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Jesse Weber | 05.19.2017

Antelope Island State Park is a getaway into nature in surprisingly close proximity to Salt Lake City. Only an hour's drive escapes the city bustle and puts you on the sandy shore of this idyllic island in the Great Salt Lake that is rich with scenery, wildlife, and recreation. Locals and visitors alike should take the chance to experience all that Antelope Island has to offer.

1. Sunsets

The island's west shore is the perfect place to watch the color show as sunlight settles over the lake and sinks below the mountains. The valley is famous for its sunsets, and there is no better place than Antelope Island to catch them.

2. Beaches

Many varieties of picturesque shoreline hem the island, from craggy outcrops to rocky bars, but also sandy beaches that are perfect for lounging and swimming. When heat and bugs are a nuisance in the summer, the water is the place to be. To feel what it's like to float in the saline waters of the Great Salt Lake, spend the day at Bridger Bay Beach or White Rock Bay.

3. Wildlife

Buffalo, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, and mule deer roam the island, and your chances of seeing them are pretty good if you spend time hiking or biking around. In the fall you can witness the annual buffalo roundup, when cowboys corral the herd so scientists can monitor their health. The island is also teeming with bird life, including songbirds, waterfowl, shore birds, and migratory species.

4. Trails

There are many miles of multi-use trails on the island for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Leaving the road is the only way to really explore this diverse and rugged landscape. The best views are from the island's highest point, Frary Peak, or from the shorter spur trail to Dooley Knob. Easy and rewarding hikes along the shoreline include Buffalo Point and Lady Finger Point trails.

5. Camping

Camping is great year round on the island, especially during the shoulder seasons of early spring and late fall when weather and colors are changing. Summer is great for taking advantage of the campgrounds' lakeside locations. Bugs get bad in the summer, however, so bring bug spray and netting.

Families, couples, groups--hikers, bikers, photographers, beach-goers, bird watchers--everyone can discover something new right outside the city. So get out there and find your own reason to love Antelope Island State Park.


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