In all my years of visiting Salt Lake City, I never knew there was an island off of the “mainland”. While researching for my trip to Utah I wanted to see if I could get up close to the Great Salt Lake. All recommendations came back with Antelope Island State Park as my best bet to see the lake up close. So I put Antelope State Park on my itinerary.
I followed the causeway out to Antelope Island, after paying a small fee to enter the state park. For some reason I had envisioned this causeway much like the causeway out to the Florida Keys… I don’t know why I had that stuck in my head that it was going to be like that… maybe too many episodes of Dexter… but the causeway out to Antelope Park was a mound of raised dirt with a road atop it… still a causeway but certainly no Florida Keys nor Micheal C Hall, much to my dismay!
Once Boomer and I reached the island we took a brief walk on the Lady Finger Trail. It was a quarter-mile walk that ended atop a slight hill overlooking the Salt Lake and Egg Island off in the distance. The trail was rocky terrain, which made it difficult to hang on to Boomer and keep my footing, but the view was impressive.
It had been sprinkling most of the day but started to rain more heavily while we were at Lady Finger. I decided that the visitors center would be a great spot to seek shelter until the weather moved on. Inside the visitors center, I found several artifacts dating the island back about 6,000 years. The park got it’s named after the antelope that inhabited the island when John C Fremont and Kit Carson first explored the island in 1845. In 1848 Fielding Garr constructed the first Anglo-built structure on the island. I did not take a tour of this home but tours are available for anyone interested.
The visitor center was small but it did leave a lasting impression on me. I had never seen a table full of items with a sign that said: “please touch”. Usually, it’s “don’t touch”. So, of course, I picked up the horns and some of the salt calcites to get a better look. The gentleman next to me even mentioned how surprised he was that we were allowed to touch the items on the table! If you do anything at Antelope Island – go to the visitor center and touch everything on that table!
After finishing up at the visitors center Boomer and I followed the roads around without really a purpose, even checking out the campground. We later drove out to Buffalo Point, a small “mountain” on the island and decided to take the trail to the top. It was a 300 foot (92 m) elevation change and looked like the perfect trail for Boomer to pull me to the top! The trail was a short 0.4 miles (643 m).
Boomer and I reached the top of the hill. Although I could see a few buffalo down on the prairies, there were no buffalo at Buffalo Point. Not that I really wanted to see any of them there, as a 2000 lb animal (907 kg) would probably scare me and would for sure result in Boomer hiding behind me. That’s what he does when he’s scared. He is a very “brave” dog.
Although there were no buffalo at the point we did see signs that they frequent the point. There were buffalo chips all over the top of the trail. It reminded me of a story from my childhood. I was probably around 4 years old at the time and raised in the woods. The neighbors had asked my parents if we had seen any bear sign. My parents said no but I piped up and said “but we’ve seen a lot of bear shit”. Impressive young Brittany, very impressive.
There are several more hikes on Antelope Island but most of them were lengthy and we did not have time to attempt them as we had to keep on our way… I’ll be honest I spent too much time at the brewery. If you would like to visit Antelope Island take exit 332 off of I-15 and follow the signs out to the park. It is about 7 miles to the entrance from I-15 and another 6 miles across the causeway. There is a fee to enter the park of $10. Their park hours vary by season so be sure to check their hours before heading out. Leashed dogs are welcome.