Friday, July 15, 2016

Antelope Island State Park, Utah

Walking On Water - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Antelope Island State Park, which is on (no surprise) Antelope Island--the largest island in the Great Salt Lake in Utah--has a land area of 42 square miles. A working ranch was on the island from 1848 through 1981, and now the historical site is a part of the state park.

To get to Antelope Island simply take Antelope Drive west from Interstate 15 in Layton. After paying the entrance fee of $10 per vehicle, a causeway takes you across the lake and onto the island.

There's a building on a hill in front of you as you enter the island. This is the visitors center and a good starting point. It takes a little winding to get to the structure. Inside there is a small museum explaining Antelope Island and a gift shop.

This was our first visit to Antelope Island. We stopped by the visitors center first. We then found a beach at Bridger Bay to explore the shore. The lake is currently low, and so the water is a long ways from the parking area. You have to walk over a bunch of sand to get there.

There was a slight foul stench on the island. It was worse coming across the causeway, but still barely noticeable along the shore. The last six or eight feet of the shore (just before the water) was covered with tiny flying bugs. It was a bit disgusting, but we got over it.
Path To The Shore - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
The lake is salty--much saltier than ocean water. You can float in it (although we never got deep enough to try). The water is very shallow near the shore for some distance, making it ideal for little kids to splash with their feet. There were a lot of good skipping rocks, so we did that. You can see the brine shrimp in the water.

Once we were finished at the beach we made the long trek back to our car. There was a public shower so we could rinse the sand off our feet. Then we drove around some, hoping to find some buffalo, which live on Antelope Island. We passed by a restaurant that looked like a good place to grab some lunch if we were hungry (which we weren't).

On the east side of the island we found a large herd of buffalo. There was a watering hole, and they were gathered near it. We were a ways off, but close enough that we could stop and watch and feel safe.

After about two hours we left. We didn't make it to the historic Fielding Garr Ranch, which I think would have been interesting to see.

Antelope Island has a unique beauty. Initially it looks like a deserted desert island. But once you get out on it and see the reflections in the water and subtly beautiful landscape, you realize the attraction to this place. There are lots of different (and unexpected) wildlife to see. You just have to look past the swarms of bugs and disregard the unpleasant odors.

We had a good time and I hope to visit again soon!
Brush & Water - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Sun Rays Over The Great Salt Lake - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Great Salt Lake View - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Across The Shallow Water - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Sandy Path - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Sand On Antelope Island - Antelope Island, Utah
Model Church & The Great Salt Lake - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Buffalo Grass - Antelope Island State Park, Utah
Buffalo Alone - Antelope Island State Park, Utah

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