Activities & Resources
Antelope Island353in Syracuse, UT 84075
about Antelope Island:
The Visitors Center (801.725.9263) has exhibits and information on the island and the Great Salt Lake. Ask about the historic Fielding Garr Ranch House (801.649.5742), located 10 miles south of the Visitors Center. Wagon rides and horse rentals are available through R&G Horse and Wagon Outfitters (888.878.8002). Call them for rates and schedule, as they change often.
The Bridger Bay Beach is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. The sandy beach is ideal for catching some rays, building castles, kite flying, and more. The lake's water is so salty that staying afloat is easy, in fact swimmers bob like corks. The water is also shallow, so if swimming is on the agenda, plan on walking out quite far before hitting chest-deep water. Be prepared to deal with brine flies and the normal Great Salt Lake stench - they are both regulars around the lake. Bathrooms, showers, and 15 picnic tables with BBQ grills are available at the beach.
Over 500 Bison roam freely around Antelope Island. It is not hard to spot them as they hang out everywhere...beaches, hiking trails etc. Please don't get too close to them. The island is also a well-known birdwatching area, and visitors with keen eyes might also spot bobcats, deer, elk, and coyote.
Antelope Island has over 40 miles of hiking trails. Three of the most popular, shorter hikes are on the north side of the island. The most popular hike is the Buffalo Point Trail. It is only 0.5 miles and rewards the hikers with an incredible view of the island in all directions. Lakeside Trail and Ladyfinger Point are also good short hikes with great views of various island landmarks. Visitors should note that pets are not allowed on the Frary Peak and Sentry trails.
The only place to buy food is at the Buffalo Point Restaurant. Plenty of picnic tables with BBQ grills are available all over the island. The only picnic area that needs a reservation is the Pavilion, which holds 75 people. Bridger Bay Campground and Bridger Bay Beach both offer camping with no hookups for $13/night. Call 888.878.8002 to reserve the Pavilion.
Be warned that the Great Salt Lake has a stench of rotting algae, locally referred to as "lake stink". Depending on the wind, it could make you abandon the whole visit, but most people just get a chuckle out of it and have a delightful day playing in the sand. The odor is usually the strongest along the causeway, and subsides once you reach the island.
Pets are allowed on the island but must be leashed. Pets are not allowed in the facilities or on the beach.
Please note that petting any of the animals on the island is considered harassment of wildlife and is illegal. Also, many children are allergic to the oils in the fur of the mule deer, which results in children being flown to the hospital several times each year. Please keep children at a safe distance!