Let’s discover today Antelope Island State Park in Utah (USA), located 40 miles north of salt lake City.
With its 15 miles long, it is the largest island in the Great Salt Lake. But it is not for its length that this island is so attractive. It is a unique site for nature enthusiasts, wildlife viewers, geologists, amateur photographers…). It is a place of a striking beauty, away from the crowd.
Enjoy the scenary!
1. Discover Antelope Island State Park and Great Salt Lake
We have just left Grand Teton National Park, magnificent wild environment where we have spent a few days to hike. Now, being in the capital of Utah, we have decided to discover Great Salt Lake, a remnant of a prehistoric lake. The best way to discover this vast area of salty waters is to visit Antelope Island State Park.
Desiring to make the most of this completely protected environment, we leave early in the morning to get there. From Salt Lake City, the island can only be reached through Antelope Drive (6 miles) that overlooks the banks of the Great Salt Lake. On the way, we are already subjugated by the scenic beauty. A subdued light is scattered by the bright sandbanks of the lake. The shadows are so soft that the shores of Antelope Island become fused with their own reflection on the salty waters.
2. Encounter with a discreet animal, the badger
We pull off the road to admire this incredible landscape. Suddenly, a visitor is coming to us. “I have just seen a badger sneaking around the big pebbles on the shore of Great Salt Lake. This animal is very rare and difficult to see,” he tells us.
We make a careful observation of the surroundings. Suddenly, we have a glimpse of an animal with brown fur, 35 inches long, running near us. It is obviously in search of food. No sooner did we took a quick picture that the discreet animal had disappeared behind the rocks bordering the lake.
This is the first time we have seen a badger!
3. A bison may hide another one …
After the park entrance, we take the unique road along the east coast of Antelope Island State Park. On the way, we meet its main residents, antelopes, bighorn sheeps and bisons which are grazing without paying attention to the few visitors. We are surprised to see as many of them, in a larger number compared to those we’ve observed in Yellowstone National Park. In fact, Antelope Island State Park is home to the largest herd of bisons in Utah. Given their number (about 600), on a small surface like the island, we can’t miss them!
Forget your fishing dreams in Great Salt Lake! The water is so saline (5 times more than the ocean) that no species of fishes can live there. On the other hand, the serenity of the place makes it a paradise for migratory birds, especially pelicans, gulls, …
4. Climbing of Dooley Knob Spur
Let us climb to higher altitude to enjoy the splendor of Great Salt Lake!
Antelope Island State Park offers numerous trails of varying length and difficulty. We choose Frary Peak Trail which, 4 miles from the park entrance, leads to the top of the mountain. The 360 degree view on Salt Lake is enthralling! We realise, as we are climbing, how this site is exceptional. At about 0,6 miles from the starting point, the trail parts in two, one path to the left leads to Frary Peak and the path on the right to Dooley Knob Spur.
5. Stunning view on Great Salt Lake
We take the path to our right and reach the top of Dooley Knob Spur. The landscape is simply striking. The ocher colors of the vegetation contrast with the emerald green tints of the salty waters of Great Salt Lake. Small golden wild flowers cheer up the slopes of the mountain.
Although the tourist season is not over (we are in September), Antelope island is merely frequented. We feel a profound sense of well-being and peace of mind.
We spend the rest of the day hiking, strolling along the sandy beaches and admiring the island and lake’s beauties.
Late in the afternoon, we leave Antelope Island State Park, a timeless heaven of peace.
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