Antelope Island, Utah
LOCATION: Davis County, Utah
BOUNDED BY: The Great Salt Lake
HISTORY IN BRIEF: The archeological record indicates habitation dating back 6,000 years. Mormon pioneers chose the island as a ranch for tithing herds because of its natural fence—the lake itself; the Fielding Garr Ranch is one of the oldest in the West, founded in 1848. The island outside of the ranch’s land has been a state park since 1969; the entire island became a state park in 1982.
ICONIC EVENTS: Cowboy Legends Poetry and Western Music Festival, May; Star Party, June; Antelope by Moonlight Bike Ride, July; The Great Buffalo Round Up, October
BEACH and WAVES: Unlike most beaches that are pebbled or made from grains of quartz and other water-tumbled materials, Antelope’s beach is composed of oolitic sand—concentric layers of calcium carbonate (otherwise known as lime) formed around the miniscule droppings of the brine fly.
WILDLIFE: American bison, big horn sheep, pronghorn antelope, bobcats, mule deer, coyote, jack rabbits, pheasants, long-billed curlew, avocets, chukars, burrowing owls and many more.
ACTIVITIES: Hiking, biking, wildlife sighting, boating, camping, touring Fielding Garr Ranch
DINING: There is a concession stand on the island and covered tables are available for picnics. Given the proximity to Salt Lake City, restaurants including the popular Red Iguana are also recommended.