really long then it will receive a higher rating. If the Trek is short then it won't receive that high of a rating. However, difficulty rating also includes how tired we were at the end of the Trek.

Technicality is how strenuous the Trek is. If there is lots of bouldering or if there is bushwhacking involved then the rating will be higher. Technicality also includes if there are steep inclines or the need for ropes and other equipment.

Enjoyment is strictly how much fun we had doing the Trek. Regardless of how tired and exhausted we were, if we had a ton of fun doing the Trek then it will receive a higher rating.

7.5
Trek Planner Rating
3.5
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About The Author
Jeff Johnson
Questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you! JeffTJohnson@ymail.com

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