Antelope IslandJust 41 miles north of Salt Lake City lies Antelope Island, the largest of nine islands in the Great Salt Lake.  And with the levels of Great Salt Lake up again, canoeing or kayaking on Utah’s “inland sea” is once again possible.  Saltwater sunbathing at Bridger Bay with its white sandy beaches, pavilions, and showers, is a unique experience. Because the water is several times saltier than the ocean, you float very easily.  Other popular activities include hiking, biking, and horseback riding on more than 36 miles of trails. Photography, bird watching and viewing wildlife are also enjoyed here, but don’t leave too early; the island is known for its spectacular sunsets.  Antelope Island is home to bison, deer, coyotes, antelope, bighorn sheep, shorebirds, and waterfowl. At the southeast side of the island, the Fielding Garr Ranch is worth a visit.  Garr Springs was used by indigenous people and wildlife long before the ranch was built here.

 

Every fall, there is a bison roundup, where the park’s herd of 600 free-roaming bison is moved from the southern tip of the Island to the bison corrals on the northern end of the island.  Friday, October 28th and Saturday, October 29th, will mark the 25th year for the annual roundup.  The best viewing opportunities are from the East Shore Road.  If you miss the roundup, you can still watch veterinarians and state wildlife biologists screen the herd the following week. Some will be sold at public auction in order to keep the herd at a healthy number that the island can sustain.

 

Other weekend activities in the fall include Star Parties hosted by the Park staff and Ogden Astronomical Society, Junior Ranger programs, and geology hikes with the Park Naturalist.   Fall is a great time to visit, with fewer crowds (including the bothersome flying kind which can be unbearable in the summer)!  A visit to Antelope Island could easily be added to our Arches and Canyonlands trip, also a great fall destination. Call (800) 247-0970 to find out more about planning a trip that is tailored to meet your every expectation.

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