Antelope Island State Park
(801) 725-9263 Visitor Center
Antelope Island State Park is most famous for its wildlife, camping, and scenic landscape. Swimming and hiking are also pretty popular along the island. It’s a great place to take the kids for an outdoor adventure and spend the day experiencing nature. A few years ago, we first had the opportunity to visit. When my parents came to visit us in Salt Lake recently, Antelope Island was among the top things to do on our list. The kids couldn’t wait to show grandpa and grandma all the wildlife and go hiking.
Antelope Island is the largest of the nine islands in the Great Salt Lake. With just a short hike, you can enjoy the view of neighboring cities such as Syracuse, Layton, Roy, Ogden, and Salt Lake City.
Depending on the time of the year that you tour the state park, a variety of wildlife can be found. When we went in July, there were HUNDREDS of bison roaming all over the island. Bobcats, antelope, coyotes, deer and many species of waterfowl inhabit the island. It quickly became a game of sorts to see who could find a bison first or how many we could see. We stopped counting after about 100. These creatures are not tame and it is THEIR home, so be cautious when they get near you. All in all, I think this was our kids’ favorite part of visiting Antelope Island.
We really love to hike and there are some easy trails found on Antelope Island. Parker has short legs and it takes him time to walk the trails so it usually takes longer to hike up to the top. Generally speaking, though, you could easily hike to the top of some trails in about 30 minutes. The hills can get a bit steep and rocky so make sure you have good walking shoes, water, and adequate lighting. I say lighting because it’s not uncommon for visitors to stay until sundown. The sunsets are breathtaking while sitting at the summit.
There are campgrounds that include RV parking but they don’t have hookups. The campgrounds also have vault toilets. The park also has showers located at the beach area. Want to have a picnic next to the Great Salt Lake? Antelope Island has you covered. If you really don’t want to bring food to the island, there is a restaurant and other concessionaires that provides food and services. The picnic tables are covered. But we saw a lot of people just sitting out on the beach eating their food.
Ranch tours and horseback riding are also available. You will need to make reservations fot the horseback riding, so schedule that at 801-726-9514.
There is a visitor’s center on the north end of the island. The kids enjoyed the activities there and the adults enjoyed hearing about the history of Antelope Island State Park. There is also a gift shop, a water refilling station, and restrooms available at that location.
Antelope Island can be reached either by boat or by the causeway that is just west of Layton. There is a fee to get in. It’s $10 a day per vehicle or $5 for Utah residents with a senior discount. There are other restrictions/fees that apply so check their website for more details: http://www.Utah.com/StateParks/Antelope_Island.htm. Also, check their website to make reservations for camping.